Jay Silverheels (Tonto) Had a Leading Role in Lacrosse

Harry J. Smith, whom the world came to know as Jay Silverheels when he portrayed Tonto in the "The Lone Ranger," was "amazing lacrosse player" of the Six Nations in Ontario before he became an actor.

In 1937, Smith was part of a box (indoor) lacrosse team that toured the West. "In Los Angeles, the comedian Joe E. Brown saw Harry play, encouraged him to try acting and got him a stunt role in a Basil Rathbone film." A career developed, and he eventually starred with Clayton Moore in the popular television series that ran from 1949 to 1957.

You can read an interesting piece on Silverheels at the New York Times web site.


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