Movita Castaneda

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Movita Castaneda
Castaneda in Wolf Call (1939)
Maria Luisa Castaneda

(1916-04-12)April 12, 1916
DiedFebruary 12, 2015(2015-02-12) (aged 98)
Other namesMovita
Years active1930–1989
(m. 1939; div. 1944)
(m. 1960; ann. 1968)

Maria Luisa Castaneda (April 12, 1916 – February 12, 2015) was an American actress and the second wife of actor Marlon Brando. In films, she played exotic women and singers, such as in Flying Down to Rio (1933) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). She was the mother of Miko Castaneda Brando and Rebecca Brando Kotlizky.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Movita Castaneda in Paradise Isle (1937)

Movita, an American of Mexican descent, was born in Nogales, Arizona, on a train traveling between Mexico and Arizona. Movita began her acting career singing the Carioca to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire's first dance number in the first film in which the famous duo appeared together, Flying Down to Rio (1933). She continued playing exotic women in American and Spanish language films in the 1930s, most notably as a Tahitian girl, Tehanni in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) alongside Clark Gable and Franchot Tone. She played an island girl in Paradise Isle (1937) and again in Girl from Rio (1939) with Warren Hull. She starred in the British thriller Tower of Terror (1941) alongside Wilfrid Lawson and Michael Rennie. After a break, she appeared as Henry Fonda's cook in Fort Apache (1948), then starred with Tim Holt in two further westerns: The Mysterious Desperado (1949) and Saddle Legion (1951).

In 1939, Movita married the Irish boxer, singer and actor Jack Doyle in Mexico.[2] The marriage did not endure. After appearing in a few more minor westerns and a few television parts, she met the actor Marlon Brando in the late 1950s, after his breakup with Anna Kashfi. They married in 1960, and they had two children. Brando played the role of Fletcher Christian in the 1962 remake of the 1935 film in which Movita had played a Tahitian girl, Tehanni. Brando then married his co-star Tarita Teriipaia in 1962. Castaneda's marriage to Brando was annulled in 1968 after it was discovered her previous marriage to Doyle was still active.[3] After a small role on television in 1977, Movita appeared as Ana in 17 episodes of Knots Landing from October 1987 to May 1989.


Castaneda died two months before her 99th birthday on February 12, 2015, in Los Angeles, after being hospitalized for a neck injury.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1930 El Dios del mar
1933 Flying Down to Rio Carioca Singer Uncredited
1934 La buenaventura
1934 The Scandal Gregoria
1934 Tres Amores Doris
1935 Señora casada necesita marido Doncella
1935 The Tia Juana Kid Cabaret Dancer
1935 Mutiny on the Bounty Tehani
1935 El diablo del Mar Maya
1936 Captain Calamity Annana
1936 El capitan Tormenta Anyana
1937 Paradise Isle Ila
1937 The Hurricane Arai
1938 Rose of the Rio Grande Rosita del Torre
1939 Wolf Call Towana
1939 Girl from Rio Marquita Romero
1941 Tower of Terror Marie Durand
1948 Fort Apache Guadalupe
1949 The Mysterious Desperado Luisa
1949 Red Light Trina Uncredited
1950 Wagon Master Young Navajo Indian
1950 Federal Man Lolita Martinez / Montez
1950 The Furies Chiquita
1950 A Lady Without Passport Lorena Uncredited
1950 The Petty Girl Carmelita Moray Uncredited
1950 Kim Woman with Baby Uncredited
1951 Soldiers Three Cabaret woman
1951 Saddle Legion Mercedes
1952 Wild Horse Ambush Lita Espinosa
1953 Dream Wife Rima
1953 Ride, Vaquero! Hussy Uncredited
1955 Apache Ambush Rosita


  1. ^ "Mail box". Scottsdale Progress. July 27, 1950. Retrieved April 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "Jack Doyle Married". Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette. April 18, 1939. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "Brandon's Marriage Voided—Actress Has Other Mate". The Philadelphia Daily News. July 30, 1968. Retrieved July 13, 2020 – via
  4. ^ Chawkins, Steve (February 17, 2015). "Movita Castaneda dies at 98; film actress was Marlon Brando's second wife". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 17, 2015.

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