Marlon Brando’s Grandson: Not Your Typical Ad Model

Headshot of David Griner

Celebrity descendants are standard fare in the fashion world, with the assumption being that they're spoiled brats coasting on the family name. Not so with Marlon Brando's grandson, Tuki Brando, who appears in a swank new print ad for watch brand TechnoMarine and has previously done modeling work for Versace. The 20-year-old medical student has had a dark and often traumatic family life, according to a brief profile in the Telegraph. His father, a boyfriend of Marlon's daughter Cheyenne, was shot dead by Tuki's uncle, Christian Brando, before the boy was even born. According to some accounts, the shooting was the result of possibly false claims by Cheyenne that her boyfriend, Dag Drollet, was abusive. A few years later, after being diagnosed with schizophrenia and losing custody of her son, Cheyenne hanged herself in Tahiti. Tuki was 4. Nine years later, when Marlon Brando died, the Hollywood superstar added insult to a life of injury by leaving Tuki out of his will. So, it's hard to dismiss Tuki Brando as a child of privilege. He could more accurately be considered a survivor. In its coverage of his mother's death in 1995, People magazine noted: "There are dysfunctional families, there are the hard cases who hurl insults at each other on daytime talk shows, and then there are the Brandos, a true house of pain." Full ad after the jump.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: April 22, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT