Prudence Farrow

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Prudence Farrow
Born (1948-01-20) January 20, 1948 (age 75)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation(s)Author, meditation teacher, producer
SpouseAlbert Bruns (m. 1969)
Parent(s)John Farrow
Maureen O'Sullivan
RelativesPatrick Villiers Farrow (brother)
Mia Farrow (sister)
Tisa Farrow (sister)
Ronan Farrow (nephew)

Prudence Anne Villiers Farrow Bruns (born January 20, 1948) is an American author, meditation teacher, and film producer. She is the daughter of film director John Farrow and actress Maureen O'Sullivan and younger sister of actress Mia Farrow.[2] Farrow is the subject of the Beatles song "Dear Prudence," which references her time studying Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh with the Beatles in early 1968.[3]

Early life[edit]

Farrow was raised as a Catholic and attended convent schools. She learned the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM) in 1966 at UCLA, and the next year became interested in yoga, opening a yoga institute at a former church in Boston.[4][5][6] In 1968 Farrow, along with her sister Mia and brother Johnny, traveled with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi from New York to India,[7] and then to the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh for a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course.[2]

The Beatles arrived shortly thereafter.[8] Farrow was dedicated to practicing the TM technique so she could become a TM teacher. She said: "I would always rush straight back to my room after lectures and meals so I could meditate. John, George and Paul would all want to sit around jamming and having a good time and I'd be flying into my room. They were all serious about what they were doing, but they just weren't as fanatical as me".[2] She "turned into a near recluse" and "rarely came out" of her cottage.[9] Lennon was asked to "contact her and make sure she came out more often to socialize" and he wrote the song "Dear Prudence". According to Lennon, "She'd been locked in for three weeks and was trying to reach God quicker than anyone else".[2][10]


Farrow taught TM for several decades after her teacher training course in India.[2][11] Among those she mentored was comedian Andy Kaufman.[12] She returned to India for further instruction from the Maharishi in 1986[4] and has taught Transcendental Meditation in Florida since 1970.[13]

Later in her life, Farrow earned a BA, an MA, and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Asian studies.[2] Her doctoral dissertation was on pulse diagnosis, titled Nadivijnana, the Crest-Jewel of Ayurveda: A Translation of Six Central Texts and an Examination of the Sources, Influences and Development of Indian Pulse-Diagnosis.[14] Farrow became an elementary school teacher[2][15] and according to her résumé she has held teaching positions or presented at conferences held at the University of California at Berkeley, Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin.[16]

Farrow has worked in the theater and film industry[17] as a production assistant on The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) and the art department coordinator for The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985).[2] She also "conceived and co-produced" the film Widows' Peak (1994), which featured her sister, Mia, in a part originally written for their mother, Maureen O'Sullivan.[17][18] In 1999, she was one of four producers involved in staging Up From the Ground at the Westbeth Theatre in New York City.[17]

Farrow became a magazine writer in the 2000s.[15] Using her married name, Prudence Bruns, she has authored articles on Asian studies, world religions, ayurveda, and healthy living.[19] In 2012, Farrow established the non-profit Dear Prudence Foundation to raise funds for a documentary film of the 2013 Kumbh Mela festival which is held in India every twelve years.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Farrow married teacher Albert Morrill Bruns in December 1969.[21] They have three children and four grandchildren.[2]

In late 1981, Robert Durst was nearing the end of an alleged three-year affair with Farrow while he was married to Kathie McCormack. According to the New York Post, a few months before McCormack's disappearance in January 1982, Farrow called her and asked that she give Durst up, as friends said she wanted him all to herself. After Durst was acquitted of murdering Morris Black in 2003, Farrow contacted law-enforcement authorities with concerns for her safety, as she said Durst was angry with her for terminating their relationship three days before McCormack disappeared.[22]


  1. ^ "Free Family Tree, Genealogy, Family History, and DNA Testing". MyHeritage.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Although the Beatles left the retreat before the course on transcendental meditation was finished, Prudence Farrow, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, and others stayed on and became TM teachers"
  3. ^ Doyle, Jack (July 27, 2009). "Dear Prudence, 1967-1968". Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "'Dear Prudence' living, teaching TM in Walton". Northwest Florida Daily News. Fort Walton Beach, Fla. October 25, 1992. p. 1C.
  5. ^ "Art and fashion on show". Women's Section. The Sydney Morning Herald. November 9, 1967. p. 8.
  6. ^ "Girl Defects From Convent". Gettysburg Times. Associated Press. October 24, 1967. p. 5.
  7. ^ Gould, Jonathan (2007) Harmony Books, Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America, ISBN 978-0-307-35337-5
  8. ^ The Ultimate Beatles Quiz Book, Michael Hockinson, page 128, St. Martins Press, 1990.
  9. ^ WARREN, MICHAEL (November 5, 1995). "NOT TUNED IN: Farrow tells story of 'Dear Prudence' Sister meditated 23 hours a day, oblivious to song written for her". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 8.
  10. ^ The American book of the Dead, Oliver Trager, page 90, Simon and Schuster, 1997
  11. ^ Here, There and Everywhere: the 100 best Beatles songs, Stephen J Spignesi, Michael Lewis, page 252
  12. ^ Zehme, Bill (1999-12-01). Lost in the funhouse. Delacorte Press. p. 97.
  13. ^ "Northwest Florida".
  14. ^ SIMMONS, TONY (April 3, 2011). "Seeking the Roots of Thought: Once John Lennon's muse, 'Dear Prudence' now teaches meditation". Panama City, Florida:
  15. ^ a b Magee, David (October 17, 2009). "How the real 'Dear Prudence' in John Lennon's song inspired me". Chattanooga Times Free Press. p. B.1.
  16. ^ / curriculum vitae, Prudence F. Bruns, PhD Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ a b c Bruns, Prudence (October 20, 2009). "Resume" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 8, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2010.
  18. ^ "Prudence Farrow". IMDb.
  19. ^ / Publications by Prudence F. Bruns, PhD Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Wheeler, Deborah (January 11, 2013). "For the love of TM: 'Dear Prudence' heading to India". Destin Log. Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  21. ^ 'Mia's sister Prudence to wed N.Y. teacher in Delco Rites' Philadelphia Daily News 17 December 1969 p. 5
  22. ^ "Woman who inspired The Beatles' 'Dear Prudence' once dated Robert Durst – New York Post". New York Post. March 28, 2015. Archived from the original on August 3, 2017. Retrieved December 9, 2017.

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