Excellent Native American Actors/Actresses

by nativeamericannationfilm | created - 05 Feb 2012 | updated - 11 Jul 2013 | Public

Favorite First Nation (Native American) Actors/Actresses in the Entertainment Industry Past and Present.

1. Saginaw Grant

Actor | The Lone Ranger

Saginaw is the Hereditary Chief and a respected member of the Sac and Fox, Iowa and Otoe-Missouria Nations.

In 1936, Saginaw Morgan Grant was born to Sarah and Austin Grant Sr. at Pawnee Indian Hospital in Pawnee, Oklahoma. He was raised on a farm in Cushing, Oklahoma with two brothers and one ...

(Sac-n-Fox,Iowa and Otoe-Missouria Nations) The quintessential Elder in Hollywood films. Traditional dancer, motivational speaker, and tribe elder. Played Chief Big Bear in The Lone Ranger.

2. Will Sampson

Actor | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

A Native American actor of the Creek Nation, Sampson's "big break" came from his memorable role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) opposite Jack Nicholson. He was also starred opposite Clint Eastwood in the western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). He had supporting roles in Orca (1977), The ...

A Native American actor of the Creek Nation, Sampson's "big break" came from his memorable role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest opposite Jack Nicholson. He was also starred opposite Clint Eastwood in the western The Outlaw Josey Wales.

3. Jay Silverheels

Actor | The Lone Ranger

Jay Silverheels was born on Canada's Six Nation's Reserve and was one of 10 children. He was a star lacrosse player and a boxer before he entered films as a stuntman in 1938. He worked in a number of films through the 1940s before gaining notice as the Osceola brother in a Humphrey Bogart film Key ...

(Mohawk) The original Renaissance Native American. Known for boxing his way to Madison Square Garden and his excellent command of sports, languages, and roles. The original Tonto during the golden age of Hollywood. Deserved to be a leading man not a side kick.

4. Russell Means

Actor | The Last of the Mohicans

Russell Means was born an Oglala/Lakota Sioux Indian. He was the first national director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in which role he became prominent during the 1973 standoff with the U.S. government at Wounded Knee. In 1987, he joined the U.S. Libertarian Party and announced his ...

Russell Means was born an Oglala/Lakota Sioux Indian. He was the first national director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in which role he became prominent during the 1973 standoff with the U.S. government at Wounded Knee. In 1987, he joined the U.S. Libertarian Party and announced his candidacy for the party's presidential nomination...

5. Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman

Actor | Dances with Wolves

Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman was born on August 17, 1936 in Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, Roberts County, South Dakota, USA. He was an actor, known for Dances with Wolves (1990), Hidalgo (2004) and Dharma & Greg (1997). He was married to Rosie. He died on December 13, 2007 in Los Angeles, ...

The Quintessential Spiritual Elder. A man of great spirit, music, and humility. A man of the people.

6. Chief Dan George

Actor | Little Big Man

Chief Dan George was born with the names Geswanouth Slahoot (which was anglicised as 'Dan Slaholt') to a tribal chief on Burrard Indian Reserve Nº. 3 in North Vancouver. His last name was changed to 'George' when he entered a mission boarding school at the age of 5, where the use of his native ...

Chief Dan George was born with the names Geswanouth Slahoot (which was anglicized as Dan Slaholt) to a tribal chief on Burrard Indian Reserve No. 3 in North Vancouver. His last name was changed to George when he entered a mission boarding school at the age of 5, where the use of his native language was discouraged and forbidden.

7. Jim Thorpe

Actor | Trailin' West

Renowned Native American athlete who excelled in the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm but was later stripped of his Olympic medals for having previously received monetary compensation for engaging in professional sport. He later showed up on movie screens as a bit player in westerns. He was ...

Another original Renaissance Native American Icon. Olympic Great, Baseball player, Football legend. Appeared in 69 movies during his lifetime.

8. Wes Studi

Actor | The Last of the Mohicans

From small-town Oklahoma native to internationally acclaimed actor and musician, Wes Studi credits his passion and multi-faceted background for his powerful character portrayals that forever changed a Hollywood stereotype. Within a few years of his arrival in Hollywood, Studi caught the attention ...

(Cherokee Nation) - Amazing depth. There is no Hollywood Native American film you do not see this actor in.

9. Benjamin Bratt

Actor | Miss Congeniality

The middle of five children, Bratt hails from a close-knit family. His mother, an indigenous Quechua Peruvian from Lima, moved to the U.S. at age 14. He grew up in San Francisco. He is known for his roles in the films Traffic (2000), Miss Congeniality (2000), and Despicable Me 2 (2013). He is ...

