Sacheen Littlefeather, who was Apache and Yaqui, had small roles in such films as “Johnny Firecloud” and “Winterhawk.” However, she is best known for her activism on behalf of Native Americans.
Sacheen Littlefeather, an activist known for turning down an Oscar for Marlon Brando in 1973, has died at the age of 75 in Novato, California.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress also revealed in 2018 that she had breast cancer and that the disease had metastasized.
Littlefeather, who was both Apache and Yaqui, had small roles in such films as “Johnny Firecloud” and “Winterhawk.” However, she is best known for her activism on behalf of Native Americans.
During the 45th Oscars, the American took the stage after Marlon Brando was announced as the winner of Best Actor for “The Godfather”. The actor had boycotted the ceremony, but sent the activist on his behalf to reject the award.
“He cannot accept this very generous award. The reasons are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television, and also with the recent events in (the town of) Wounded Knee. I pray I have not intruded on this evening and I hope that, in the future, our hearts and our points of view meet with love and generosity,” she said, to boos from much of the audience.
This June, the Academy of Hollywood, which awards the Oscars, sent her a letter to apologize for the way she was treated during the ceremony.
“The mistreatment you experienced for giving this statement was undeserved and unjustifiable. The emotional toll she has experienced and the consequences it has had on her own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long, the courage you showed has gone unrecognized. For this, we express our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration”, says the text signed by David Rubin, former president of the institution.
Just a few weeks ago, Littlefeather was honored at the Museum of the Academy of Arts in Los Angeles.
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