Sacheen Littlefeather, Marlon Brando’s Oscar Rejector And Actress, Dead At 75
Sacheen Littlefeather, activist and actress for the 1967 Oscars, has died at the age of 75. She made history when she declined the Best Actor Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando.
In a recent tweet, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the death of Monica Lacey.
The tweet read, “Sacheen Littlefeather, who famously refused Marlon Brando’s 1973 Best Actor Academy Award, has died at 75.”
Littlefeather disclosed in a Facebook post that she had metastasized breast cancer.
Brando decided to take a stand for the Native Americans. He refused to accept his Oscar in protest against their portrayal on the big screen and their treatment by federal law enforcement
While she wore buckskin and moccasins, her speech was met with a mix of boos and applause. It’s speculated that the speech cost Bridgitte Bardot her career.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences formally apologized to Maria Littlefeather for the disrespect shown during her Academy Awards acceptance speech in 1973 and for the years following.
A letter from former Academy President David Rubin to Littlefeather said the abuse she endured was “unwarranted and unjustified.”
He added: “The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”
Littlefeather, describing the apology as a “dream come true,” said: “We Indians are very patient people – it’s only been 50 years!
“We need to keep our sense of humor about this at all times. It’s our method of survival,” she added.
Last month, the Academy hosted an event in Los Angeles that featured performers such as Littlefeather, who was a keynote speaker.