(Quechua Nation) - An Awesome and Emotional Actor. Known for his work with alternative beauty Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality"

10. Adam Beach

Actor | Flags of Our Fathers

Adam Beach was born in Ashern, Manitoba, the son of Sally and Dennis Beach, and was raised on the Dog Creek First Nations Reserve, with his two brothers. A troubled childhood saw his mother killed by a drunk driver, and his alcoholic father drowned only weeks afterward. The three brothers went to ...

Anishinabe (Saulteaux) Nation - He speaks well and from the heart. Great emotional depths. It is good to see someone with charisma and humility leading the charge for the First Nation's people on TV.

11. Graham Greene

Actor | The Green Mile

Graham Greene was born on June 22, 1952 in Six Nations Reserve, Ontario, Canada. He is known for his work on The Green Mile (1999), Wind River (2017) and Dances with Wolves (1990). He has been married to Hilary Blackmore since December 20, 1990.

(Oneida) born in Ohsweken on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. Nominated for Academy Award Best Supporting Actor for Dances with Wolves.

12. Branscombe Richmond

Actor | The Scorpion King

Highly recognizable Native American actor, stuntman and singer who is equally capable of portraying cold-hearted villains on the one hand and warm-hearted, open "good guys" on the other, as evidenced by his huge grin and hearty laugh.

The solidly built 6' 3" Richmond has regularly played the bad guy ...

(Aleutian Nation) - Often seen hanging next to Lorenzo Lamas in Renegade or Chuck Norris in the western Texas Ranger TV Series. This Bounty Hunter could have easily had his own TV Series as the Native Americans were the first Special Forces and teachers of tracking to the American Military.

13. Gil Birmingham

Actor | Wind River

Gil Birmingham is an American actor of Comanche ancestry, best known for his portrayal of Billy Black in the The Twilight Saga film series. Birmingham was born in San Antonio, Texas. His family moved frequently during his childhood, due to his father's career in the military. He learned to play the...

(Comanche Nation) - I'm glad they let the Twilight Character at least have a real Native dad. Good actor - extremely underrated.

14. Danny Trejo

Actor | Machete

Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for ...

(Yaqui Nation) - Amazingly busy yet underrated actor. Best part of a lot of movies. It's good when an actor doesn't look like an actor!

15. John Trudell

Actor | Smoke Signals

John Trudell was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to a Santee Sioux father and Mexican Indian mother. After a stint in the Navy (and Vietnam) from 1963 to 1969, he became involved with the American Indian Movement, becoming National Chairman in 1973. He held that position until 1979; it was then that his ...

(Lakota Nation) - A multiple talent as a poet, a leader, an activist, a warrior, singer and musician. Amazingly underrated, amazingly talented and his personal story is one of great value.

16. Steve Reevis

Actor | Fargo

Steve was born and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana. Son of Curley and Lila Reevis, he is the 4th of 6 siblings. He graduated from Flandreau High School and attended Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas where he received a degree in arts. After junior college, ...

Steve was born and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana. Son of Curley and Lila Reevis, he is the 4th of 6 siblings. He graduated from Flandreau High School and attended Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas where he received a degree in arts.

17. Rodney A. Grant

Actor | Dances with Wolves

Native American actor, Rodney Arnold Grant was born the 9th of March, 1959. After his biological parents abandoned him, his grandparents raised him from 6 months of age, up until 1982. Rodney has five adult children: three daughters from his ex-wife, all of which were raised by their mother, and ...

Native American actor, Rodney Arnold Grant was born the 9th of March, 1959. After his biological parents abandoned him, his grandparents raised him from 6 months of age, up until 1982. Rodney has three daughters, two of which reside with their mother.

18. Chaske Spencer

Actor | The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

Chaske (pronounced Chess-Kay) Spencer was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He lived through his childhood in Montana, Kooskia (pronounced Kooskie), Idaho, Lapwai and Lewiston Idaho. (Lapwai and Lewiston are 20 min apart) He has two younger sisters. His mom is a teacher at a local Alternative High ...

(Lakota Sioux tribe) and raised on Indian Reservations in Montana and Idaho.  Feature film SKINS, DREAMKEEPER, and Steven Spielberg’s INTO THE WEST. “Sam Uley” the alpha male leader of the werewolves, in the popular TWILIGHT SAGA film series NEW MOON, ECLIPSE, and BREAKING DAWN parts 1 and 2.

