Marlon Brando was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital with a rare respiratory disease in 2004 and died at the age of 80. Family and friends report the Hollywood great was strapped for cash before his death.

“Marlon needed money, he had 11 children, he had ex-wives. A lot of people depended on him,” says Ken Lipper, a Hollywood producer and financier.

Fast money came when he invited a sound crew to his Mulholland Drive home to record his voice. Those close to Brando report he was offered a hefty fee to reprise his famous role as Don Corleone in The Godfather. 

Marlon Brando Final Days Showcased Autopsy The Last Hours Of

“He made like $500,000 for doing some video game. It was two hours of work,” says Marlon’s daughter-in-law, Deborah Presley Brando.

But during the recording session, the actor was reported to be gasping for air and dependent on an oxygen tank after a well-publicized case of pneumonia.

“This is an extremely worrying sign,” offers series expert Dr. Michael Hunter. “By using pure oxygen, Marlon was potentially making his underlying lung disease worse.”

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Brando was an unruly child who was expelled from a variety of schools while he struggled to look after his alcoholic mother. In his 60-year career, Brando became one of the greatest actors of his time and won Academy Awards for his performances in On The Waterfront and The Godfather.  

Late in life, the actor was plagued by heath concerns including congestive heart failure, obesity, diabetes and an enlarged liver. So what brought the final curtain for the legendary leading man?

Tune in to Autopsy: The Last Hours of…Marlon Brando, Sunday, August 23, at 8:00 P.M. ET / PT on REELZ for all the details.

Watch REELZ on DIRECTV 238, Dish Network 299, Verizon FiOS 692, AT&T U-verse 1799 and in HD on cable systems and streaming services nationwide. Find REELZ on your local cable or satellite provider at

Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at