Sacheen Littlefeather is an American actress, activist, and beautiful model. She is an activist for Native American civil rights. She was the one to represent Marlon Brando at the 45th Academy Awards back in 1973. She rose to fame as she declined to receive the Oscars for the Best Actor award of Marlon Brando for his jaw-dropping performance in the movie The Godfather. She received an apology from the Academy 50 years later in June 2022 for the event that occurred in 1973.
Sacheen Littlefeather Age
Marie Louise Cruz came into the world on 14th November 1946, in Salinas, California, in the United States. Her birth sign is Scorpio. She is 75 years of age as of 2022. She is an American national and has mixed ethnicity.
Sacheen Littlefeather Early Life
She was born to her father, Manuel Cruz, and her mother, Geraldine Barnitz. Both her parents had the expertise to make saddles. The couple moved to Salinas to set up their business ‘Cruz Saddlery.’ Geraldine continued to run the business after the death of her husband in 1966. Sacheen has been through an uncomfortable childhood.
She stated in an interview that her father was left alone by Geraldine when she was just 4 and took her alongside to stay at her maternal grandparent’s house. He described her father as being abusive and told her that Gerold and her siblings were victims of her father’s abusive behavior and faced physical abuse.
Sacheen Littlefeather Education
She got enrolled in North Salinas High School in 1960 and was a brilliant student in her school phase. Further, after completing her high school studies, she got admitted to Hartnell Junior College for her primary education. She shifted to San Francisco with her interest in a modeling career and got her photoshoot done by Kenneth Cook. She then got into California State College and completed her studies in drama and speech.
She was keen to maintain the Native American identity, and with her participation in the occupation of Alcatraz protest movement in 1970, she got her nickname of Sacheen Littlefeather even though she could not survive for the full span on the island. Her name Sacheen was chosen as she was called by her father by that name before he passed away, and Littlefeather was derived from the feather she used to wear always in her hair.
Sacheen Littlefeather Career
She was firm with her aspiration to become a prominent actress. She took up various radio and TV commercials and got enrolled in the Screen Actors Guild. She got featured in an American soap Opera and was named Miss Vampire USA in the promotional event. During her stay in San Francisco, she took part in the American Indian Festival that was held at Foothill College in 1971 and was on a jury in the beauty contest that was organized at the Palace of Fine Arts in 1972.
She was employed in a radio station for a period of about 6 months, and in addition to that, she reported as a freelancer for the renowned Channel 9. She was selected as one of the modes to appear in Playboy magazine, but the spread of 10 Little Indians got out of frame as the images were not found much erotic. She was criticized for her photo shoot, but she justified it by saying that she was too young and dumb to judge the shoot and she needed the money to attend the World Theatre Festival in France, in the United Kingdom.
She was firm with her activism and joined the California Native American community. She served for the organization of AIDS in San Francisco, which was established by the legend Mother Teresa in 1988, and she got the opportunity to meet her. She was reported to be working on her projects The Americas Before Columbus and Remember Me Forever in 1991, and both of them were about to get released in 1992.
She filed a complaint as she noticed the unauthorized people used her identity and image to raise funds which was actually a fundraiser for the Lakota nation. Finally, no money was donated to the campaign. She was honored with Brando Award by Red Nation International Film Festival for her work in favor of the American Indian.
Sacheen Littlefeather Health Conditions
She has faced health downfall several times, which includes internal bleeding, lung collapse, and cancer. She was diagnosed with Tuberculosis at the young age of 4. She was not in a good mental health condition and had suicidal thoughts, for which she underwent treatment in a mental health center for about a year. She was helped in every manner by Marlon and sent to the doctor when she suffered from pain, and so she repaid him by the Oscar speech.
Her lungs collapsed when she was 29 years of age, and she was found taking treatment for cancer in 1991. She was detected with colon cancer in 1990, and in 2018 she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She was reported to have breast cancer in 2012, and she stated in an interview that her cancer was the primary reason for the metastasis in her right lung.
Sacheen Littlefeather Net Worth
The talented American actress and activist of the Native American civil rights are assumed to have a net worth of $1.5 million from her professional career. She is involved in multiple non-governmental organizations and serves the benefit of needy people.
Academy Awards apologized to Sacheen Littlefeather, who denied the Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando.
Sacheen Littlefeather was about to speak for just 60 seconds in her speech at the Academy Awards, in which she denied accepting the Oscar on behalf of the Godfather fame Marlon Brando as the best actor. She received a mixed response with loud boos and cheers as she came up with an intent to defend the Native American rights on the vast platform.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences sent a formal apology letter to Sacheen Littlefeather for the behavior of the people she faced while giving her speech, almost 50 years after the event. She stated that the forthcoming event in which she is about to receive an apology in person will be a dream come true for her.
She recalled the incident when John Wayne, who had the perception of the Indians being selfish to keep the United States for them, charged at her intending to get her down from the stage but was not allowed by the security personnel. She stated that she found it very difficult to get work in the film industry after the Award speech. She shifted her focus to activism after the Oscar event.