Native American actress who refused Oscar for Brando dies at 75
WASHINGTON, Oct 3, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native
American activist and actress who was booed in 1973 as she refused an Oscar
on behalf of Marlon Brando, has died aged 75, the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences said Sunday.
The Academy announced her death in a tweet that quoted Littlefeather as
saying: "When I am gone, always be reminded that whenever you stand for your
truth, you will be keeping my voice and the voices of our nations and our
Two weeks ago, the Academy held a ceremony at its new Los Angeles museum
honoring Littlefeather and publicly apologizing for her treatment at the
Oscars ceremony nearly 50 years ago.
Littlefeather, who is of Apache and Yaqui heritage, was booed at the 1973
Academy Awards -- the first to be broadcast live around the world -- while
explaining on Brando's behalf why he would not accept his Best Actor Oscar
for "The Godfather."
Brando had asked Littlefeather to decline the award for him in an act of
protest against the treatment of Native Americans by the film industry.
"I went up there, like a proud Indian woman with dignity, with courage, with
grace, and with humility," Littlefeather said at the museum event.
"I knew that I had to speak the truth. Some people may accept it. And some
people may not."
She said Western star John Wayne had to be restrained from physically
assaulting her as she left the stage.
Littlefeather, a member of the Screen Actors' Guild, subsequently found it
difficult to get work in Hollywood, with casting directors warned not to
Asked by reporters ahead of the ceremony how she felt about having to wait so
long to hear the word "sorry," Littlefeather was philosophical.
"It's never too late for an apology," she said.
"It's never too late for forgiveness."