Some time ago, a local PBS station ran a piece about American Indians being portrayed by people who were not of American Indian anestry--see Sal Mineo, an Italian, portraying Red Shirt in Cheyenne Autumn..In one section, they chided the fact that Anthony Quinn portrayed Crazy Horse in the movie Sitting Bull, but neglected the actor who was in the same shown scene in the title role: J. Carroll Naish! As a Mexican, Anthony Quinn has some semblance of claim to at least partial American Indian ancestry, while J. Carroll Naish was definitely of Irish ancestry! But an actor who, in his later career at least portrayed many American Indian characters, was Henry Brandon who, I believe was born in Germany. I do not recall him being mentioned at all on the PBS special. at all. I thought he was a very handsome man. He was Chief Scar in The Searchers, and I believe he portrayed Quanah Parker at least twice. I remember seeing an episode of The Virginian is which a ranch owner's orphaned nephew became obssessed with the belief that a second-hand watch he had purchased was actually his murdered father's watch. It was believed that the boy's parents had been killed during an Indian raid in Texas. The boy went on an oddyssey to discover the truth and finally encountered the chief who had led the raid. I believe the chief may have been portrayed by Henry Brandon. The boy and his younger sister had been sent to the basement, and the boy bravely stood in fron of his sister to protect her. He and the chief saw each other clearly. The chief told him that although the parents had been wounded, the Indians left the family alone out of respect for what he called the courage of the man child. The true murderer was finally identified. It was a good episode with psychological overtones. Being German did not stop Henry Brandon from portraying believable American Indians.
"Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian" may be the PBS show you are referring to..
That may have been the title. When was it aired? I think I watched it twice.
I think that may have been the title. When was it aired? I think I may have watched it twice. Cheyenne Autumn also featured Gilbert Roland, Ricardo Montalban, and Dolores Del Rio. I believe Ricardo Montalban portrayed a Sioux warrior on Great American Adventure's two-parter dealing with the Death of Sitting Bull and Wounded Knee. Really, the first television program I can remember viewing that used all American Indians to portray American Indians is I Will Fight no More Forever. I checked, and I believe the episode of The Virginia was entitled Yesterday's Timepiece. Thanks for the imput!
I think that may have been the title. When was it aired. Cheyenne Autumn also featured
Let's not forget "Iron Eyes Cody" who was in many movies and an iconic TV commercial as an American Indian, and whom practically everyone believed was an American Indian, who was honored by Indian tribes and married an Indian wife. It was revealed only three years before his death in the late '90's that he was actually the son of Sicilian (Italian) immigrants! He may have resembled Christopher Columbus more than the natives who met his boat!
Do you remember when Marlon Brando turned down his Oscar and got "Sacheen Littlefeather" to turn it into a political statement at the ceremonies?Her name was a fiction and the indian maiden was actually a Phillipino model and actress!You gotta love Hollywood phoniness!
Yes, Anthony, I certainly remember that happening. But I didn't know until now that she was not really an American Indian! Maybe Brando felt he would correct Columbus' error by picking his Indian from farther East!
I believe we owe Sacheen Littlefeather an apology. If you check her on Wikipedia and other sites you'll learn that she was born Marie Louise Cruz in Salinas, CA and she IS partly of American Indian ancestry, including Apache and Yaqui, as well as Caucasian descent. She was picked by Russell Means and Dennis Banks to do Brando's Oscar protest. She participated in the AIM occupation of Alcatraz, and is involved in the promotion of "Reel Injun," the documentary mentioned by Gay. Nowhere does it say that she's Phillipina. She was given the name "Sacheen" by some Navajo friends. Sacheen was a model and actress, and had even posed for Playboy au naturel. Hollywood has a lot of phoniness, but not so much here.
You may have screened "Susannah and the Mounties," made in 1939, and starring Shirley Temple and Randolph Scott, for your kids. Well, the big Indian Chief in that film was Maurice Moscovitch who spoke the usual Hollywood Injun "White man speak with forked tongue" lingo, but with a Russian-Jewish accent! He anticipated Mel Brooks by several decades. Hilarious!
The 'Fugawi' tribe from F-Troop was mostly Jewish comics if I'm not mistaken
Jay Silverheels--that was a stage-name--who was 'Tonto' on the Lone Ranger tv series, was a real Indian, a Mohawk from Canada. Ed Ames--'Mingo' on the 'Daniel Boone' series starring Fess Parker--was Jewish. Incidentally, Jay Silverheels married a woman of Italian ancestry. As he told Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, he did it to 'get back at Columbus.'
Replying to Unkle: the only Jewish people in F Troop that I know of were Don Diamond and Larry Storch. Don Diamond did play one of the Indians. Another actor who played an Indian was Edward Everett Horton who was of Scottish ancestry.