Forty-Seven Years Ago Today, Brando Declines Academy Award
My how time flies when we're self-quarantining....Not! Back on March 27,1973, Marlon Brando refused the Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather. It was Brando's show of support for the Indians occupying the reservation at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
In his place, Brando sent actress Sacheen Littlefeather to the Oscar ceremony to make the refusal. Littlefeather stated that Brando "very regretfully" could not accept the award as he was protesting the negative portrayal of Native Americans in Hollywood Films.
Brando, whose career had went into decline before his resurgence with the title role of The Godfather, had been involved with social causes for years. He spoke publicly in support of Jews, for African-American civil rights and even for the Black Panthers.
Interestingly, Brando was not the first actor to turn down a Best Actor Oscar. George C. Scott turned down his Best Actor Oscar for Patton two years earlier in 1971. Scott reportedly said he didn't want any part of the Academy Awards ceremony.