Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Brando & Cox

This post is prompted by a prurient little item I came across this morning. I am stunned I had never heard this before. Forgive me if it's old news to you. Though I initially assumed it was an odd joke, I discovered that it was indeed true and thus, immensely sad and tragic.

Incongruous as it appears on the surface, it seems Marlon Brando and Wally Cox (Mr. Peepers) were lifelong lovers. They had known one another from the time they were both nine. They became roommates in New York at the beginning of their respective careers and their relationship continued through their lives. Brando once said of Cox, "If Wally had been a woman, I would have married him and we would have lived happily ever after." Cox only moved out because, the story goes, he couldn't stand Brando's pet raccoon any longer.

When Cox died suddenly in 1973 of a heart attack at age 48 Brando reportedly snuck into the wake being held at Cox's home. He climbed in Cox's bedroom window and refused to leave the room. Under the guise of intending to scatter Cox's ashes in the hills where the two of them used to go rock hunting, Brando instead kept Cox's ashes in his bedroom until he died. Cox's widow threatened to sue Brando for their return but never went through with the threat. Brando told Time magazine he talked to the ashes every night.

Despite Brando's marriages and many children, Cox remained his one true love to the extent that, according to Brando's son Miko, when Brando died in 2004 and his ashes were scattered in Death Valley Cox's ashes were co-mingled with them. Said Miko of the scattering, "It seemed right."

Said a family friend, "Wally was the big love of Marlon’s life."

At least they have eternity.

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