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Jay Silverheels

Born: May 26, 1912, Six Nations Indian Reserve, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Died: March 5, 1980 (age 68), Calabasas, California

Jay SilverheelsJay Silverheels (Harold J. Smith) was a Canadian Mohawk actor. He was best known as Tonto, the faithful American Indian companion of The Lone Ranger in a long-running American television series.

What do you know about Jay Silveerheels?  Try this Western Stars Quick Quiz.

1. Silverheels began working in motion pictures in 1937. During the early years of his screen career, appeared in low-budget features, westerns, and serials. What was the name he used?

  • Harry Smith
  • Iron Eyes Cody
  • Chief Matawan

2. Of the near 200 joint ventures Silverheels made with Clayton Moore, the actors co-starred in just 4 features where they did NOT play Tonto and The Lone Ranger: Perils of Nyoka (1942), The Cowboy and the Indians (1949), Cyclone Fury (1951) and The Black Dakotas (1954).

  • True or False?

3. What was the 1948 film that he played Tom Osceola in an uncredited part?

  • Singin' Spurs
  • Key Largo
  • Fury at Furnace Creek

4. In Walk the Proud Land (1956), who did he play?

  • Cochise
  • Tonto
  • Geronimo

5. 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.

  • True or False?

6. In Broken Arrow (1950), who did he play?

  • Cochise
  • Tonto
  • Geronimo

7. Among his later appearances were an episode of The Brady Bunch, as a Native chief who befriends the Bradys in the Grand Canyon.

  • True or False?

8. As Tonto, what was the name of his horse?

  • Scout
  • Templer
  • Topper

9. In 1938 Silverheels fought in the middleweight section of the Golden Gloves tournament. What did he place?

  • First
  • Second
  • Third

10. What year was he inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum?

  • 1991
  • 1993
  • 1997

11. What was Silverheels cause of death?

  • Stroke
  • Lung cancer
  • Auto accident

12. Where is Jay Silverheels buried?

  • Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Westwood, California
  • Cremated, ashes returned home to Six Nations Indian Reserve, Brantford, Canada
  • Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California

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  1. Harry Smith
  2. True
  3. Key Largo
  4. Geronimo
  5. True
  6. Geronimo
  7. True
  8. Scout
  9. Second
  10. 1993
  11. Stroke
  12.  Cremated, ashes returned home to Six Nations Indian Reserve, Brantford, Canada


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