Harry Carey, Jr.

May 16 (1921) is the birthday of veteran character actor Harry Carey, Jr. He was born on his parents’ ranch in Saugus, California. He became an expert horseman. Watch him and Ben Johnson show off their superb horsemanship in “Rio Grande”; they didn’t use stunt doubles. 

He appeared in over ninety films, many of them Westerns. He made four Westerns with director Howard Hawks, including the classic “Red River” (1948). He was a regular (along with actors like John Wayne, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, and Ben Johnson) in what was called the John Ford Stock Company. He was in such well-known Westerns as “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (1949), “Rio Grande” (1950), “The Searchers” (1956), and “Cheyenne Autumn” (1964). He made nine films for Ford. And he made eleven films with John Wayne, often playing the boyish sidekick. (Wayne made 24 films with John Ford.) 

He was the ranch counselor in the Disney serial “The Adventures of Spin and Marty”, and he appeared in many TV shows, especially Western series. In 1990 he was one of old timers in the saloon in the movie “Back to the Future III”, along with other well-known Western character actors. 

He served in the Navy in WWII, and he married Marilyn Fix, the daughter of actor Paul Fix, in 1944.  

In 2003 he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK. 

He died on December 27, 2012. 

I think most people are much more familiar with Harry Carey, Jr. than with his father Harry Carey, Sr. The father was also a film actor. He starred in many silent Westerns, but he also appeared in sound pictures too. He was in “Red River”, too, for example, but the father and son had no scenes together. Harry Carey, Sr. was also in the John Ford Stock and so was Junior’s mother, Olive Carey. Harry Carey, Sr. died in 1947. 

Harry Carey, Sr.                                         Olive Carey

Olive Carey was in “The Searchers” (1956) along with Harry Carey, Jr. As homage to Harry Carey, Sr., John Wayne, in the closing shot of the film, held his right elbow with his left hand, imitating a stance Carey himself often used in his movies. According to Wayne, both he and Olive wept when the scene was finished. 

Harry Carey, Sr. made 27 films with John Ford. I could have mentioned several films that I knew Harry Carey, Jr. was in, but I could not have named any his father was in. But seeing the picture of the father I do recognize him. How about you?