The actress has died at the age of 75 Sacheen Littlefeatheras reported this Sunday by the American Film Academy, known above all for having rejected the award for Oscar during the 1973 Oscar gala. Marlon Brando for his performance as Don Vito Corleone in ‘The Godfather’.
Sacheen Littlefeather she had breast cancer and, among her very brief filmography, titles such as ‘The Counselor’ (1973), ‘The Trial of Billy Jack’ (1974), ‘Cloud of Fire’ (1975) and ‘The Winterhawk’ (1975) stand out. ). The seventh and last film in which she worked dates from 1978, the western ‘Hunting the sun’, where she was credited as “navajo woman”. That character fell in love with one of the protagonists, who was played by Christopher Walken; however, all of her scenes were cut in montage.
The death of Sacheen Littlefeather It comes almost a year after the death of her husband, Charles Koshiway, to whom she had been married for more than thirty years.
It so happens that just a few weeks ago, the interpreter, model and activist for the civil rights of indigenous people was honored by the Film Academy after apologizing for the boos she suffered almost 50 years ago after going on stage of the Oscars and, on behalf of Marlon Brando, declining such recognition as a protest against Hollywood’s ‘mistreatment’ of Native Americans. It was Marlon Brando’s way of boycotting that gala and denouncing the poor situation of indigenous people in front of and behind the cameras. It is assumed that both met through Francis Ford Coppola, her neighbor in San Francisco. Sacheen Littlefeather she was, in fact, the first indigenous woman to walk on stage at the Oscars. It was the 45th edition. It also received applause.
That act of protest lasted barely a minute. The actress, whose father was indigenous and whose mother was European-American (both saddlers, that is, leather workers), had to be escorted off the stage after boos from the audience; among them, the actors Clint Eastwood and Michael Caine, presenter that year. Her gossips say that John Wayne had to be stopped from going after her. Sacheen Littlefeather he couldn’t even finish reading what he had written; some words (739 in total) that he did later have the opportunity to pronounce at a press conference and that can now be recovered in
‘The New York Times’. The interpreter acknowledged that, after that speech, she became part of the Hollywood blacklist, so she devoted herself to theater and activism in San Francisco, a city to which she had moved years ago to work as a model (she came to pose for ‘Playboy’ magazine). She also worked in a hospice hospital.
“He, with all his regret, cannot accept this splendid award,” he said. Sacheen Littlefeather On behalf of Marlon Brando, advocate for the American Indian Movement. He listed several reasons: “The treatment of indigenous people, today, by the film industry… and on television and in re-broadcasts of films and also because of what has recently happened in [la ocupación de] Wounded Knee [de la que se dejó de informar en los medios]».
Sacheen Littlefeather her real name was Marie Louise Cruz. She was born in 1946 in the Californian city of Salinas and she became interested, during her college years, in the issue of Native Americans. Marie Louise Cruz was renamed Sacheen Littlefeather in 1970, the year in which she herself, as a student, participated in the occupation of Alcatraz by a hundred indigenous people to claim their rights. Her mother was of French, German and Dutch blood while her father was of Apache and Yaqui descent, and died when the actress was just 20 years old.
That ‘Sacheen’ was what her father called her, of whom, however, the actress commented on his violent attitude against her and her family. ‘Littlefeather’ was for the feather she always carried. She did not have an easy childhood, as she herself recounted in several interviews. She and her two younger sisters ended up living with her maternal grandparents.
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Sacheen Littlefeather, actress who turned down Marlon Brando’s Oscar for ‘The Godfather’, dies