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Sacheen Littlefeather, who declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar on his behalf, dies at 75

Actor and Native Americans activist Sacheen Littlefeather, who took to the stage on the 1973 Academy Awards to disclose that Marlon Brando wouldn’t settle for his Oscar for The Godfather, has died. She was 75.

According to leisure web site Variety, she had been affected by breast most cancers. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, who issued an apology to Littlefeather after almost 50 years and hosted a celebration in her honour simply two weeks in the past, additionally took to Twitter to mourn her demise on Sunday evening.

Born Marie Louise Cruz in Salinas, California to a Native American father (Apache and Yaqui) and European American mom in 1946, Littlefeather turned focused on Native American points in school and took part within the 1970 occupation of Alcatraz Island, adopting her title throughout that point.

After school, she joined the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and reportedly met Brando, who took an curiosity in Native American points, by means of his The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola who, like Littlefeather, lived in San Francisco.

Brando, who was the frontrunner for the perfect actor Oscar for his profession turnaround because the mafia patriarch Vito Corleone, boycotted the ceremony as a protest in opposition to Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans and to attract consideration to the standoff at Wounded Knee, during which 200 members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) confronted off in opposition to 1000’s of US marshals and different federal brokers within the South Dakota city.

At the 1973 Oscars, Littlefeather took to the stage on Brando’s behalf the place she was solely given 60 seconds to learn her speech on Native American rights.

“He very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry… and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee,” Littlefeather had mentioned to the Academy Awards viewers.

She was then escorted off the stage with viewers members’ response which was divided between boos and applause. Actors Raquel Welch, Clint Eastwood and Oscar co-host Michael Caine had been amongst those that criticised the activist on digicam for disrupting the ceremony.

Littlefeather was allowed to learn her full speech at a later press convention and it was printed within the New York Times newspaper.

Although she had just a few small roles in movies equivalent to The Trial of Billy Jack (1974) and Shoot the Sun Down (1978), Littlefeather mentioned she was blacklisted from Hollywood within the aftermath of her Oscars deal with.

She later returned to San Francisco to proceed her activism and work in theatre and well being care.

In June, the Academy apologised to Littlefeather for her remedy on the Oscars that evening. She attended an in-person presentation of the apology on the Academy Museum on September 17.

“The abuse you endured due to this assertion was unwarranted and unjustified. The emotional burden you could have lived by means of and the associated fee to your individual profession in our trade are irreparable.

“For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration,” then-AMPAS president David Rubin wrote to her in a letter dated June 18.

A documentary about her life and activism, titled Sacheen Breaking the Silence, was launched in 2021.



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