Friday, December 28, 2012

Harry Carey Jr.: 1921-2012

Harry Carey Jr. (1940s)
Harry Carey Jr.  (1970s)










At the risk of this becoming more of an "obituary column", I must report the death of another of the great character actors. Harry Carey Jr. died December 27th at the age of 91. The son of actors Harry Carey and Olive Carey, Carey Jr.'s career spanned more than a half-century of active work on the screen. Though his last acting work was in 1997, he did make many appearances in documentary work and at film festivals where he would discuss his family; director John Ford; John Wayne; and film-making during the golden age. He is reported to be the last member of the so-called John Ford Stock Company of actors. His Ford films include The Searchers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Rio Grande, 3 Godfathers, Wagonmaster, The Long Gray Line, Mister Roberts, Two Rode Together and Cheyenne Autumn. He worked with John Wayne numerous times, in addition to those listed he also appeared with Duke in Red River, Big Jake, and Cahill US Marshal. His television work included many of the top western series, including episodes of Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Have Gun-Will Travel, Wagon Train, Laramie, The Rifleman, and Branded. In the mid to late 1950s, Harry was a regular on the "Spin & Marty" segment of Disney's Mickey Mouse Club. He wrote a memoir in 1994 and entitled it "A Company of Heroes: My Life As an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company". In 1944 he married the daughter of fellow character player Paul Fix; he and Marilyn had been married 68 years at his death. He is also survived by 3 children; 3 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Harry was part of film history; a link to the earliest days because of his parents; a link to the golden days of Hollywood because of his association with Ford and Wayne; a link to the halcyon days of tv westerns with his work from the early 1950s; and finally, as a living historical treasure as he worked with today's directors, doing films like Mask, Gremlins, Back to the Future: Part 3 and Tombstone... those directors were able to listen to his stories as he shared his experience with them. Thanks Harry, for sharing 66 years in show business.


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