Jay Silverheels

Jay Silverheels

Infobox actor
bgcolour = silver
name = Jay Silverheels

birthname = Harold J. Smith
birthdate = May 26, 1912
location = Six Nations Indian Reserve, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
deathdate = March 5, 1980 (67)
deathplace = Calabasas, California, USA
height =
othername =
homepage =
notable role = Tonto in "The Lone Ranger"
spouse =

Jay Silverheels (May 26, 1912 – March 5, 1980) was a Canadian Mohawk actor. He was best known as Tonto, the faithful Native American companion of The Lone Ranger in a long-running American television series.

Early history

Born Harold J. Smith on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, near Brantford, Ontario, Canada, Silverheels excelled in athletics and lacrosse as a boy before leaving home to travel around North America, appearing in boxing and wrestling tournaments. He lived for a time in Buffalo, New York. In 1938 Silverheels placed second in the middleweight section of the Golden Gloves tournament.

Film career

Silverheels began working in motion pictures in 1937. During the early years of his screen career, he was billed variously as Harold Smith or Harry Smith, and appeared in low-budget features, westerns, and serials. From the late 1940s he played in more prestigious pictures, including "Captain from Castille" starring Tyrone Power, "Key Largo" with Humphrey Bogart, (1948), "Broken Arrow" (1950) with James Stewart, "War Arrow" (1953) with Maureen O'Hara, Jeff Chandler and Noah Beery, Jr., "Walk the Proud Land" (1956) with Audie Murphy and Anne Bancroft, "Alias Jesse James" (1959) with Bob Hope, and "Indian Paint" (1964) with Johnny Crawford. He made a brief appearance in "True Grit" (1969), as a condemned criminal about to be executed.

TV career

Silverheels achieved his greatest fame as the Lone Ranger's friend Tonto. In addition to starring in the Lone Ranger television series from 1949 to 1957, Silverheels appeared in the films "The Lone Ranger" (1956) and "The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold" (1958).

Following the end of the "Lone Ranger" television series, Silverheels found himself typecast as Tonto and had trouble finding further acting work. Silverheels was also hindered by a changing attitude, as some felt that the Tonto character was equivalent to a Native American Uncle Tom. Subsequently, Silverheels was forced to work as a salesman to supplement his acting income. He also began to concentrate on writing poetry influenced by his youth on the Six Nations Indian Reserve and appeared on television reciting his poetry.

Despite the typecasting, Silverheels often poked fun at his character in later years. In 1969, he appeared as Tonto in a comedy sketch on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson", seeking new employment away from the Lone Ranger. The sketch was featured on the 1973 record album "Here's Johnny: Magic Moments From The Tonight Show".

Among his later appearances were an episode of "The Brady Bunch", as a Native chief who befriends the Bradys in the Grand Canyon, and an episode of the short-lived "Dusty's Trail", starring Bob Denver of "Gilligan's Island" fame.

In the early 1960s, Silverheels helped to establish the Indian Actors Workshop in Echo Park, California as a place where Native American actors could develop their acting skills. The workshop is still active.

Personal life

Silverheels raised, bred and raced horses in his spare time. Once, when asked about possibly running Tonto's famous Pinto horse Scout in a race, Jay laughed off the idea: "Heck, "I" can outrun Scout!"

Married in 1945, Silverheels was the father of two boys and a girl. He died of a stroke in Calabasas, California and was cremated. His ashes were returned home to Six Nations Indian Reserve. [cite web | title = Jay Silverheels | url = http://www.ammsa.com/buffalospirit/2004/footprints-JSilverheels.html | accessdate = 2008-02-23 ]


In 1993, Silverheels was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was named to the Western New York Entertainment Hall of Fame and his portrait hangs in Buffalo, New York's Shea's Buffalo Theatre. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6538 Hollywood Boulevard.

ee also

* Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood.


* Lamparski, R. (1970) "Whatever Became Of...? Vol. 3", Ace Books, New York. OCLC|8977472

External links

* [http://nimst.tripod.com/cgi-bin/UC9.html Jay Silverheels tribute site]
*imdb name|0798855
* [http://www.ammsa.com/buffalospirit/2004/footprints-JSilverheels.html Biographical Information]
*Find A Grave|id=4407

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Jay Silverheels — (* 26. Mai 1912; † 5. März 1980) war ein kanadischer Schauspieler und Dichter vom Volke der Mohawk. In der 1997 erschienenen Abhandlung Edle Wilde Rote Teufel wird über ihn ausgesagt: Der wohl populärste Native Actor mit eigenem Profil war Jay… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jay Silverheels — Données clés Nom de naissance Harold J. Smith Naissance 26 mai 1959 Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation Nationalité Mohawk (Canadien) Décès 5 février 1980 Profession …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jay Silverheels — es el nombre artístico de Harold J.Smith (Six Nations, Ontario, 26 de mayo de 1912 Woodlands, California, 5 de marzo de 1980). Actor canadiense de la nación mohawk. Fue un destacado boxeador hasta que en 1938 debuta en el cine como actor… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jay Silverheels — actor Harold J Smith, known as Tonto in The Lone Ranger series …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

  • SILVERHEELS, Jay — (1912–1980)    Born on the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Canada, Jay Silverheels, from the Mohawk tribe, is probably best known for his long running role as Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s Native American sidekick in the long running television series… …   Westerns in Cinema

  • The Lone Ranger — Infobox actor imagesize = 175px caption = Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger The Lone Ranger is an American, long running, old time radio and early television show created by George W. Trendle (with considerable input from station staff members),… …   Wikipedia

  • Clayton Moore — as The Lone Ranger Born Jack Carlton Moore[1] September 14, 1914 …   Wikipedia

  • List of show business families — This is a list of show business families, compare it to List of U.S. political families. It is contemporary (in the sense that a professional offshoot should still be working in the twentieth or twenty first centuries) and should be expanded. The …   Wikipedia

  • Geronimo — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Geronimo (homonymie). Geronimo ou Go Khla Yeh …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The Lone Ranger (serie de televisión) — The Lone Ranger Título The Lone Ranger Género western Creado por George W. Trendle]] Fran Striker Reparto Clayton Moore Jay Silverheels John Hart País de origen …   Wikipedia Español

Поделиться ссылкой на выделенное

Прямая ссылка:
Нажмите правой клавишей мыши и выберите «Копировать ссылку»