Skip to comments.Harry Carey Jr., Western character actor known for ‘3 Godfathers,’ ‘Wagon Master,’ dies at 91
Posted on 12/28/2012 6:14:46 PM PST by DFG
Harry Carey Jr., a character actor who starred in such Westerns as 3 Godfathers and Wagon Master, has died. He was 91.
His daughter, Melinda Carey, said he died Thursday of natural causes surrounded by family at a hospice facility in Santa Barbara, Calif.
He went out as gracefully as he came in, she said Friday.
Careys career spanned more than 50 years and included such John Ford classics as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers and The Long Gray Line. Later in life, he appeared in the movies Gremlins and Back to the Future Part III.
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“3 Godfathers” was one of the most formative films of my youth. I have not seen it for 40 years, yet remember almost every scene in it.
Dang. Just saw him in 3 Godfathers on the TV a few days ago. Really liked his father, too. Both fine actors.
He was known for a lot more than those two movies, a significant character in “Red River” for example, another movie with him in it(small part)was “Only Angels have wings”. He played a lot of bit parts in westerns, a good actor who never quite made super star status but worked steadily none the less.
Just saw Red River the other day. Rest in peace, Harry Carey.
“Really liked his father too. Both fine actors.”
Yes, back when actors and actresses had class, not ass and didn’t act like one.
Notice how many actors from the 40’s/50’s served in WW2.
Durning, Klugman, Carey, Jr. Try to find more than a handful today who served in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Wife and I went to a “Spin n’ Marty” retrospective at the Gene Autry Museum here in LA a few years ago. Harry mentioned during intros that he’d lately, “Been in a little film called ‘Tombstone’”, and the entire audience broke out in applause.
Fine actor. Great guy.
Correction on Post 4. Harey Jr. didn’t play in “Only Angels have wings”. That was Sr. Another fine actor. They both played in Red River however.
***3 Godfathers was one of the most formative films of my youth. I have not seen it for 40 years, yet remember almost every scene in it.****
It is often on TCM. You know there are SEVEN versions?
Broncho Billy and the Baby (1915) (Short)
The Three Godfathers (1916)
Marked Men (1919) (Staring Harry Carey Sr)
Hell’s Heroes (1929)
Three Godfathers (1936)
3 Godfathers (1948)
The Godchild (1974) (TV Movie) This one stunk to high heaven!
And I thought he was famous for singing “Take Me Out To The Ballpark”.
Sorry to hear this news as I am a big fan of his. RIP Harry.
A good western character actor, following in the footsteps of his generally more famous father. He made a lot of appearances on “Have Gun Will Travel” through its run. Usually think of him always playing a boyish-faced rancher, but he could be a pretty effective villain at times too.
Really one of the last character actors fully associated with the western genre, both on film and tv... that group of prolific actors in the vein of Ben Johnson, Jack Elam, Leo Gordon, etc.
bttt - RIP
Who thought he was dead?
Character actors never get as much credit as they deserve. Sometimes you don’t learn or remember their names, but there they are, in movie after movie, year after year and you always recognize them on sight. I’ll miss Mr. Carey.
Prayers up... RIP
God bless his Soul. You gave many people much enjoyment, Prayers for your family at this time.
That was nice of whomever to include that table of veteran "cowboys".
(However, I thought the filming/editing of the stunt doubles scampering away from the table crash left a lot to be desired.)
There was an earlier version which was filmed, in part, in Bodie, CA (before its last fire). In spite of its early production, it was also a great movie.
That was my favorite version as well... Charles Bickford, Raymond Hatton, and Fred Kohler. Craggy faces all. And each with an unnerving sense of real menace, which made that version more powerful, as it played out. Harsh and hard-edged, without a single shred of Hollywood gloss.
Another early-talkie western gem was “Law and Order” with Harry Carey Jr.’s father.
Just damn. My favorite John Wayne cavalry/western is She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. I’d like to think Ben Johnson, Wayne and Carey are together again riding the range on the big ranch in the sky.
Most of the WW2 generation served before ever becoming famous or actors. Male actors generally didn’t become famous at a young age till the 1950s when the Montgomery Clift/ Marlon Brando school came in.
Dobe came by his horsemanship the easy way, growing up on the family ranch.
There must have been some filming nearby because they never kept this many horses on the ranch.
Harry Carey Jr., known as Dobe because his red hair was the same shade as the red adobe clay on the ranch, and his sister Emma at play with the Navajo kids who lived on the ranch. Emma was a baby when she first went on her Dad's schooner down at Balboa and he repeatedly asked how his little captain was doing. From then on she was known as Cappy.
I meant to post sooner but didn't have the time. Harry Carey's ranch is just a few miles from my home. Its where Dobe and his sister Cappy grew up. The ranch has since been subdivided but the main house has been preserved in San Francisquito Canyon. Its actually the second house as the original burned down when Jr. was a lad. It had survived the flood when the St. Francis Dam ruptured in 1928 only to burn down a few years later.
The following is from Dobe's memoir "Company of Heroes." Apparently Charlie Russel sometimes lived and painted at the ranch and here Dobe recalls the visits. Interestingly, William S. Hart lived a few miles away in Newhall and purchased several nice paintings from Russel which are still displayed at Hart's ranch house, now a museum.
"...In 1926, when I was five years old, the great Western artist and sculptor Charles M. Russell passed away. I have heard that most children cannot remember very much about their lives before five or six years of age, but I remember him. He was a little boy's dream, with his stories of his life as a real cowboy in Montana and his magic artist's hands. he, like my father, always had a roll-your-own Bull Durham cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth. Some of his ample grey hair fell on either side of his forehead. i would always sit beside him. In those days, presliced bread was unknown, and a whole loaf would sit on a platter in the middle of the dining room table. He would nudge me with his knee and ask, "What kind of animal shall we make this morning?"
I would usually say, "A horse."
"With that he would reach into the center of the loaf of bread and pull out a hunk from the middle, dip a hand into his glass of water, and knead the bread to make it more pliable. Then he put both hands out of sight under the table, and when he brought them back up, there would be a little white horse that he would place in front of me. He could use up a whole loaf of bread in a short space of time making coyotes, goats - all kinds of little animals."
"Charley and my father would sit at that big dining room table drinking coffee and swapping out-West stories from about six in the morning till lunch. In the afternoon, Charely would go down to paint in the adobe cabin my father had built for him. The next morning, there they both would be once more, talking - talking - talking, until my mother finally ran them out..."