Jay Silverheels Biography (c. 1918-1980)

Original name, Harold J. Smith; born c. 1918 (some sources say 1919), at SixNations Indian Reservation, Ontario, Canada; died of complications from pneumonia, March 5, 1980, in Woodland Hills, CA; son of A. G. E. Smith (a Canadianmilitary officer); married, wife's name, Mary; children: Marilyn, Pamela, Karen, Jay Anthony. Ethnicity: Mohawk.

Birth Details
c. 1918
Six Nations Indian Reservation, Ontario, Canada
Death Details
March 5, 1980
Woodland Hills, California, United States

Famous Works

  • Credits; Film Appearances
  • Too Many Girls, RKO Radio Pictures, 1940.
  • Valley of the Sun, RKO Radio Pictures, 1942.
  • Good Morning, Judge, Universal, 1943.
  • Northern Pursuit, Warner Bros., 1943.
  • Spearman, Song of the Sarong, Universal, 1945.
  • Singin' in the Corn (also known as Give and Take), Columbia, 1946.
  • Coatl, Captain from Castile, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1947.
  • Sam Luther, The Last Round-up, Columbia, 1947.
  • Indian scout, Northwest Outpost (also known as End of the Rainbow), Republic, 1947.
  • Indian, Unconquered, Paramount, 1947.
  • Elevator boy, Family Honeymoon, Universal, 1948.
  • Diego, The Feathered Serpent, Monogram, 1948.
  • Little Dog, Fury at Furnace Creek, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1948.
  • John Osceola, Key Largo, Warner Bros., 1948.
  • Running Deer, The Prairie, Screen Guild, 1948.
  • Indian, Yellow Sky, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1948.
  • Lakohna, The Cowboy and the Indians, Columbia, 1949.
  • Running Wolf, Laramie, Columbia, 1949.
  • Walter, Lust for Gold (also known as For Those Who Dare), Columbia, 1949.
  • Sand (also known as Will James's Sand), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1949.
  • Poleon, Trail of the Yukon, Monogram, 1949.
  • Goklia, Broken Arrow, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950.
  • Little Crow, Red Mountain, Paramount, 1951.
  • Geronimo, The Battle at Apache Pass, Universal, 1952.
  • Chief Tecumseh, Brave Warrior, Columbia, 1952.
  • Last of the Comanches (also known as The Sabre and the Arrow), Columbia,1952.
  • Chingachgook, The Pathfinder, Columbia, 1952.
  • Joe Arrow, The Story of Will Rogers, Warner Bros., 1952.
  • Benders, The Wild Blue Yonder (also known as Thunder across the Pacific),Republic, 1952.
  • Lead warrior, Yankee Buccaneer, Universal, 1952.
  • Red Cloud, Jack McCall, Desperado, Columbia, 1953.
  • Spotted Bear, The Nebraskan, Columbia, 1953.
  • Satanta, War Arrow, Universal, 1953.
  • Black Buffalo, The Black Dakotas, Columbia, 1954.
  • Taos, Drums across the River, Universal, 1954.
  • Yaqui, Four Guns to the Border, Universal, 1954.
  • Yellow Hawk, Masterson of Kansas, Columbia, 1954.
  • Cajou, Saskatchewan (also known as O'Rourke of the Royal Mounted), Universal, 1954.
  • Tonto, The Lone Ranger, Warner Bros., 1955.
  • Beeteia, The Vanishing American, Republic, 1955.
  • Geronimo, Walk the Proud Land, Universal, 1956.
  • Indian Joe, Return to Warbow, Columbia, 1958.
  • Tonto, The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold, United Artists, 1958.
  • Tonto, Alias Jesse James, United Artists, 1959.
  • Tonto, Justice of the West, United Artists, 1961.
  • Chief Hevatanu, Indian Paint, Eagle American/Crown, 1965.
  • McDonald Lasheway, Smith!, Buena Vista, 1969.
  • The Phynx, Warner Bros., 1970.
  • The chief, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1973.
  • Jimmy Wolfe, One Little Indian, Buena Vista, 1973.
  • John Crow, Santee, Crown, 1973.
  • Credits; Television Appearances; Series
  • Tonto, The Lone Ranger, ABC, 1949-57.
  • Great Bear, Pistols 'n' Petticoats, CBS, 1966-67.
  • Credits; Television Appearances; Pilots
  • Indian chief, Cat Ballou, NBC, 1971.

Further Reference


  • Native North American Almanac, edited by Duane Champagne, Gale Research(Detroit, MI), 1994, pp. 770, 1160.
  • Notable Native Americans, Gale, 1995, pp. 398-99.
  • New York Times, March 6, 1980.
  • Time, March 17, 1980, p. 65.

User Contributions:

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Aug 5, 2012 @ 11:11 am
I was raised through the Lone Ranger & Tonto TV series
I found most amazing how managed to be there Before, during; and After he was to save the day.
janice r. bowen
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Aug 7, 2012 @ 7:19 pm
I am a relative of Jay Silverheels or Harry Smith; my mother, Mary K. Hill Johnson was a first cousin of Harry's & grew up with him on the Six Nations Indian Reservation, Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. We always followed his career and I did meet him in California in 1966. He did return periodically to Six Nations but I never met him on those visits.
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Aug 18, 2012 @ 12:00 am
I am a distant cousin of Harry. He lived with my grandmother and her parents when they moved to Buffalo. I am looking for anyone who knows there is a direct link the to him and David and Ella Groat from the reservation. I would like to know how he is my cousin if it is on David's side or Ella Groat(Grote)side also Chrysler. My grandmother has passed and would like to bring the family back together again.

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