Marlon Brando’s Breakup Letter to a French Actress Could Fetch Upwards of $15,000 at Auction

Marlon Brando fans now have the chance to own a rather interesting item from his private life.

In its latest listing, Boston-based RR Auctions has put the star’s handwritten breakup letter to a former girlfriend up for grabs. The rare note, expected to fetch upwards of $15,000 at current estimates, indicates the end of a romantic relationship between the Last Tango In Paris actor and French actress Solange Podell in the late 1940s. The three 5 x 8 pages, containing a litany of minor grammatical errors written in pencil by the A-lister, details Brando’s attempt to end the two’s courtship amicably with the ever-popular “It’s not you, it’s me” approach. As of writing, the top bid for the stationary sits at $3,390.

“Please accept this letter with an open heart as it is written with forthright sincerity,” part of the letter reads. “I’m sorry I could not have tried harder to be less self-indulgent and, there with, a little more compatible. My intuitions were flawlessly scrupulous, but my emotions, unfortunately, were unstable. Nevertheless, I will remember you with fondness, regard, and appreciation. When we meet in France (perhaps in October), I trust my behavior will be a trifle more adult.” Brando then signs off “with warmest Marlon” and the additional footnote: “Please give my kind acknowledgments to your mother, if she’ll accept them.” 

The actor writes about ending this relationship with the French actress amicably.

The two actors met after Podell, a rising Broadway star, was invited backstage during the 1947 production of A Streetcar Named Desire to meet a young—and relatively unknown—Brando, who playing Stanley Kowalski opposite Jessica Tandy’s Blanche DuBois. The cabaret dancer, who also had minor movie roles in France, moved to New York City following a short stint in Hollywood, after an American talent scout encouraged her to take a leap of faith into the creative industry.

After the duo parted ways, Brando would go on to become a Hollywood legend, earning two Best Actor Oscars for his work in the iconic films On the Waterfront and The Godfather. Podell, meanwhile, left acting after some success to focus on photography, studying under industry legend Richard Avedon to hone on her craft before eventually settling down in Monaco; there, she became the Principality Tourism Office’s official photographer.

Interested in this piece of Brando’s romantic history? Head to RR Auction’s website to a bid now through February 8 for a chance to own the delicate parchment.

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