(WGHP) — An activist known for her speech on behalf of Marlon Brando in the 1970s died Sunday, according to a tweet from The Academy.
Sacheen Littlefeather, the Native American activist who declined Marlon Brando’s Oscar for “The Godfather” in 1973, has died after a fight with breast cancer. She was 75.
In June, the Academy apologized to Littlefeather for her treatment when she took the stage to speak on Brando’s behalf during the broadcast, and she attended an in-person presentation of that apology on September 17.
She was given only a minute to speak on that night in 1973. Audience members booed her as she was escorted off the stage.
“He very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award,” Littlefeather said. “And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry.”
Famously, John Wayne was physically restrained during Littlefeather’s speech, threatening her with assault.
She said that her speech led her to be blacklisted from Hollywood, so she dedicated her life to activism.
A documentary about her life and activism was released in 2021.
“When I am gone, always be reminded that whenever you stand for your truth, you will be keeping my voice and the voices of our nations and our people alive. I remain Sacheen Littlefeather, thank you,” the Academy’s tweet reads.