Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 21 July 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping (40 years in retailing), the golden age of Hollywood (including westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. I wrote a book on retailing, on dealing with job losses and a biography of Stephen Boyd.

This is a series of very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #92 – 21 July 1979

Born Harold Jay Smith, actor and athlete Jay Silverheels was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame on 21 July, 1979, at 6538 Hollywood Boulevard.

He was born on the Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario on 26 May, 1912, grandson of a Mohawk chief.

He was an acclaimed lacrosse player, recognised by the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.  It is said his nickname as a player was Silverheels, and he adopted that name when his screen acting career began to take off.  At first, he was an extra and stunt man in low-budget films.

In the 1940s, he got parts in some major films alongside Tyrone Power, Humphrey Bogart, Glenn Ford, James Stewart and Jeff Chandler.

His big break came in the television series The Lone Ranger (1949-57) starring as the sidekick Tonto to the masked lead character played mostly by Clayton Moore, supposedly the last ranger to survive after a massacre.  The Lone Ranger chose to be a mystery man by donning a mask over his eyes.  (Yes, I know, but as kids we bought it!)

The Lone Ranger rode a horse called Silver and Tonto’s was called Scout. The show lasted well over 200 episodes.  It was pure good guys versus bad guys stuff.  The theme tune (William Tell Overture) just added to the magic.

After The Lone Ranger, Jay Silverheels guest-starred in a lot of television shows, many in Native American parts.

He died at 67 on 5 March, 1980.

No comments:

Post a comment