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Sacheen Littlefeather's Husband, Family And Children - 5 Fast Facts

October 4, 2022 01:53 AM

Sacheen Littlefeather at an Academy event last month in Los Angeles. ( Source : nytimes )


Sacheen Littlefeather was born in Salinas, California, the U.S.  on November 14, 1946.

She is an American actress, model, and native American civil right activist. She was involved in the Native American activist community in 1969.

In 1973, she represented Marlon Brando at the 45th Academy Awards and declined the Best Actor award that Brando won for his performance in The God Father.

After that, she worked in hospital care. She continued her activism for Native Americans and health-related issues and produced films about Native Americans.

Later in June 2022, The Academy sent her a statement of apology. On September 17, the message was read in full at An Evening with Sacheen Littlefeather.

Quick Facts Of Sacheen Littlefeather

Real NameMarie Louise Cruz
Known AsSacheen Littlefeather
Date of BirthNovember 14, 1946
BirthplaceSalinas, California, U.S.
FatherManuel Ybarra Cruz
MotherGeroldine Marie Barnitz
Siblings2 Younger Sisters
HusbandCharles Koshiway
ChildrenNo
DeathOctober 2, 2022

Sacheen Littlefeather's Family And Parents

Sacheen Littlefeather photoshoot at Academy Museum in her early 40s
Sacheen Littlefeather photoshoot at Academy Museum in her early 40s ( Source : academymuseum )

Sacheen Littlefeather was born to her Native American father, Manuel Ybarra Cruz, and a white mother, Geroldine Marie Barnitz.

Her real name was Marie Louise Cruz.

Her father was from Oxnard, California, and was of White Mountain Apache and Yaqui descent. Her mother was a leather stamper of Germany, French, and Dutch. Barnitz was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California.

Both of her parents were saddlemakers. They then moved to Salinas and opened their own " Cruz Saddlery" business in 1949.

In 1966, her father died, and her mother continued to operate the business herself.

Littleeather had a difficult childhood. She said her mother left her father and took her to her grandparents when she was just 4. 

She said that her parents lived next door to her grandparents, and she and her younger sisters lived with her grandparents.

In a television interview, she defined her father as abusive and stated that her mother and two sisters were subject to her father's beating and rage in 1976.

She adopted the name Sacheen Littlefeather in 1970. She chose the name Sacheen because that was the name her father had called her before he died, and Littlefeather came from the feather she always wore in her hair.

Sacheen Littlefeather's Husband, Charles Koshiway

Sacheen Littlefeather was married to her husband, Charles Koshiway.

They both were married for over 32 years. Charles also passed away a year back.

Charles was born in Ponca, Oklahoma, in 1942. He was then raised in California by his parents, Thelma Gertrude and Charles Johnston. 

He then attended the neighborhood school. 

Koshiway was a soldier in the Vietnam War. The veteran was initiated into the combat society with headquarters in Mexico in 1992.

Charles and Sacheen first met at the Pow Wow. He was speaking softly while sporting a cowboy hat and an Oklahoman accent.

She had always dreamed about meeting a guy wearing the White Stetson cowboy hat before their first encounter.

They then fell in love with each other and tied the knot.

Does Sacheen Littlefeather Have Children?

Sacheen Littlefeather and her husband, Charles Koshiway, have no children. 

She was always so personal about her personal life. She married Charles for over a decade, but the couple never had a baby.

The reason for her not being the mother may be her health condition. She has a history of being seriously ill from a young age.

Despite her health condition, she was a successful person. She is a survivor and a person who always fought for Native Americans.

Sacheen Littlefeather's Cause Of Death

Sacheen Littlefeather, the first indigenous person to use the Oscars as a platform to protest the mistreatment of her people died on October 2, 2022
Sacheen Littlefeather, the first indigenous person to use the Oscars as a platform to protest the mistreatment of her people died on October 2, 2022 ( Source : kqed )

Sacheen Littlefeather had many experiences with serious health issues such as internal bleeding, cancer, and lung collapse.

She had tuberculosis at four and received treatment in an oxygen tent. Sacheen was also hospitalized in a mental institution for years.

When she was 29, her lungs collapsed. She recovered and then received a degree from Antioch Univeristy in holistic health and nutrition.

In the 1990s, she had colon cancer. In 1991 she was reported to receive radical cancer.

She developed stage four breast cancer in 2018. She even said that cancer had metastasized to her right lungs, and she was terminally ill in 2021.

Littlefeather passed away on October 2, 2022, at her home in Novato, California, at age 75.

Sacheen Littlefeather's Net Worth

Sacheen Littlefeather speaks at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973
Sacheen Littlefeather speaks at the 45th Academy Awards in 1973 ( Source : forbes )

Sacheen Littlefeather, an actress and civil rights activist, had an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.

Littlefeather's primary source of income was her acting job. Despite her life being committed to promoting the rights of Native Americans, she managed to earn money which was evident to the public.

She had earned praise for her work and received Best Actor at the Academy Awards.

Net Worth$1.5 million
Source of WealthActress and Civil Rights Activist

Five Fast Facts of Sacheen Littlefeather

Academy Apologizes To Sacheen Littlefeather Almost 50 Years After Her Oscars Protest on June 2022.
Academy Apologizes To Sacheen Littlefeather Almost 50 Years After Her Oscars Protest on June 2022. ( Source : forbes )

1. Sacheen Littlefeather attended California State College at Hayward and studied dramatics and speech.

2. She worked at a radio station for about six months and did freelance reporting for PBS member station KQED.

3. Littlefeather stood in for Marlon Brando at the 45th Academy Awards to turn down the Best Actor award for his performance in The Godfather in 1973.

4. She was the founding member of the Red Earth Indian Theater Company in Seattle.

5. Sacheen participated in the 1971 American Indian Festival at Foothill College, judged at the 1872 beauty pageant, and organized the 1972 American Indian Festival.

Some FAQs

Who is Sacheen Littlefeather?

Sacheen Littlefeather was an American Actress, model and Native American civil rights activist.

Who is Sacheen Littlefeather's husband?

Sacheen Littlefeather was married to her late husband Charles Koshiway. They were together for over 32 years.

When did Sacheen Littlefeather die?

Sacheen Littlefeather died on October 2, 2022 because of breast cancer.

Does Sacheen Littlefeather have children?

Sacheen Littlefeather and her husband, Charles Koshiway, have no children.

Who are Sacheen Littlefeather's parents?

Sacheen Littlefeather was daughter of her father, Manuel Ybarra Cruz, and her mother, Geroldine Marie Barnitz.

What is Sacheen Littlefeather's net worth?

Sacheen Littlefeather was an American Actress and civil rights activist who had a net worth of $1.5 million