It’s as if she had waited for the official apology to go away in peace. Fifteen days after a tribute ceremony dedicated to her by the Academy of the Oscars, the actress and Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather died at the age of 75. In 1973, at the first ceremony broadcast live worldwide, she was booed when she refused an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando,
In its Twitter post announcing his passing, the Academy quoted Littlefeather as saying: “When I’m gone, always remember that every time you stand up for your truth, you will keep my voice and the voices of our nations and peoples alive.”
Two weeks ago, the Academy held a ceremony at its new museum in Los Angeles to honor Littlefeather and publicly apologize for the treatment she suffered at the Academy Awards nearly 50 years ago. year. “It’s never too late for an apology. It’s never too late for forgiveness.”had philosophized the actress.
Littlefeather, who is Apache and Yaqui, was booed at the 1973 Academy Awards as she explained on Brando’s behalf why he wouldn’t accept his Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather. Brando had asked Littlefeather to decline the award for him in protest at the film industry’s treatment of Native Americans. “I went there, like a proud Indian woman, with dignity, courage, grace and humilitysaid Littlefeather during the ceremony at the museum. I knew I had to tell the truth. Some people can accept it. And some don’t.”
She said it was necessary to stop veteran western star John Wayne from physically attacking her as she left the stage. Littlefeather, a member of the Screen Actors Guild — the first union for film actors founded in 1933 — then struggled to find work in Hollywood, as casting directors were warned not to employ him.