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Home LATEST NEWS Sacheen Littlefeather, Activist Who Rejected Marlon Brando's Oscar, Dies at 75: NPR

Sacheen Littlefeather, Activist Who Rejected Marlon Brando’s Oscar, Dies at 75: NPR

Sacheen Littlefeather on stage at AMPAS Presents An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on September 17, 2022 in Los Angeles.

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Sacheen Littlefeather on stage at AMPAS Presents An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on September 17, 2022 in Los Angeles.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American actress and activist who turned down Marlon Brando’s best actor Oscar in 1973, has died, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Sunday night. she was 75

The academy Announced Littlefeather’s death on her Twitter account. The cause of death was not immediately reported, but several media outlets reported that Littlefeather was suffering from breast cancer.

Born Marie Louise Cruz on November 14, 1946, in Salinas, California, Littlefeather later changed her name in her 20s as she explored her Native American heritage and became an activist.

On March 27, 1973, he provided one of the most dramatic moments in Oscar history. As Brando’s name was read to win the award for best actor for his role in The GodfatherLittlefeather took the stage in loafers and a buckskin dress to politely express Brando’s regrets for refusing the award due to Hollywood’s treatment and portrayal of Native Americans.

His speech rejecting the Oscar on behalf of Brando was met with a mix of boos and cheers. She said that she saw actor John Wayne being prevented from going on stage while she was on, Los Angeles Times reported.

Last August, NPR’s Mandalit Del Barco reported on an interview Littlefeather gave to member station KQED in 2020 about the speech and its aftermath.

“People were making money off of that Hollywood Indian racism. Of course they’re going to boo. They don’t want their evening interrupted.”

Littlefeather said a team of security guards escorted her offstage at the Oscars. She said that for years Hollywood boycotted her, calling it redlisted.

Earlier this year and nearly 50 years later, the academy officially apologized to Littlefeather for the abuse she subsequently suffered due to her appearance at the Oscars. In a June letter from former Academy President David Rubin, the Academy called the “unwarranted and unwarranted” abuse she endured.

Brando later acknowledged regret for the position he had put Littlefeather in, according to the Angels Times. “I was upset that people had booed and whistled and stomped, even though maybe it was directed at me,” he told then-talk show host Dick Cavett. “They should have at least had the courtesy to listen to her.”


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