Sacheen Cruz Littlefeather was an American model, actress, and civil rights activist for Native Americans. Littlefeather was born to a White mother and a Native American (Apache and Yaqui) father.
During the occupation of Alcatraz in 1969, she joined a group of Native American activists. Littlefeather was Marlon Brando's representative at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973.
She turned down the Best Actor award he won for his role in The Godfather on his behalf. Brando was the favorite to win, but he skipped the ceremony to protest how Native Americans were portrayed in Hollywood and to bring attention to the standoff at Wounded Knee.
During her speech, people in the crowd both booed and applauded when she talked about Brando's decision to not attend.
After her speech at the Oscars, Littlefeather worked at a hospice. She kept working for health issues and Native American rights, and she also made movies about Native Americans. Her huge wealth is between $5 million and $10 million.
An Early Life of Sacheen Littlefeather
Littlefeather was born on November 14, 1946, in Salinas, California, U.S., into a family of saddlemakers in Salinas, California.
This actress had a less than ideal upbringing. She has complained in a few interviews about her relatives. She and her siblings were forced to live with their maternal grandparents when she was four years old after her family abandoned her father.
She was regarded as having either grown up in foster care or through adoption. Her father was described as harsh and her mother had to deal with his impulsive behavior.
She also received multiple home economics awards while she was a student at North Salinas High School. After that, she started attending Hartnell Junior College.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, she began working as a model in 1969. She was so interested in her culture that she studied Native American history at California State University in addition to her college coursework.
In 1969, she was selected to be a member of the United Bay Indian Council. During her imprisonment on Alcatraz in 1970, Marie Louise Cruz's identity was changed to Sacheen Littlefeather.
Career Highlights of Sacheen Littlefeather
As she pursued her dream of becoming an actor, Littlefeathers joined the American labor union Screen Actors Guild and participated in a number of radio and television commercials.
Later, she asserted that since she had been impersonating her deaf father since she was very young, her career as an actress was destined to be one.
The serial opera she created, Dark Shadows, was pushed from 1966 to 1971, and Littlefeather was awarded Miss Vampire USA in 1970.
Littlefeather acknowledged in 1991 that she was prepared to dedicate herself to two PBS programs, America Before Columbus and Remember Me Forever, scheduled for airing in 1992.
Since no such reports have been received, the station regrettably did not air any such programs. In order to educate the next generation, Reel Injun Littefeather shared her encounters with Native Americans in the Canadian documentary from 2009.
Laughing Policemen to Listen To Me Marlon are just a few of the movies in which Littlefeather has appeared. Other movies in which she has appeared include Winterhawk, Counsellor at Crime, The Trial of Billy Jack, Brando, and Shoot the Sun Down.
How Much is Sacheen Littlefeather's Net Worth?
According to bareillycollege, Sacheen's net worth, fluctuated between $3 million and $5 million. Sacheen's Yeezy sneakers provided the majority of her income.
Despite exaggerating her company's growth throughout the years, she earned enough money from her employment to be regarded one of the greatest celebrity payouts ever.
Her principal source of income stems from her work as an actor.
Additional Career Activities
Sacheen Littlefeather later took part in the American Indian Festival in 1971, and in 1972, while still known as Princess Littlefeather, she judged a beauty pageant.
She managed the American Indian Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts that year, and she later worked for Channel 9 and KFRC.
Playboy magazine completed a photo shoot called “Ten Little Indians” in 1972, but it was pointless because the pictures weren't as sexy as expected.
But once Littlefeather won the Oscar and became more well-known, the pictures were released, which caused a stir. She replied that she had only taken the pictures when she was desperately trying to get money to go to the World Theatre Festival.
In 1973, Littlefeather took on a new persona as a professional model when she made her appearance in “Makeup for Minority Women.” In the same year, Littolefeather was observed opposing Nixon's budget amendment.
In March 1973, I took part in a meeting with the Federal Communications Commission as a spokesperson for minorities on television.
The American Indian AIDS Institute of San Francisco also employed Littlefeather as its secretary and a board member.
She reportedly worked concurrently for Mother Teresa's Gift of Love AIDS hospice, where she had the honor of at least once in her life meeting the kindhearted woman.
According to reports, Littlefeather had an AIDS-related death in 1990 from a sibling that neither her parents nor grandparents accepted.
Littlefeather has made a commitment to educating Native Americans about AIDS as well as other fatal illnesses including alcoholism, diabetes, and obesity.
Littlfeqter was chosen to receive the Brando Award in 2019, which is given to individuals for their contributions to the promotion of American Indians.
In the late 1980s, it was found that she was deserving of the Traditional Indian Medicine Achievement Award. Even though she did it on behalf of Marlon Brando, Littlefeather was one of only a select few to decline an Oscar trophy.
She even gave a different statement after successfully declining Moore's award. Brando's original comments were made public shortly after, which eventually led to the emergence of hordes of critics.
After declining the award on Marlon Brando's behalf at the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony, Littlefeather, who had been sent by the actor to protest the abuse of Native Americans by the film industry, was praised for her activism.
Later that year, Nordwell claimed in an interview that Littlefeather took part in the Alcatraz demonstration.
Native American Littlefeather was well-known and respected during his lifetime in California.
At the start of the 1990s, she and Phil Lucas created the American Indian Registry. The registry was created to keep track of American Indians throughout history.
How Did Sacheen Littlefeather Die?
On October 2, 2022, the initial cause of Littlefeather's death was unknown, but breast cancer was ultimately revealed to be the cause.
Littlefeather said in her final interview with The Guardian that she was seriously ill: “I am quite ill. My incurable breast cancer has spread to my right lung by metastasis.
And I've been taking chemo and antibiotics regularly for quite some time.