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Actor and activist Sashen Littlefeather, who turned down Marlon Brando’s Oscar win, dies at 75 | US News

Sashen Littlefeather, the Native American activist who famously turned down Marlon Brando’s Oscar win for The Godfather, has died at the age of 75, the Academy of Motion Pictures announced Sunday.

Littlefeather had breast cancer.

The Academy announced her death in a tweet Sunday night.The Hollywood Reporter quote a statement Her caretaker said she died at noon Sunday at her home in Novato City, Northern California, surrounded by her loved ones.

Brando won the best actor Oscar in 1973 for his role in The Godfather, but protested in support of Native American rights and did not attend the ceremony. Appeared in She declined her award, giving a short speech explaining that one of her reasons for her actor’s decline was “the treatment of Native Americans by today’s film industry and in television and film reruns.” I did.

Littlefeather, who was 26 at the time, was booed. She later claimed that she had to prevent actor John Wayne from being attacked by security guards backstage. She was blacklisted by Hollywood after the ceremony.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in August Made a formal apology to Littlefeather about her treatment.

Native American civil rights activist Sashen Littlefeather, who turned down Marlon Brando’s 1973 Academy Award for Best Actor, has died at the age of 75. pic.twitter.com/OlpsoItlCw

— Academy (@TheAcademy) October 3, 2022

The agency that directs the Oscars described her appearance as “a powerful statement that continues to remind us of the need for respect and the importance of human dignity.”

“The abuse you suffered because of this statement was unjust and unjust. The emotional toll you have been through and the cost to your own career in our industry is irreparable. The courage you have shown has gone unrecognized for far too long, and for this we offer both our heartfelt apologies and our heartfelt admiration.

Little Feather replied: We should always keep our sense of humor about this. That’s how we survive. ”

of Interview with the Guardian in 2021, Littlefeather talked about her tough childhood. She was born in 1946, the daughter of an Apache and Yaki father and a white mother. Both were psychotic and were unable to raise her. She was taken away when she was three years old and raised by her maternal grandparents. She remembered hitting her father with a broom when she was little to stop him from hitting her mother. “I think that’s when I really became an activist.”

Littlefeather began visiting reservations in Arizona when he was 17 years old after his father died. “I have really experienced a breakthrough in coming back to our traditions and heritage with other urban Indians. It was great.”

By his early twenties, Littlefeather was working at a San Francisco radio station, leading a local affirmative action committee for Native Americans, and researching representation in film and sports. When she heard Marlon Brando talk about Native American rights, she wrote him a letter. A few months later I got a call from him and they became good friends.

In the same interview, Littlefeather, now an elder and teaching cultural knowledge to young Native Americans, said she was “very, very sick” with breast cancer.

“I’ve been on chemotherapy for quite some time and take antibiotics daily. As a result, my memory isn’t as good as it used to be,” she said. “Cancer is a full-time job, so I’m always very tired. CT scans, MRIs, lab blood tests, doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy, infectious disease control, etc. If you’re lazy, you can’t apply for cancer.” .”

About death she said: Go to the world of your ancestors. I’m saying goodbye to you…I’ve earned my right to be who I really am.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/03/sacheen-littlefeather-actor-and-activist-who-declined-marlon-brandos-oscar-dies-aged-75 Actor and activist Sashen Littlefeather, who turned down Marlon Brando’s Oscar win, dies at 75 | US News

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