In late 1954, 19-year-old Josanne Mariani was making headlines. Why? Marlon Brando had announced that Josanne was his fiancée and that they would marry the following summer.
“The bride-to-be, for those with short memories, was a flashing-eyed French girl with jet tresses and a whirlwind hairdo. She was a fisherman’s daughter and a former model.” (I’m not sure what “whirlwind hairdo” means, but she basically had a pixie cut.)
In 1955, the name Josanne debuted on the SSA’s baby name list:
- 1960: 6 baby girls named Josanne
- 1959: (fewer than 5)
- 1958: 6 baby girls named Josanne
- 1957: 12 baby girls named Josanne
- 1956: 12 baby girls named Josanne
- 1955: 22 baby girls named Josanne [debut]
- 1954: unlisted
The name spent far more time on the list than Josanne did with Marlon. Their romance soon ended, and “poor Miss Josanne Mariani-Berenger returned to the shadows from where she had emerged.” She was all but forgotten by the time Brando married his first wife, Anna Kashfi, in 1957.
- Lawrence, Scott. “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter; But Marlon Brando’s Glints with Neon.” St. Petersburg Times 10 Jul. 1958: 12B.
- Marlon Brando in Love
See more Oscar Week Baby Names.