A noted film and television character actor and Native American activist died of cancer today, Deadline.com reports. Russell Means, 72, died at his home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Porcupine, S.D.
Means made his acting debut in the 1992 Michael Mann film “The Last of the Mohicans,” and also appeared in Oliver Stone’s 1994 film “Natural Born Killers.”
More recently he appeared on television in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Nash Bridges,” and had a cameo in the 2005 miniseries “Into the West.”
“A prominent member of the American Indian movement, he was instrumental in Marlon Brando having a Native American accept Brando’s Best Actor Oscar at the 1973 Academy Awards as a way of highlighting the plight of American Indians,” the report notes.
Means, an Oglala Sioux activist, joined the American Indian Movement in 1968 and became a prominent organizer in the group. He published his autobiography, “Where White Men Fear to Tread,” in 1995.