Unforgettable moments with Cherokee actor Wes Studi
Wesley “Wes” Studi (born December 17, 1947) is an award-winning full-blood Native American actor and film producer from Nofire Hollow in the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, and who has won critical acclaim for his portrayal of Native Americans in film.
He has appeared in Academy Award-winning films, such as Dances with Wolves (1990), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and the Academy Award-nominated films Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) and The New World (2005). He is also known for portraying Sagat in Street Fighter (1994) and appeared in the NBC series Kings and in Avatar (2009).
Studi was born Wesley Studi in Nofire Hollow, Oklahoma, a rural area in Tahlequah named after his mother’s family. He is the son of Maggie Studie, a housekeeper, and Andy Studie, a ranch hand.Until he attended grade school, he spoke only Cherokee at home
Studi became politically active and participated in the Wounded Knee Incident at Pine Ridge Reservation in 1973.
He taught Cherokee language and syllabary and helped found a Cherokee-language newspaper.
Geronimo: An American Legend Our guy stars in this biopic of the great Apache rebel, directed by master of the Western Walter Hill from a script by John Milius. Studi shines as a proud warrior unwilling to accept a life of subjugation and boredom on a newly established reservation. He rallies his people around him and wins the admiration of even his bitterest enemies, including pursuing soldiers played by Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman and Matt Damon.
Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner’s passion project follows a traumatized Civil War soldier (Costner) who wins the respect of a tribe of Sioux while assigned to a remote outpost in Indian country. A young Wes Studi makes his first major film appearance as the fiercest member of a party of Pawnee warriors who scalp a passing Union messenger, leaving Costner’s character alone at his new post without reinforcements for the duration of his stay.
Avatar James Cameron’s ultimate blockbuster epic has been called a conservationist parable, with Sam Worthington’s paraplegic soldier infiltrating a planet of intelligent, humanoid aliens called Na’vi to search for deposits of a valuable fossil fuel. Studi anchors the alien culture as Eytukan, leader of the Na’vi clan with which the human intruder spends most of his time, alongside mate and spiritual leader Mo’at (C.C.H. Pounder).
The New World Studi plays Opechancanough, Pocahontas’s uncle who accompanies the young princess on an early visit to England.
The Only Good Indian Studi starred in this 2009 drama about a Cherokee bounty hunter (Studi) tasked with tracking down a young runaway taken from the Kickapoo tribe and forced to assimilate into white Kansas society in the early 20th century.
Call of the Wild
The Last of the Mohicans His previous collaboration with director Michael Mann found Studi taking a more prominent role as the treacherous Huron guide Magua, who leads an English family into an ambush during the French and Indian War and later seeks vengeance after his own family is caught in the crossfire. Magua makes an unforgettable antagonist for adoptive Mohican Hawkeye (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his father Chingachgook.
Seraphim Falls This Western revenge movie focuses on a former Union general (Pierce Brosnan) targeted by killers after an old war-time enemy officer (Liam Neeson) places a bounty on his head. Studi stands out as a mystical-minded desert dweller named Charon who charges passersby to drink from his watering hole and dispenses mysterious wisdom.
The Broken Chain
Miracle at Sage Creek