The Lone Rangers sidekick – Tonto – In the Calgary Stampede 1963
Tonto is riding his horse in the Calgary Stampede Parade in 1963. I was 13 when I took this photo.
Born Harold John Smith into a prominent Mohawk -Seneca family at Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. He was known by his lacrosse teammates as Jay Silverheels. John was discovered by another actor named Joe E. Brown while they were playing a lacrosse game. Joe E. Brown suggested John go for a screen test. He was hired for small parts in movies. His big break came when he drew the attention of the producers of The Lone Ranger TV show and was hired to play The Lone Rangers sidekick Tonto.
I took this photograph of him at the 1963 Calgary Stampede Parade. It was quite exciting to see him in person.
Tonto died on March 5th 1980 at the age of 67.