Is actor Wes Studi a real Native American? He always plays a scary Indian, and it seems like he is at ease speaking the language. Can you find a smiling photo of him?
—Joan Masich, Clarks Summit, Pa.
The full-blooded Cherokee actor, 62, does not always portray movie villains, but Studi was quite effective as a brutal Pawnee in Dances With Wolves and as the British-slaying warrior Magua in The Last of the Mohicans. Born in Nofire Hollow in northeastern Oklahoma, he spoke Cherokee until he learned English in grade school. A Vietnam War veteran and former show-horse trainer, he began acting at the American Indian Theatre Company in Tulsa before heading to Hollywood and making his first film, Powwow Highway, in 1989. Studi has written two children's books, is a stone carver and plays bass guitar with the band Firecat of Discord, in which his wife, Maura, is lead vocalist.