"A few days before he died he said: ‘If only I could see the area and the charming country lanes again’.”
That's Caroline Barrett, personal assistant to the late Marlon Brando, who passed away in 2004. In an online objection, she reveals how much the actor loved a quiet corner of rural England now under threat by development.
A campaign to prevent the natural beauty of the area from being ruined by a planned industrial storage site received an unexpected boost when Barrett threw Brando's name into the mix.
"He loved the beauty and tranquility of Selling and in particular Owens Court Lane," she writes. "The planning application will totally destroy the character of this lane. What Marlon particularly commented on were the medieval, Tudor and Georgian listed buildings dotted along the lane, surrounded by the most beautiful natural countryside."
"If Marlon Brando was still alive I know he would be objecting also," she added.
After a brief visit in 1986, Brando reportedly loved the area so much that he decided to stay on for six months. The reclusive actor had a passion for the natural beauty of the world -- and friends confirm Barrett's confidence that he would be upset.
“He loved the area. He could go into the local shops and no-one bothered him," said one such acquaintance to The Daily Telegraph. "People left him in peace. That was unusual. He loved English things, the English heritage and the conservation policies of protecting buildings.”
It will be several months before a decision on the project is reached.