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How Marlon Brando Thrived In Hollywood Despite Risqué Photo And Questions About Sexuality

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Author Burt Kearns addressed some controversies about Marlon Brando while promoting his book, Marlon Brando: Hollywood Rebel. One of Marlon’s famous stirs includes a 1953 photo that resurfaced in 2004 which featured the actor in a sexually compromising position with another male.

It is still a wonder who the other counterpart was, however, Burt defended Marlon saying the whole shoot was a joke. “It’s been talked about for 40 years. It’s been out there. It’s even been in a few legitimate biographies of Brando. They’re saying, ‘It’s ridiculous.’ They mischaracterize it,” he told Fox News Digital.

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Marlon Brando’s risqué photo

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Marlon Brando, 1951

Burt revealed the photo that “was published in a book about 20 years ago,” was taken in New York City, and has made rounds on social media. “It was a party that was hosted in Harlem by one of the people who founded the drag balls, which later became the vogue balls in the ‘80s,” Burt explained.

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He also gave details about Marlon’s “partner,” who was “of the initial people that ran those” drag balls. “And yes, apparently the photo was real. Brando laughed about it,” Burt continued. Despite the photo being used against Marlon by his ex-wife, Anna Kashfi as proof of his “perversity” in divorce court, the late entertainer remained unfazed by it. “It wasn’t a big deal to him. How do you cancel somebody if they don’t care if they’re canceled or not?” Burt added. “Part of that also has to do with Brando’s mastery of the press and the media.”

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, Marlon Brando, 1951=

In Burt’s latest release, he narrated how Roddy McDowall “found the picture being sold openly at kiosks along the Seine” in Paris, and Hollywood Babylon author Kenneth Anger tried unsuccessfully to print more copies of it for years. “You can see how the gossip columnists and the entertainment journalists in the ‘50s didn’t know what to make of this guy,” Burt stated. “They would make up stories about his life; he would just brush them off. He wouldn’t answer their questions.”

JULIUS CAESAR, Marlon Brando, 1953

Interestingly, Marlon remained laser-focused on his acting and went on to earn multiple Academy nominations and several awards amid the chaos. “The only thing that kept him from being canceled was the fact that he was so talented. There was no denying that this guy was changing Hollywood. He was a revolutionary talent, so he was able to get away with that,” Burt added. Even after Marlon died in 2004, he is still recognized as one of Hollywood’s most iconic creators.

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