Friend remembers Sacheen Littlefeather's 'bravery,' representation of Native Americans in films

Brando boycotted the award ceremony in protest of the portrayal of Native Americans in films.

KGO logo
Tuesday, October 4, 2022
EMBED <>More Videos

People who knew Sacheen Littlefeather say her contributions to Hollywood as Native American were significant.

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Native American activist who made history at the Oscars died Sunday at her home in Novato.

75-year-old Sacheen Littlefeather famously turned down Marlon Brando's Best Actor Academy Award in 1973.

RELATED: Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American who declined Oscar for Brando, dies at 75, Academy says

Brando boycotted the award ceremony in protest of the portrayal of Native Americans in films.

In August, the Academy issued an apology for the mistreatment Littlefeather received because of that incident.

People who knew her say her contributions were significant.

"She was a person who made a huge sacrifice for our community as far as representation visually in Hollywood, and so the community is forever indebted to her for her bravery, for her courage and for her willingness to reject that Oscar," said Manny Lieras, Littlefeather's friend.

Littlefeather's activism began when she became part of the Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969.

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live