26 June 1990 |
Tuki Brando (born 26 June 1990) is a French Polynesian fashion model from Tahiti and currently the face of Versace menswear. The son of Cheyenne Brando and Dag Drollet, he is the grandson of Academy Award-winning American actor Marlon Brando and Golden Globe-nominated Tahitian actress Tarita Teriipaia.
Tuki Brando's mother, Cheyenne Brando, was the daughter of Marlon Brando and his third wife Tarita Teriipaia, a Tahitian whom he met while filming Mutiny on the Bounty in 1962. His father, Dag Drollet, was killed by his uncle Christian in 1990, before Tuki was born. Cheyenne Brando, suffering from alcohol and drug abuse was committed to a hospital and diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after Tuki's birth. She committed suicide in 1995, by hanging herself in her mother's home. Tuki was subsequently raised in Tahiti by his grandmother Teriipia.
Despite seeing his grandfather regularly while growing up, 13-year-old Tuki Brando was omitted from the elder Brando's will, estimated to be worth over 22 million dollars. Brando's will did include Teriipia, friends and nine of his fifteen children.
Brando came to modeling when a family friend suggested him to a modeling agent. His first job was in 2006, when photographer Bruce Weber shot Brando for L’Uomo Vogue, the Italian men's version of Vogue: the magazine's cover and a 22-page spread inside. Photographer Mario Testino spotted Brando in Milan, Italy and he quickly gained attention in the fashion world. Soon after, at 17, he was named the face of the 2007 Versace Fall men's campaign.
In 2011, Brando became one of the faces of TechnoMarine watches, photographed by Nicolas Guerin.
Despite his time spent away from home, Brando says he still lives in Tahiti most of the year with Teriipia. Of acting he said, "Acting is my grandfather and modelling is me. Even if I wanted to, it would be too hard for me. People would say, 'Ah, he's not as good as his grandfather'. I want to do something different."
Brando is currently studying medicine in Bordeaux, France.