September 30, 1934
Darjeeling, British India
|Spouse(s)||Marlon Brando (1957-1959)
James Hannaford (1974-1986; his death)
Early life and origins
Johanna O'Callaghan was born in Darjeeling and raised in Calcutta, India and, later, Cardiff, Wales, where the family moved in 1947. William P. O'Callaghan was a London-born steel worker of Irish descent, who had been a traffic superintendent on the Indian State railways; his wife was English and told the press "there is no Indian blood in my family or my husband's family". In her book, Brando for Breakfast, published in 1979, however, Kashfi claimed that she really is half-Indian and that the press incorrectly believed that William O'Callaghan was her real father when he was, she stated, her stepfather. Kashfi wrote that her biological father was Indian and that she was the result of an "unregistered alliance" between her parents. Film director Edward Dmytryk, who directed the actress in her first film, stated that he knew her real surname was Irish but he said he assumed that she was half-Indian.
The actress made her debut screen appearance using the stage name Anna Kashfi as a Hindu girl in The Mountain (1956) for Paramount with Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner. In her next film she co-starred with Rock Hudson as a Korean girl in Battle Hymn (1957). This was followed by Cowboy (1958) with Glenn Ford and Jack Lemmon in which she played a Mexican. Her next and last film during this period was Night of the Quarter Moon (1959). She made a few appearances on television, including the series Adventures in Paradise, though drug and alcohol problems reportedly contributed to the premature end of her acting career
Kashfi married Marlon Brando on October 11, 1957, and they were divorced on April 22, 1959. She had met Brando in the summer of 1956 and dated all through that year and all through 1957. According to The New York Times (October 14, 1957), though Kashfi's parents had been identified as the O'Callaghans, she did not identify them as her parents on her marriage license, instead stating that her father was Devi Kashfi and her mother was Selma Ghose; a friend of the bride stated that Kashfi's purported Indian father had died six weeks before the Brandos' wedding. The O'Callaghans' were adamant that Kashfi was their child, and William O'Callaghan was quoted in Time magazine as saying, "That's our daughter, and both me and missus were born in London." The magazine further stated that "MGM, which likes Johanna-Anna in her off-shoulder sari, first hedged, then admitted her identity."
The Brandos had a son, Christian Devi Brando, (1958–2008), and fought bitterly over custody of the boy, with Brando eventually obtaining custody. Kashfi married James Hannaford, a salesman, in 1974.
In the 1990s, her son, Christian, whom she called "Devi", was tried for killing his half-sister Cheyenne Brando's boyfriend, Dag Drollet. Christian Brando died of pneumonia in Los Angeles in 2008, aged 49. Kashfi has one grandson, Michael Brando (born 1988).
- Peter Manso, Brando. The Biography, Hyperion, New York, 1994, ISBN 0-7868-6063-4
- "Kashfi Called Welsh", The New York Times, 13 October 1957
- Anna Kashfi (band) Interview by John Clarkson, September 24, 2004, Brando Unzipped, Darwin Porter, 2006
- Los Angeles Times report on Anna Kashfi
- "Kashfi Still Enigma: License Does Not List Welsh Couple As Parents", The New York Times, October 14, 1957
- Time magazine
- Anna Kashfi at the Internet Movie Database
- Murder by Kashfi's son
- Anna Kashfi bio
- Anna Kashfi 'cried tears of rage' upon hearing of Marlon Brando's death