Hollywood’s protestor dies aged 72
CHICAGO - Agence France-Presse
Strikingly handsome Sioux activist Russel Means dies at the age of 72.Sioux activist Russell Means, who helped bring the grievances of Native Americans to national and global attention in the 1970s before becoming a Hollywood actor, died Oct. 22 at the age of 72.
A strikingly handsome man with a troubled personal life and a penchant for publicity, Means was an early leader of the American Indian Movement before starring in films such as “Last of the Mohicans.”
In a note two days before his death, Means urged fans to “dedicate yourselves to the work to which I have tried to commit my life: liberation and freedom for my Lakota people, for all indigenous peoples, and, in fact, for all peoples.”
He ran for President
Born on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation in 1939, Means was the eldest son of Hank Means, an Oglala Sioux, and Theodora “Feather” Means, a Yankton Sioux.
He rose to national prominence in the early 1970s by helping stage protests, including a prayer vigil on the heads of presidential statues at Mount Rushmore and a Thanksgiving Day demonstration in which they seized a replica of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock.
He ran for president in 1988 but lost the Libertarian Party’s nomination to Ron Paul, who mounted a failed bid for the Republican nomination this year.
He began his acting career in 1990 and also had a musical career. His film credits include the voice of Pocahontas’ father in the hit Disney film, and roles in Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” and the John Candy comedy “Wagons.”