Home ENTERTAINMENT Sacheen Littlefeather’s sisters claim she wasn’t Native American

Sacheen Littlefeather’s sisters claim she wasn’t Native American

by NYPost
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Sacheen Littlefeather’s sisters claim she wasn’t Native American

Just weeks after Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather’s death, her sisters are revealing her “lie.”

Trudy Orlandi and Rosalind Cruz claimed that Littlefeather — who famously refused Marlon Brando’s Oscar on his behalf in 1973 — was an “ethnic fraud.”

The two spoke separately to the San Francisco Chronicle recently, claiming that Littlefeather did not come from a Native American background and was actually of Mexican heritage.

“It’s a lie,” Orlandi said. “My father was who he was. His family came from Mexico, and my dad was born in Oxnard.”

Littlefeather, born Marie Louise Cruz, initially believed that her father was of Apache and Yaqui blood.

“It is a fraud,” Cruz noted. “It’s disgusting to the heritage of the tribal people. And it’s just … insulting to my parents.”

Littlefeather had also previously claimed that her father was abusive, however, her sisters refuted this idea. They claimed that their grandfather was the abuser and Littlefeather used him as part of her fabricated backstory.

Littlefeather refused the Best Actor award Brando was awarded for his role in “The Godfather” in 1973.
Bettmann Archive

“My father was deaf and he had lost his hearing at 9 years old through meningitis,” Cruz said. “He was born into poverty. His father, George Cruz, was an alcoholic who was violent and used to beat him. And he was passed to foster homes and family. But my sister Sacheen took what happened to him.”

Orlandi further elaborated on this experience, saying: “My father’s father, George, he was the alcoholic. My dad never drank. My dad never smoked. And you know, she also blasted him and said my father was mentally ill. My father was not mentally ill.”

“Sacheen did not like herself,” Cruz added. “She didn’t like being Mexican. So, yes, it was better for her that way to play someone else.”

Sacheen Littlefeather
Littlefeather on stage at the 45th Academy Awards with Best Actor presenters Roger Moore and Liv Ullmann.
Bettmann Archive

“The best way that I could think of summing up my sister is that she created a fantasy. … She lived in a fantasy, and she died in a fantasy,” she added.

Littlefeather passed away on Oct. 2 at the age of 75. She had been battling breast cancer since 2018 and the disease metastasized to other parts of her body.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologized to her this past August, for events that happened almost 50 years ago on the Oscars stage.

In 1973, she was booed, laughed at and heckled for refusing Brando’s award for Best Actor in “The Godfather.” 

Sacheen little feather
Littlefeather died at the age of 75 on Oct. 2.

“The abuse you endured because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified,” wrote former Academy President David Rubin in the note. “The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable.”

“For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration.”

The Post reached out to the Academy for comment.

This story originally appeared on NY Post

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