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Lot #675
Marlon Brando Autograph Letter Signed on Breakup with Solange Podell

Rare early 'breakup' letter from Brando, a rising star on Broadway

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Estimate: $15000+
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Rare early 'breakup' letter from Brando, a rising star on Broadway

ALS in pencil, signed “Marlon,” three pages on two adjoining sheets, 5 x 8, no date (late 1940s). Handwritten letter to French actress Solange Podell, with whom he had shared a romantic relationship. Brando ostensibly wrote this letter not long after their separation. In full (spelling and grammar retained): “In order that you won’t think me a complete boor, I am writing you this letter to explain that because of an erratic, flighty, fly-by-night, temperament I wish not to humiliate and degrade your sentiments by seeing you only at my mood’s conveinence. Please accept this letter with an open heart as it is written with fourthright sincerity. I’m sorry I could not have tried harder to be less self indulgent and therewith, a little more compatable. My intuitions were flawlessly scroupulous, but my emotions, unfortunately, unstable. 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 adds a postscript: “Please give my kind acknowledgements to your mother, if she’ll accept them.” In fine condition. Solange Podell (1927-2020) was a cabaret dancer and actress who had minor roles in several movies in France in the early 1940s. On the advice of an American talent scout, she moved to Hollywood for a year before coming back east to New York City where she began taking classes at the Actor’s Studio. On a Broadway evening in 1947, she was told to go backstage during a production of A Streetcar Named Desire to meet the rising young actor who played Stanley Kowalski. Podell and Brando quickly formed a relationship, but their ambitions and careers took them on different paths: Brando would reprise his role as Kowalski on the big screen and earn an Academy Award nomination, and Podell turned to photography, learning from Richard Avedon and graduating from the Famous Photographer's School before settling in Monaco and being appointed the official photographer of the Principality Tourism Office. Over 5,000 of Solange's photos are now archived at the Palais Princier for their aesthetic quality and historical value.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts Featuring Presidents
  • Dates: #658 - Ended February 08, 2023

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