Sacheen Littlefeather; The Woman Who Said No To Oscar

Sacheen Littlefeather; The Woman Who Said No To Oscar

  • Actors
  • October 21, 2022
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Marie Louise Cruz, better known as Sacheen Littlefeather, was born on 14 November 1946. She was an activist for Native American rights and an Apache actress. Her worth-seeing career and the steps that she has taken for American rights made her a brilliant lady as she dominated millions of hearts. This article will take a deep look at the journey and rise and falls in her life.

She was an iron-willed lady who bravely faced severe cancer. In an interview in 2021, she said that cancer had permeated to her right lung and that she was led to death. After completing the great journey of supremacy, littlefeather died at her home in Novato, California, on October 2, 2022, at age 75. In this article, we will discuss how the queen of the U.S touched the peak of popularity and became the hearts of many.

Biography Of Sacheen- Ever Remembered Journey

Marie Louis Cruz better known as Sacheen littlefeather was a model, American actress, and civil right activist for Native Americans. In 1969, during Alcatraz’s occupation, she became involved in the community of Native American activists. Taking her first breath in Salinas, California, the U.S, she had a wonderful start in her life as she became popular and more popular among the people when she settled her superiority.


Childhood And Education

Sacheen was born to Manuel Ybarra Cruz (1922-1966) and Geraldine Marie Barnitz. From a very young age, her father was a saddler in San Francisco. In the year 1949, he was located in Salinas and permanently started Cruz Saddlery. After he died in 1966, Sacheen’s mother Marie ran the business of her father.

During an interview, Sacheen revealed that she faced a hard childhood. In the interview in 1974, she said that her mother sadly left her father and took her to live with her grandparents (named Barney and Marie). Sadly she faced very difficulties at that time as she says that her parents lived very next door to her grandparents while her two sisters and she lived with her maternal grandparents.

From the year 1960 to 1964, Sacheen attended North Salinas High School. At that time she became the winner of food preservation and fashion awards, no doubt she was active from an early age. After high school Sacheen studied elementary education at Hartnell Junior College. After that, she moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in modeling with photos.

She also studied speech and dramatics at State California College at Hayward (now it is the University of California State, East bay) and decided to explore her identity as a Native American. In the year 1969, she joined the Indian Council of United Bay, and the very next year she participated in the occupation of Alcatraz

Ancestral Tree

Marie Louise Cruz took her first breath in the year 1946 on the 14th of November. She said she chose the name Sacheen Littlefeather because her father called her by this name before he died. Sacheen was the biological daughter of Yabarra Cruz (father) and Marie Barnitz (mother), born and raised in California. Her father, Manuel Ybarra Cruz (1922–1966) of Oxnard, California. Both Marie Barnitz and Manuel were saddlemakers. Moreover, she was the maternal granddaughter of Barney (grandfather) and Marie (grandmother).

Ethnicity And Religion 

With American nationality, Sacheen’s littlefeather belongs to the white ethnicity. She was born and raised in a Christian family, so she had true faith in her religion.

Personal Life-A Journey Worth Read

Sacheen Littlefeather persona life

Sacheen Littlefeather enjoyed a brilliant personal life. She started at her best and succeeded to earn a name in the industry. No doubt, she is a role model for us, as she left the inspirational story as a lesson for today’s generation.

Glamorous Appearance

Many of us are eager to know about the charming appearance of Sacheen Littlefeather. Here we tell you that she was a lady of 5ft 5 inches in height with an approximate weight of 70 kg.

Birth Name Marie Louise Cruz
Nickname  Sacheen Littlefeather
Date of birth 14 November 1946
Birthplace Salinas, California, the U.S
Zodiac sign Cancer
Ethnicity White
Nationality American
Religion Christian
Age 75 (at time of death)
Residence Marin County Calif, California
College name California California State College
School name North Salinas High School
University name  State University
Father name  Manuel Ybarra Cruz
Mother name Geraldine Geraldine Marrie Barnitz
Siblings Two younger sisters cause cause
Cause of death Breast Cancer
Net worth 7 million dollar marital
Marital Status Married
Husband name  Charles Koshiway
Famous as American American American Actress
Death Date October 2, 2022,

Marital Status Of Sacheen

Today people are searching wide for google’s sites to know about the love life of Sacheen. Although she kept this topic very private, after huge research, we have come to know that she is married and the spouse of Charles Koshiway. The couple got married in 1989. There is no official information related to the kids.

Professional Career-Establishing Of Her Superiority

Desiring to be an actress, Sacheen also appeared in TV commercials and radio and joined the world of Screen Actors. She said;

“If you have a deaf parent, you naturally have to act out messages to them.”. In the year 1970, she was named “Miss Vogue” as ‘Alcatraz’s Sacheen Littlefeather’.

While living in the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1970s, Littlefeather participated in the 1971 American Indian Festival at Foothill College, judged a local 1972 beauty pageant as “Princess Littlefeather,” and organized a 1972 American Indian Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts. She also worked at a radio station, KFRC, for about six months and did freelance reporting for KQED.

