Sacheen Littlefeather, who delivered Marlon Brando’s Oscar rejection speech, dies at age 75.
The Academy formally apologized to the Native American activist and former actress in June after she was blacklisted for representing the actor at the 1973 Academy Awards.
Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American actress who took the Oscar stage in 1973 to refuse Marlon Brando’s award, died Sunday, the Motion Picture Academy said. She was 75.
“Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American civil rights activist who turned down Marlon Brando’s 1973 Academy Award for Best Actor, dies at 75,” the tweet read.
Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American civil rights activist who famously declined Marlon Brando’s 1973 Best Actor Academy Award, dies at 75. pic.twitter.com/OlpsoItlCw
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) October 3, 2022
Sacheen Littlefeather (Apache/Yaqui/Ariz.), the Native American actress and activist who took the stage at the 1973 Academy Awards to reveal that Marlon Brando would not accept her Oscar for The Godfather, has died. She was 75.
Littlefeather died Sunday at noon at her home in the northern California town of Novato, surrounded by loved ones, according to a statement sent by her caregiver. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which reconciled with Littlefeather in June and hosted a celebration in her honor just two weeks ago, revealed the news on social media Sunday night.
Littlefeather revealed in March 2018 that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and that it had metastasized in recent years.
Brando had decided to boycott the March 1973 Oscars in protest of the way Native Americans were portrayed on screen, as well as to pay tribute to the ongoing occupation at Wounded Knee, in which 200 members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) clashed with thousands of Americans. marshals and other federal agents in the South Dakota town.
After presenters, Liv Ullmann and Roger Moore listed the nominees for best actor and Ullmann mentioned Brando’s name as the winner, the broadcast switched to Littlefeather, then 26 years old and wearing a traditional Apache dress, walking to the stage from his seat at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as the announcer explained, “Accepting the award for Marlon Brando and The Godfather, Miss Sacheen Littlefeather.”
Littlefeather, however, raised her right hand to refuse the statuette offered by Moore as she reached the podium and told the Chandler audience and the 85 million viewers watching from home that Brando “regrettably cannot accept this most generous award.”