Marie Louise Cruz

(USA, 1946 – ), also known as Sacheen Littlefeather, is an American actress, model, and Native American civil rights activist, best remembered for representing Marlon Brando at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973 to decline his Best Actor award for his performance in The Godfather. The favorite to win, Brando boycotted the ceremony as a protest against Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans and to draw attention to the standoff at Wounded Knee. During her speech, the audience response to Brando’s boycotting was divided between booing and applause.


Littlefeather was born to a Native American (Apache and Yaqui) father and a European American mother. During the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz, she became active in the Native American activist community. After the Academy Award speech, she went on to work in hospice care. She continues to work in activism for a number of health-related and Native American issues, and has produced films about Native Americans.