Harry Carey Jr, who was a member of John Ford's stock company of actors and played in a number of Ford's classic Westerns, has died at the age of 91 of natural causes in Santa Barbara, Calif., the Associated Press reports.
The son of silent star Harry Carey and actress Olive Carey, he was one of moviedom's most familiar faces. In all, he performed in roughly 100 movies and on numerous TV shows. With his largeframe and rough-hewn look, Carey was one of Hollywood's most familiar character actors.
Carey played in many of Ford's greatest Westerns, which starred John Wayne: She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande, The Searchers, Wagon Master, The Long Gray Line, Two Rode Together. He also appeared in Cheyenne Autumn, without Wayne. In all, Carey appeared in 11 Ford films and roughly 50 Westerns.
Carey's first film with Ford was Three Godfathers, which Ford dedicated to Harry Carey, Ford's first patron and star. Along with such players as Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, Jane Darewell and Arthur Shields, Carey was one of the players utilized gain and again by thelegendary director, a group that was informally known as the John Ford Stock Company.
He appeared with Wayne in a number of other movies, including Island in the Sky, Gun the Man Down, Escort West, Rio Bravo, The Undefeated, Big Jake and Cahill U.S. Marshall.
In addition, he appeared with his father in Red River, and with his mother in The Searchers and Two Rode Together.
He wrote a book about his experiences: Company of Heroes, My Life As An Actor in the John Ford Stock Company.
On TV, he played in similar fare. He co-starred with Ben Johnson in Wild Times, a miniseries about a Wild West Show.
In later years, Carey played a leader of a group of bikers in Mask. During that period, he also appeared in Walter Hill's The Long Riders, as well as Endangered Species. Other films include Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Mr. Roberts, Nickelodeon, Southern Comfort, The Way West and The Whales of August.
Harry Carey, Jr. was born May 16, 1921 on a ranch in Saugus, which his father owned to distance the family from Hollywood. He originally wanted to be a singer and studied voice as a teenager. Dreams of a musical career didn't materialize, and he entered the Navy and served for six years.
After service, he had planed on entering the cattle business, but was cast by producer in the part of a cowboy in a Western titled Rolling Home. He next won a role in Pursued, which led John Wayne to suggest him to Howard Hawks for a role in Red River. Wayne also recommended him to Ford.
After Westerns went out of fashion, Carey turned to TV. He guest-starred on such series as Have Gun, Will Travel and Climax.
On TV, he also played in The Adventures of Spin and Marty aired as part of The Mickey Mouse Club. He later continued his association with Disney TV, appearing in Texas John Slaughter for Walt Disney Presents.
More recently in film, he appeared in Back to the Future Part III, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone, The Sunchaser.
He was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 2003.
In 1987, Carey was awarded a Golden Boot by the Motion Pictures & Television Fund Foundation. In 2003, he won a Silver Spur Award from Reel Cowboys.
He married Marilyn Fix in 1944.