Western Character Actor Harry Carey Jr Passes Away
There are many actors and actresses that you don’t remember their names, but when you see them, you remember them almost instantly. Leading roles are usually cast with folks who are household names, but when you need someone in the cast to play a memorable but not featured role, or a character that is not exactly your standard individual, producers and directors call upon those individuals known as character actors and actresses.
In a lot of Western movies, the man they would call upon was Harry Carey, Jr. Harry was the son of the late Harry Carey Sr., who was a star in the days of the silent Westerns. Young Carey worked frequently with famed Hollywood director John Ford in many of his legendary westerns, including two of Ford’s three movies known as the Calvary Trilogy, “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” and “Rio Grande.” (He did not appear in the first one, “Fort Apache.”) and with the legendary actor, John Wayne.
When television came along, Carey transitioned into that realm, appearing in several series in in the 1950′s. He is best known from that time period on television for playing Bill Burnett in the series within a series, “The Adventures of Spin and Marty” which aired during the original “Mickey Mouse Club.” In the sixties he appeared many times in different roles in shows like “Laramie,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “Wagon Train,” and “Bonanza,” just to name a few. It is impossible to list all of his appearances in movies and television as his list of credits is quite lengthy. To see his complete filmography, you can visit his IMDB.com page by clicking the link.
He wasn’t limited to Westerns either, as he appeared in many different genres of entertainment, including a couple of science-fiction films, including “Back to the Future III,” in which Marty and Doc went back to the Old West. In that film, he played one of three cowboys at a table in the bar, along with two other acting legends, Dub Taylor (“The Westerner”) and Pat Buttram (“The Gene Autry Show,” “Green Acres”). He also appeared in the movie, “Tombstone,” and in the TV movie “Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone,” in which he worked with Hugh O’Brien, who played the role in the 1950′s TV show.
Carey has been honored over the years with various awards. Most notable of them is a star on the famed Hollywood Walk of Fame, and induction into the Hall of Great Western Performers which is located in the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
Carey died Friday, December 28th at the age of 91. His daughter told of her father’s death, “No cancer or nothing. He just got old.” He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Marilyn and four children. While he is gone, his work remains with us where future generations can enjoy that unique form of entertainment called the Western.
SoEntertain.Me sends our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends at this sad time.