Harry Carey Jr.
The name he made for himself in Hollywood he owed largely to his father, but Harry Carey, Jr. never seemed to mind lesser billing. The son of silent film cowboy Harry Carey, he relied on the horsemanship his father had taught him to win roles for John Ford, Raoul Walsh and Howard Hawks. Graced with a slight, boyish physique, Carey was often cast as decent but doomed frontiersmen. Gunned down by Robert Mitchum in "Pursued" (1947), trampled by cattle in "Red River" (1948), and slaughtered by Comanche marauders in "The Searchers" (1948), Carey plied his trade without ego or the expectation of fame. With Ford as his mentor, he found a Dutch uncle in Ford's frequent leading man John Wayne, who brokered Carey's first shot at a co-starring credit in "3 Godfathers" (1948) - a remake of one of his father's silent films - and included him in his later vehicles "Island in the Sky" (1953), "The Undefeated" (1969), and "Cahill U.S. Marshall" (1973). With the death of Ford in 1973 and of Wayne in 1979, the aging Carey became a touchstone for Baby Boom filmmakers and he contributed nostalgic cameos to Joe Dante's "Gremlins" (1984), Robert Zemeckis' "Back to the Future Part III" (1990) and George Pan Cosmatos' "Tombstone" (1994). Slowing but rarely stopping, Carey retired from acting in his seventies to focus his energies a writer-producer, focusing on the careers of the Hollywood giants on whose shoulders he had enjoyed the ride of his life.