Actress Sacheen Littlefeather, who rejected Marlon Brando's Oscar in 1973, says move ended career

The now 74-year-old, is an activist for native American and health-related issues. PHOTO: SACHEEN LITTLEFEATHER/INSTAGRAM

Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather, who was asked by actor Marlon Brando to turn down the Best Actor award for The Godfather on his behalf in 1973, claims the move ended her Hollywood career.

"It was the first time anyone had made a political statement at the Oscars," she said in Sacheen: Breaking The Silence (2019), a documentary short film which qualified for the Oscars this year but did not make the list of nominees.

"It was the first Oscars ceremony to be broadcast by satellite all over the world, which is why Marlon chose it."

The documentary details the memorable political stunt by Brando to protest the depiction of native Americans by the film industry.

He had asked Littlefeather, a White Mountain Apache who was 26 at the time, to decline the award on his behalf.

The now 74-year-old, who is an activist for native American and health-related issues, added: "I didn't have an evening dress so Marlon told me to wear my buckskin."

She said she was greeted by "boos and jeers" when she went on stage and claimed: "I later learnt six security guards had to hold back John Wayne, who was in the wings and wanted to storm on to the stage and drag me off."

She said Brando later told her she had done a great job, but the subsequent firestorm made the praise bittersweet.

"I was blacklisted - or, you could say, 'redlisted'. I was ostracised everywhere I turned. No one would listen to my story or give me a chance to work."

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