- By Native News Online Staff
NEW YORK — Wes Studi (Cherokee) was named on Sunday to The New York Times’ prestigious “25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century (So Far)” list.
Studi comes in at Number 19 on the list. The Times writes about the award-winning actor:
“Wes Studi has one of the screen’s most arresting faces — jutting and creased and anchored with the kind of penetrating eyes that insist you match their gaze. Lesser directors like to use his face as a blunt symbol of the Native American experience, as a mask of nobility, of suffering, of pain that’s unknowable only because no one has asked the man wearing it. In the right movie, though, Studi doesn’t just play with a character’s facade; he peels its layers. A master of expressive opacity, he shows you the mask and what lies beneath, both the thinking and the feeling.” Click here to continue reading the article.
Studi, who grew up in Tahlequah, Okla., is known for his portrayal of Native Americans in a way that forever shattered age-old stereotypes in the movie industry. Breaking new ground, he brought fully developed Native American characters to the screen, and then took it a step further by highlighting the success of Native Americans in non-traditional roles.
Throughout his 30-plus-year career he’s won numerous awards, including several First Americans in the Arts awards and the 2009 Santa Fe Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.
In October 2019, Studi became the first American Indian actor to receive an Academy Honorary Award at the annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles.
“I’d simply like to say, it’s about time,” Studi said upon receiving the Oscar. “It’s been a wild and wonderful ride, and I’m really proud to be here tonight as the first Indigenous Native American to receive an Academy Award. It’s a humbling honour to receive an award for something I love to do.”
He became only the second Indigenous person ever to receive an Oscar. Singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie shared an Oscar for best original song for “Up Where We Belong” for 1982’s “An Officer and a Gentleman”.
In February 2018, Studi, a Vietnam vet, was invited to present at the 90th Academy Awards, where he introduced a video montage of military movies as a tribute to U.S. veterans. He is a passionate advocate for American Indian issues and a leader in promoting and preserving Indigenous languages.
Studi’s credits include 1990’s “Dances with Wolves,” 1992’s “The Last of the Mohicans,” 1993’s “Geronimo: An American Legend,” 2005’s “The New World,” 2009’s “Avatar” and 2017’s “Hostiles.”
More Stories Like ThisHere’s What’s Going On In Indian Country: July 23
Here’s What’s Going On In Indian Country: July 16
Native in the Arts Spotlight: Visual Artist Andrea Carlson Talks About Her Chicago "You Are on Potawatomi Land" Mural
Comeback From COVID: Fair Again Celebrates Choctaw Culture, Hosts Stickball World Series
Call for Artwork for the 26th Annual Cherokee Homecoming Art Show
Native Perspective. Native Voices. Native News.
We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.