I used to play with Brando's kid's when I was around 10 years old while my mother and he rehearsed their scenes for the film - 'One-Eyed Jacks' - at his house in the Hollywood hills. At that time two important things happened: she got me paid acting work on tv . . . and Marlon asked her to marry him.
Well, I hated acting and closed the door to that particular future without any idea of the financial possibilities I was turning down. My mother, on the other hand, thought carefully about the implications of Marlon's request - and turned him down, too.
Both of us made life-changing decisions. Mine in childish ignorance, my mother's in full awareness. The consequences for my mother were quickly apparent - most of her role was left on the cutting room floor and she was black-balled in Hollywood - her acting trajectory, for the meantime, effectively over.
For me, it wasn't so clear. Could I have made a career in film? Don't know. Probably. Maybe. The course of life hinges on so many factors - some we understand, others we don't.
My mother made hers and lived with it, eventually creating a successful acting career 35 years later. I've carried on, despite continual setbacks, because of sheer stubborness and a highly unquantifiable belief in the power of my 'magical heritage'. I'll expand on that in the next installment.