Veteran movie cowboy Harry Carey, Jr. dead at 91

A regular in director John Ford’s westerns, the actor passed away of natural causes in Santa Barbara, California on Thursday (27Dec12).

The son of silent film star Harry Carey and actress Olive Carey, the veteran appeared in almost 100 movies, including 50 classic westerns such as She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande.

His father was a mentor to movie mogul Ford and a former collaborator and Carey, Jr. joined his dad on the big screen in Red River.

He also appeared in The Long Riders, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Southern Comfort.

The actor turned his back on dreams of becoming a singer and a cattleman when he was cast as a cowboy in 1946’s Rolling Home and he found a fan in John Wayne, who recommended Carey, Jr. for supporting roles in films he made with Howard Hawks and Ford. The two actors went on to appear opposite each other in a number of classic films, including Red River, The Searchers and Rio Grande.

He was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 2003, and awarded a coveted Golden Boot by the Motion Pictures & Television Fund Foundation in the late 1980s.