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Iron Eyes Cody 1904-1999
 


Country : Kaplan, LA
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1904-04-03
Date of death : 1999-01-04
Cause of Death : Unspecified

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ironeyes

Iron Eyes Cody, born Espera de Corti (April 3, 1904January 4, 1999) was an American actor. He was famous for portraying Native Americans in Hollywood films, although his ancestry was discovered to be Italian. At the time of his birth, his family lived in and operated a local grocery store in Gueydan, Louisiana, where he was raised.

Biography

Cody was born Espera de Corti in Kaplan, Louisiana, a son of Antonio de Corti and his wife, Francesca Salpietra, immigrants from Sicily.

In some of his earliest acting credits, Cody was listed as Tony de Corti. He and his two brothers, who were also acting, changed their name to "Cody". Tony Cody then claimed to be part Cherokee and Cree.

Film career

Cody began his acting career at the age of twelve and continued to work until the time of his death. He appeared in more than 200 films, including The Big Trail (1930), with John Wayne; Nevada Smith (1966), with Steve McQueen; A Man Called Horse (1970), with Richard Harris; and Ernest Goes to Camp (1987), with Jim Varney. In 1953, he appeared twice as Chief Big Cloud in Duncan Renaldo's syndicated western television series The Cisco Kid.

He was most famous for his "crying Indian" role in the Keep America Beautiful public service announcement in the early 1970s. It was an ecology commercial in which an Indian (Cody) sheds a tear after some trash is thrown from a speeding car and lands at his feet. The announcer—William Conrad, of "Bullwinkle" and "Cannon" fame—sternly and memorably declares: "People start pollution; people can stop it."

The Joni Mitchell song "Lakota," from the 1988 album Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm, features Cody chanting.

He had a cameo in the 1990 film Spirit of '76.

Legacy and Honors

In 1995, the Hollywood Native American community honored Cody for his contributions to Native American life. They cared for the activities which he had carried out.

In 1996, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported his Sicilian heritage, but Cody denied it. He lived all his adult life as a Native American and supported their causes. Cody and his wife Bertha, who was Native American, adopted several children, all Native Americans.

Cody died in 1999. He was interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. He was survived by his adopted son, Native American flautist Robert "Tree" Cody.

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Spirit of '76 (12-Oct-1990) Himself
Ernest Goes to Camp (22-May-1987)
Grayeagle (28-Dec-1977)
El Condor (19-Jun-1970)
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1-May-1970)
A Man Called Horse (23-Apr-1970)
Something for a Lonely Man (26-Nov-1968)
The Fastest Guitar Alive (1-Sep-1967)
Black Gold (21-Jul-1962)
Gun Fever (Jan-1958)
Arrow in the Dust (25-Apr-1954)
Son of Paleface (14-Jul-1952)
Fort Defiance (9-Oct-1951)
The Paleface (24-Dec-1948)
Unconquered (24-Sep-1947)

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