Playboy magazine planned a spread called “10 Little Indians” in 1972, but it was canceled. A year later, in October 1973, they ran the photographs of Littlefeather as a stand-alone feature. Littlefeather was personally criticized for what was seen as an exploitation of her fame, but she explained it was “strictly a business agreement” to earn the money needed to attend college. In January 1973, she appeared in “Make-up for Minority Women” as a professional model. As a spokesperson for the National American Indian Council, she protested President Nixon’s budget cuts.

In the 1990s, Littlefeather contributed to a few PBS shows, including ‘The Americas Before Columbus’ and ‘Remember Me Forever. In 2009, she featured herself in the documentary named ‘Reel Injun’. In 2018, her self-titled documentary ‘Sacheen’ was released.


In 1969, Sacheen Littlefeather joined the occupation of Alcatraz, a 19-month-long protest led by Canada Means and Richard Oakes against the American government’s resistance to native land claims. After working at St. Mary’s Hospital and the Institute of American Indian Arts, she co-founded the National American Indian Performing Arts Registry in 1979.

She continued her activism for Native Americans and went to California to become an official member of their community. In 1988, she helped patients with AIDS in hospice care as she worked with Mother Tresa. Later she founded San Fransisco Institute for American Indian AIDS. In the year 2010, the business director of Kateri Tekakwitha prayer circles, San Fransisco.

Speech Of 45th Academy Award

In the year 1973, at the Oscar awards, Sacheen, Yaqui, an Apache actress, and activist, came wearing a buckskin dress and moccasins and explained with deep sincerity that Brando “regretfully” could not want to accept the award due to “treatment of American Indians today by the film industry.” After that, she was blacklisted by the community of Hollywood.

Littlefeather Decline The Oscar On Behalf Of Marlon Brando

Although it is the most raised question, why did Sacheen decline the Oscar? We are here to tell you that she was an activist. In 1973, she declined the awards of Oscar on behalf of Marlon, just to protest the native Americans’ treatment by the film industry. No doubt, she is, even so, kind-hearted as she raised her voice for them.

Sacheen Littlefeather Facts

  • Her sister and mother become the victim of her father’s beating and rage.
  • At an early age, she was raised by her maternal grandparents. 
  • While going on a Mississippi trip with her mother she was dis hurt as allowing to use “Blackwater fountains” and read the sign “No Indians and Dogs allowed”
  • In the year 1974, she played an act of Patsy Littlejohn in the Western action film ‘
  • Alongside Adam Beach, Zacharias Kunuk, Clint Eastwood, and Neil Diamond, she co-starred as “herself” in a Canadian documentary named Reel Injun in the year 2009.
  • In the year 2018, a mediator announced that Sacheen had sadly passed from stage 4 breast cancer.
  • In 2021, Sacheen Littlefeather disclosed that she was seriously ill as cancer had started damaging her right lung.

Sacheen Littelfeather’s Net Worth

After a wide research, we have come to know that her assets in 2022 were approximately equal to 1.5 million dollars. Although a significant part of her life has been devoted to building up the privileges and rights of Native Americans as she also earned income on the other side, which was visible to the public also.

Moreover, in late 80, it was revealed that she was named to the honor of the Award of Traditional Indian Medicine Achievements, and in the year 2019, she was nominated for Brando Award (a special honor given to people for their contributions to American Indians Development), no doubt, she proved that she was the great supporter for Native Americans. She was among those few who rejected the great award Oscar, although it was done just on behalf of Brando (a movie actor).

Health Problems And Death 

Sacheen had collapsed lungs, cancer, and internal bleeding. She had severe consumption only at the age of 4. Because of the crisis, she faced at home, she was gone to suicide and was hospitalized for a year. She said in the year 1974 that Brando was the person who only helped me to recover and sent her to the doctor. Maybe this was the reason that she had given great importance to Marlon Brando and for his compensation, she made the Oscar speech.

At the age of 29, she collapsed. After recovery, she earned a degree in nutrition and holistic health, only to focus on Native American Medicine. In the year 1991, she passed from colon cancer surgery according to the reports.

In 2019, she developed stage 4 which was revealed by her in 2021. The iron-willed lady said that her lung cancer had spread, and for one year she battled against cancer. But after the hard battle, she sadly died recently at the age of 75. On October 2, 2022, she passed away in California.

“​​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.”

Her funeral will be held in the current month (October 2022) in Red Rock, Oklahoma.

Must Read : Melanie Griffith; Everything About The Life Of Golden Globe Award Winner


No doubt, Sacheen littlefeather was an iron-willed lady with an inspirational life. As of now, she is the heart of many. By raising their voice for Native Americans, she became a kind-hearted person who will be remembered till last. This was all about her superior life. I am a big fan of Sacheen Littlefeather, the kind lady. Aren’t you?

Sacheen Littlefeather; The Woman Who Said No To Oscar
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Sacheen Littlefeather; The Woman Who Said No To Oscar
Marie Louis Cruz better known as Sacheen littlefeather was a model, American actress, and civil right activist for Native Americans.
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Star Fame Game
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