Jay Silverheels

Age: 102

Jay Silverheels was born on a reservation in Canada to a Mohawk chief. He was a star lacrosse player and a boxer before he entered films as a stuntman in 1938. He worked in a number of films though the 1940s before he gained some notice as the Osceola brother in Humphrey Bogart's film Key Largo (1948). Most of his roles consisted of bit parts as "Indian." In 1949, he would work in a movie called The Cowboy and the Indians (1949) with another "B movie" actor named Clayton Moore. It was later that same year that Jay would be hired to play the faithful Indian companion, Tonto, in the television series "The Lone Ranger" (1949). This role, while still playing the "Indian," would bring Jay the fame that his motion picture career never did. As Tonto, on his horse Scout, Jay could show up where the Ranger could not and some of the time he would be shot at or beat up for his trouble. Jay would play Tonto in all the episodes except for those that he missed when he had his heart attack. In those episodes, he was replaced by the Ranger's nephew, Dan. However, Clayton Moore would miss the third season when he was replaced by John Hart. Jay would reprise the role of Tonto in two big-screen color movies with Moore, The Lone Ranger (1956) and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958). After the series ended in 1957, Jay could not escape the typecasting of Tonto. He would continue to appear in an occasional film and television show, but he would become a spokesman to improve the portrayal of Indians on TV.

Movie Character Year
W1siziisijiwmtmvmdevmzevmtgvntqvmzcvnte5lzjoexzjoxzbsmfxs3jsr2dyc3zrrk9qmxjxui5qcgcixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisiju1edc1iyjdxq The Girl from Monterrey Fighter Tito Flores 1943
Mgh3riqbfviaxxoladr9yuqq0ur Fury at Furnace Creek Little Dog (uncredited) 1948
Aevp75fnbmxsjmi3wl9v6n3g2sp The Battle at Apache Pass Geronimo 1952
Airqxaiim0vuv0cufsgzfzh4m5o Jack McCall Desperado Red Cloud 1953
2al8moszeexh70d62lraplvz1y4 The Nebraskan Spotted Bear 1953
33pim7st47kkyhd6c50ojrjiyxc War Arrow Satanta 1954
Zsuuqeyli1vrurqoxx1sv6gyqbn Saskatchewan Cajou 1954
Godgmwk7hxngucwygwxqksszhuh The Black Dakotas Black Buffalo 1954
Hj3bppykdg1fzkapklpsokzuwav Masterson Of Kansas Yellow Hawk 1954
Hyl5caclzrtgbrgyqvafwwzfmmw The Vanishing American Beeteia 1955
X5kajpvoxnjcjecq2u1dat7i2p3 The Lone Ranger Tonto 1956
N0dbpxevypsklp5vpgfu4fip48i The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold Tonto 1958
G01jovdnbh1owozwnhrz0lainih Return To Warbow Indian Joe 1958