With her debut memoir, Marlon Brando’s former executive assistant delivers a chatty tell-all about the often erratic Hollywood legend.
Peardon’s life story may cause readers to ask: Why would an intelligent, energetic and attractive young woman be friends with a man who once locked her in the trunk of a car for fun and threatened to cut her hand with a knife—even if his name was Marlon Brando? Gossip about the late actor’s troubled family life and accusations of his abusive behavior toward women are nothing new, but this memoir isn’t intended as another scathing account of the Hollywood icon. Instead, it’s a loving—and gushing—tribute to a friend, warts and all. Peardon met Brando in the late 1970s, when she was 20 and working as an assistant at her father’s dental office; Brando, in his 50s, was a patient. They were immediately attracted to each other, writes Peardon, but Brando wouldn’t have sex with her, he said, because he liked her father. Thus began their “on again off again” 28-year platonic friendship, during which Peardon sometimes worked for the difficult Brando; he fired her twice. The author writes about Brando with fawning adoration, quick to forgive and point out his good qualities, such as his commitment to civil rights issues. In some ways, Brando seems to have been a father figure to her, especially after her own father committed suicide; according to Peardon, her conversations with Marlon Brando helped her through many life challenges, including her divorce. The book re-creates dialogue between Peardon and Brando, which makes for a vivid, easy read, and also includes a few pictures, letters and handwritten notes from Brando himself. Alice Marchak, Brando’s personal assistant for 50 years, offers a tougher, more inside look into the legend’s day-to-day life in her 2008 memoir Me and Marlon, but hard-core fans may appreciate Peardon’s wide-eyed adulation.
A new, different twist on familiar Brando stories.