How Did Jay Silverheels Launch His Acting Career?

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article, People, TV Shows
on November 17, 2013

Can you tell me about Jay Silverheels, who played Tonto on “The Lone Ranger”?
—Sandy Haas, Burbank, Ohio

Born Harold J. Smith, the son of a Canadian Mohawk tribal chief, near Brantford, Ontario, Canada, the superlative boxer and lacrosse player got his start in film in 1937 as a stuntman. Famed for his 1949-1957 role as the faithful Indian companion to the masked TV lawman, he also appeared in the movies “Key Largo,” “Lust for Gold,” “Captain From Castille,” “True Grit,” “Santee” and “Walk the Proud Lane.” The father of four founded the Indian Actors Workshop and enjoyed harness racing. He died in 1980 at age 67 from complications of a stroke.