With the recent passing of acting legend, Marlon Brando, on Thursday 1st July 2004, Greek actress Irene Papas has finally come forward to reveal her long secret love affair with 'The Godfather' actor. The 77-year-old star of 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' spoke to Italian 'Corriere Della Sere' newspaper, to talk about how she and Brando kept their relationship out of the public eye, as: "we didn't want to share with anyone this love that wasn't a true secret but a private one".

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Papas explained: "I loved Marlon Brando. I really cared about him. We had a love story. Let's call it a long relationship. Perhaps I'm doing wrong to speak about it, now that he's not around to contradict me, but I'm confessing it precisely because, as of today, he's in the absolute, far from everybody, belonging to everyone."

The couple met in Rome in 1954. At the time, Brando was 30-years-old and Papas was 24-years-old. She found herself remembering: "I have never since loved a man as I loved Marlon. He was the great passion of my life, absolutely the man I cared about the most and also the one I esteemed most, two things that generally are difficult to reconcile."

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Papas last saw the Academy Award-winning actor in 1999 when he visited Greece after appearing in his penultimate movie 'Free Money'. She spoke about their final meeting, by saying: "Despite everything he was still magnificent for how he used his head."