Sacheen Littlefeather, who declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar for “The Godfather” on his behalf on the 1973 Academy Awards, died Sunday, the Academy of Movement Photos mentioned.
In June, the Academy of Movement Photos Arts and Sciences apologized to Littlefeather for her therapy on the Oscars that evening. Littlefeather attended an in-person presentation of the apology on the Academy Museum on Sept. 17. On Oscars evening in 1973, she had been escorted off the stage with viewers members booing after her one-minute speech on Native American rights.
“He very regretfully can’t settle for this very beneficiant award,” Littlefeather mentioned. “And the explanations for this being are the therapy of American Indians at the moment by the movie trade… and on tv in film re-runs, and likewise with latest happenings at Wounded Knee.”
Littlefeather, born Marie Louise Cruz in Salinas, California, grew to become considering Native American points in school and took part within the 1970 occupation of Alcatraz Island and adopted her title throughout that point.
After school, she joined SAG and reportedly met Brando, who took an curiosity in Native American points, by way of Francis Ford Coppola who like Littlefeather, lived in San Francisco.
In a latest interview, Littlefeather informed Selection what it was wish to attend the Oscars on Brando’s behalf.
“It was my first time on the Academy Awards. I made it by way of my first hurdle, promising Marlon Brando that I’d not contact that Oscar. However, as I walked off that stage, I did within the methods of braveness, honor grace, dignity and truthfulness. I did so within the methods of my ancestors and the methods of Indigenous girls.
“I used to be met with the stereotypical tomahawk chop, people who referred to as at me, and I ignored all of them. I continued to stroll straight forward with a few armed guards beside me, and I held my head excessive and was proud to be the primary Indigenous lady within the historical past of the Academy Awards to make that political assertion.
“At the moment in 1973, there was a media blackout on Wounded Knee and towards the American Indian Motion that was occupying it. Marlon had referred to as them prematurely and requested them to look at the Academy Awards, which they did. As they noticed me, up on stage, refusing that Academy Award for the stereotypes throughout the movie trade, and mentioning Wounded Knee in South Dakota, it might break the media boycott.”
Littlefeather additionally lately mirrored on demise, telling Selection, “After we die, we all know that our ancestors are coming to provide. We all know that we’re going to that spirit world from the place we got here. We take this as a warrior with satisfaction and never defeat, trying ahead to becoming a member of our ancestors who’re going to be there with us at our final breath they usually’re going to welcome us into that world on the opposite aspect and have an enormous celebration for us.”
A documentary about her life and activism, “Sacheen Breaking the Silence,” was launched in 2021.
Although she had a couple of small roles in movies together with “The Trial of Billy Jack,” Littlefeather mentioned she was blacklisted in Hollywood after the Oscars, and returned to San Francisco to proceed her activism and work in theater and well being care.