Jay Silverheels / Canadian Mohawk
Jay Silverheels achieved his greatest fame as the The Lone Ranger’s friend, Tonto. Being irreplaceable as the Lone Ranger’s best friend he subsequently also appeared in films, The Lone Ranger (1956) as well as in The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958). – Wikipedia
Silverheels began working in motion pictures as an extra and stunt man in 1937. During the early years of his screen career, he was billed variously as Harold Smith or Harry Smith, and appeared in low-budget features, westerns, and serials. He adopted his screen name from the nickname he had had as a speedy lacrosse player. From the late 1940s he played in more prestigious pictures, including Captain from Castile starring Tyrone Power, I Am an American(1944), Key Largo with Humphrey Bogart (1948), Lust for Gold with Glenn Ford (1949), Broken Arrow (1950) with James Stewart, War Arrow (1953) with Maureen O’Hara, Jeff Chandler and Noah Beery, Jr., Drums Across the River (1954), Walk the Proud Land (1956) with Audie Murphy and Anne Bancroft, Alias Jesse James (1959) with Bob Hope, and Indian Paint (1964) with Johnny Crawford. He made a brief appearance in True Grit (1969) as a condemned criminal about to be executed. He played a substantial role as John Crow in Santee(1973), starring Glenn Ford. One of his last roles was a wise white-haired chief in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973). – Wikepedia
In scouting between the lines of the trailer for the new The Lone Rangermovie (starring Johnny Depp as Tonto), we glean that Depp’s portrayal of Tonto appears to be – in part – that of a Native Shaman. (Tread softly Johnny. Critics – and many natives – await in ambush.)
The image below is stated as that which Depp bases his portrayal of Tonto upon:
In the best interests of tabloid journalism … questions – like smoke signals – do arise. And where there’s smoke ….
Yet Depp’s answers give us hope:
“One of the more curious aspects of the Tonto make-up is the series of black lines that run down his face. According to Depp, those lines are meant to symbolize the character’s emotional life. “There’s this very wise quarter, a very tortured and hurt section, an angry and rageful section, and a very understanding and unique side. I saw these parts, almost like dissecting a brain, these slivers of the individual,” Depp explained. “That makeup inspired me.”
The revitalized Tonto has been met with more than its fair share of criticism, much like Jack Sparrow was in the very beginning. No part of the character’s new look has been mocked as much as the crow that sits on top of his head, another inspiration from the Sattler painting. “It just so happened Sattler had painted a bird flying directly behind the warrior’s head. It looked to me like it was sitting on top,” Depp said. “I thought: Tonto’s got a bird on his head. It’s his spirit guide in a way. It’s dead to others, but it’s not dead to him. It’s very much alive.”
The Lone Ranger Theme Music / William Tell Overture
Normally I’m pretty excited when I hear there’s a new Western being made …
But when I heard that the movie was a remake of The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp playing Tonto … I had my reservations (if you’ll excuse the expression).
But then I heard that the project had been axed … due to a lack of wampum (if you’ll excuse the expressions).
But then I herd it wuz back on again - them having raised the loot and lowered the costs.
Anyway … the project is now in the can and below is the recent info.
My fears that the movie might insult the legacy, legend and traditional of original Lone Ranger and Tonto are still not thwarted, but we still don’t have enough info to know whether this project will fly or not.