Claim to Fame
The Lone Ranger
Jay Silverheels (born Harold John Smith, May 26, 1912 – March 5, 1980) was a First Nations actor. He was well known for his role as Tonto, the faithful American Indian companion of the character The Lone Ranger in a long-running American western television series.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Six Nations Indian Reserve, Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Place of Death
Calabasas, California, USA
Full Name at Birth
Harold J. Smith
Cause of Death
Profile Bio Text
Jay Silverheels (May 26, 1912 – March 5, 1980) was a First Nations actor. He was well known for his role as Tonto, the faithful Native American companion of the character, The Lone Ranger in a long-running American television series.
Silverheels was born Harold J. Smith on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, near Brantford, Ontario, Canada, one of 11 children of a Canadian Mohawk tribal chief and military officer, Major George Smith. Silverheels excelled in athletics and lacrosse before leaving home to travel around North America. In the 1930s, he played indoor lacrosse as Harry Smith with the "Iroquois" of Rochester, New York in the North American Amateur Lacrosse Association. He lived for a time in Buffalo, New York, and in 1938 placed second in the middleweight class of the Golden Gloves tournament.
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