To moviegoers during the era of silent films, Harry Carey was the quintessential cowboy, despite having been born no closer to the frontier than the Bronx. A judge's son, Carey was pointed toward a career in law when a bout of pneumonia sent him westward to recuperate. Channeling his experiences among Montana ranch hands into a hit play, Carey parlayed his success onstage into a career in motion pictures, making his debut for D. W. Griffith in 1909. Following Griffith to Hollywood, Carey became the star of dozens of Western two-reelers in which he etched his rough-hewn characters with a leathery verisimilitude he had seen firsthand. By 1917, Carey was a bona fide movie star, earning $1,250 a week to play white-hatted Cheyenne Henry in several films for John Ford. Though his career sagged as he aged beyond the range of the average leading man, Carey enjoyed a comeback as the indefatigable "Trader Horn" (1931), a box office hit for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While continuing to play heroes in B-Westerns, Carey enjoyed a sidebar career as a reliable character player in such contemporary urban fare as Michael Curtiz' "Kid Galahad" (1937) and Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), which netted him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Towards the end of his life he partnered for several above-average prairie dramas with rising star John Wayne, who eulogized Carey at the time of his 1947 death as the greatest Western actor of all time.