Brando's Death Came Suddenly, Says Friend

07/06/2004 at 10:10 AM EDT

Brando's Death Came Suddenly, Says Friend
Marlon Brando
Frank Micelotta/Getty
Marlon Brando doggedly guarded his privacy in life, and now, it appears, also in death. Funeral arrangements are being kept a tight secret from the press and public, according to the wishes of the acting icon, reports London's Guardian newspaper.

Brando, 80, died Thursday at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center from a lung condition. Though few details of his passing have emerged, a longtime friend of the actor's, agent-producer Jay Kantor, told the Guardian that Brando had been sick "on and off" for a long time but that his death came suddenly.

"The last time I saw him, he looked fine, but he was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night," says Kantor. "He passed away peacefully. There were a couple of family members present. The funeral arrangements are going to be very private, as Marlon requested."

There have been reports that Brando left behind instructions for his friend and Mulholland Drive neighbor Jack Nicholson to speak at a service. There are also stories speculating that Brando died owing some $20 million.

Meanwhile, while there has been no final tabulation on how many children the actor left behind, one woman who claims to be his daughter , Lisa Warmer, 40, told London's Daily Mail that security guards turned her out of Brando's L.A. estate after she had demanded to be let in "to grieve" along with her mother, former Hogan's Heroes actress Cynthia Lynn.

Warmer claims Brando and her mother had an affair in 1964.

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