Sacheen Littlefeather Dies Weeks After Slamming John Wayne For 1973 Oscars Incident
Sacheen Littlefeather is dead at 75 weeks after she publicly blasted John Wayne for infamous incident at the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony.
Last month, we reported that Sacheen Littlefeather was speaking out against the late great Hollywood star John Wayne for his reaction to her accepting the 1973 Oscar on Marlon Brando’s behalf as a Native American woman.
Littlefeather Passes Away
It has since been revealed that Littlefeather passed away at the age of 75, just weeks after formally accepting the apology from the Academy for the way she was treated following her stunt at the Oscars.
Sacheen Littlefeather, Native American civil rights activist who famously declined Marlon Brando’s 1973 Best Actor Academy Award, dies at 75. pic.twitter.com/OlpsoItlCw
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) October 3, 2022
Daily Mail reported that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed that Littlefeather died at her home in Novato, California on Sunday. While no cause of death has officially been revealed, various reports have stated that Littlefeather was suffering from breast cancer at the time of her passing, according to NPR.
Littlefeather shocked the world at the 1973 Academy Awards, when she took the stage to accept the Best Actor Oscar that Brando had won for his work in The Godfather. She said during her speech that Brando “very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award and the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry – excuse me – and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.”
The ceremony was held during the American Indian Movement’s two-month occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
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Littlefeather’s Attacks On John Wayne
Littlefeather has claimed that Wayne, who was backstage at the time of her speech, was so angry about what she had to say that he rushed to the stage and had to be held back by multiple security guards.
Just a reminder that it took 6 security guards to keep John Wayne from rushing the stage and attack Sacheen Littlefeather at the Academy Awards while Clint Eastwood mocked her request of TV and Film industry to treat indigenous people as humans. pic.twitter.com/ewX2G6hVHU
— AskAubry 🦝 (@ask_aubry) August 16, 2022
“I remember the faces in the crowd,” Littlefeather stated about 30 years after the ceremony. “John Wayne, backstage, had to be restrained by six men from coming to get me and pull me off the stage.”
Just a few weeks before her death, Littlefeather doubled down on this claim in an interview with Variety.
“I heard a disturbance from behind me as I was speaking up at the podium,” she said. “I found out that [Wayne] had been restrained by six security men from assaulting me while I was on that stage.”
Littlefeather then called this “the most violent moment that had ever taken place at the Academy Awards” before admitting that “it was never publicized.” She also confessed that she didn’t actually witness Wayne’s alleged behavior herself, claiming that she was told about it by a security guard.
Sacheen Littlefeather Says 1973 John Wayne Incident Was 'Most Violent Moment' in Oscars History pic.twitter.com/d6KYKvhRKv
— People (@people) September 16, 2022
Wayne Isn’t Around To Defend Himself
Making this claim against Wayne was awfully convenient for Littlefeather, given the fact that The Duke hasn’t been alive to defend himself since his death in 1979. Despite this, Littlefeather appeared to enjoy bashing Wayne to anyone who would listen in the decades after his passing.
“He was never admonished by the Academy. It was never published in the press,” she recently said of him. “But the most violent moments took place then and there at the Academy Awards by John Wayne.”
Well said Mr John Wayne 🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲🇺🇲 pic.twitter.com/pxFb5WAIrm
— Pedro (@Pedro03872201) October 1, 2022
While it’s sad to see that Littlefeather has passed away, it’s also difficult to see a legendary American patriot like Wayne be hit with unproven allegations when he isn’t even here to defend his good name. Prayers to the family of Sacheen Littlefeather during this difficult time, and may both she and Wayne rest in peace.