c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Native American activist and actress Sacheen Littlefeather Passes Away at 75
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Native American activist and actress Sacheen Littlefeather Passes Away at 75

The Native American actress and activist Sacheen Little Feather, who created history by denying Marlon Brando the Best Actor Oscar, has passed away at the age of 75.

Her passing was reported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday in a tweet.

The tweet read: "Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American Civil Rights Activist Who Rejected Marlon Brando's 1973 Academy Award for Best Actor, Dies at 75," along with a picture of the Apache and Yaqui actress.

Although the exact cause of death was not immediately known, Littlefeather stated in a Facebook post in January of last year that she had metastasized from breast cancer.

Littlefeather made history when she addressed the audience at the 1973 Oscars on behalf of actor Brando of "The Godfather," who had opted to skip the event in opposition to how Native Americans were portrayed on the big screen. Additionally, Brando was responding to how the American Indian Movement had taken control of the South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee with the use of federal law enforcement.

She delivered a brief address while dressed in a suede dress and shoes, to a mixture of jeers and cheers. The aspiring actress, whose filmography included "Winterhawk," "Shoot the Sun Down," and "The Trial of Billy Jack," paid the price with her career as she was quickly placed on a blacklist by the movie business and shunned by the entertainment community.

Littlefeather received a formal apology from the Academy in August for the mistreatment she received both during her speech and in the years that followed.

In a letter to Littlefeather, former Academy President David Rubin referred to the abuse as "unjustified and unwarranted."

The emotional toll he endured and the loss to his own career in our field are irreparable, he continued. The bravery you showed has gone unappreciated for far too long. We apologise profusely and express our heartfelt admiration for this.

It's just been 50 years, we Indians are pretty patient people, Littlefeather added, calling the apology a "dream come true."

The Academy recently held a gathering at their film museum in Los Angeles where Littlefeather was the keynote speaker and was joined by other indigenous artists.

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