19. Alex Meraz

Actor | The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Alex Meraz was born on January 10, 1985 in Mesa, Arizona, USA as Alejandro Meraz. He is an actor and writer, known for The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) and Suicide Squad (2016). He has been married to Kim since December 31, 2007. They have two children.

(Tarascan Nation) - Multi-talented dancer, actor, and Twilight heart throb!

20. Alex Kruz

Actor | Gods Behaving Badly

Alex Kruz is an actor and producer, known for Gods Behaving Badly (2013), Golden Boy (2013) and The Good Wife (2009).

(Kañari Quichua & Mescalero Apache) Actor who has a similar personal story to John Trudell - Military veteran who lost his family and turned to art to cope. Endorsed by The Somaly Mam Foundation for his contributions towards rescue operations. First project he led "Red Cloud: Deliverance" about a Quechua Warrior Shaman won multiple awards on the Indie circuit. The Quechua are the largest population of Indigenous speakers at 11-14 million people.

21. Julia Jones

Actress | The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Julia Jones was born on January 23, 1981 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She is an actress, known for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), Westworld (2016) and Wind River (2017).

(Choctaw and Chickasaw) The Native American Hollywood leading lady.

22. Eddie Spears

Actor | DreamKeeper

Eddie Spears was born on November 29, 1982. He is an actor, known for DreamKeeper (2003), Bone Tomahawk (2015) and Into the West (2005).

(Lakota Nation) One of the Brothers. Great seeing them in action together.

23. Michael Spears

Actor | Into the West

Born in Chamberlain, South Dakota and resides in Montana he has five brothers, one sister and is Lakota Sioux Tribe. His first role was in the film "Dances With Wolves" as Otter. Michael went onto appear in "Skins", "Into The West", "Yellow Rock", guest role on "Longmire" and in Cyril Morin's "The ...

(Lakota Nation)

24. Raoul Max Trujillo

Actor | Riddick

Raoul Max Trujillo, aka Raoul Maximiano Trujillo de Chauvelon, was born in Northern New Mexico. He is a mixed blood descendant of Ute, Apache, Comanche, Pueblo, Tlascalan, French, Sephardic Jew and Andalusian Moor. After high school, he spent three years serving in the military in Germany. After ...

Apache & Ute Nations

25. Rudy Youngblood

Actor | Apocalypto

Rudy Youngblood is Native American of Comanche and Cree decent. Growing up, he never called one place home, but went to school and graduated in the small town of Belton,Texas. He is proud of his roots. Prior to making his on-screen debut in Mel Gibson's Oscar nominated film, "Apocalypto"(2006), ...

(Comanche, Cree & Yaqui Nations) Amazing in Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto"

26. Kimberly Guerrero

Actress | Blood & Oil

A native Oklahoman and graduate of UCLA, Kimberly enjoys a career in entertainment as an actor, writer and director and also works with tribal communities throughout North America as a public speaker and advocate promoting both personal and community development. Though she has several film and ...

Colville, Salish-Kootenai, & Cherokee Nations

27. Shauna Baker

Actress | Drunktown's Finest

Canadian born, Shauna Baker was raised by her Dené Grandmother on a reservation in northern Canada. Shauna was extensively involved in business before her entertainment career began. Despite her success in the corporate world, she instinctively knew she was not following her dreams. Shauna started ...

Carrier Dene Nation

28. Michelle Latimer

Director | The Underground

Michelle Latimer is an Algonquin/Métis filmmaker, actress and curator. She graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre performance from Montréal's Concordia University in 1997. Her 2014 short The Underground screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, won the best short film ...

Metis Nation

29. Kaniehtiio Horn

Actress | Journey to the Center of the Earth

Kaniehtiio Horn is a Mohawk actress. She was born in Ottawa, but grew up on the Kahnawake reserve in Quebec. In only her 8th outing as an actress she was nominated for a Gemini Award for her role in the television film Moccasin Flats: Redemption. Her mother, Kahn-Tineta Horn, is a former model and ...

Mohawk Nation

30. Q'orianka Kilcher

Actress | The New World

At fourteen years old, Q'orianka Kilcher emerged into the front ranks of young actresses with her portrayal of Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in Terrence Malick's 'The New World', an epic about the encounter between English and North American societies in the early 1600s. Her ...

Quechua & Huachipaeri Nations

31. Tahmoh Penikett

Actor | Battlestar Galactica

He is the son of former Yukon premier Anthony David John Penikett (Tony). A graduate of the Victoria Motion picture school, Tahmoh also studied at the Lyric School of Acting in Vancouver. Tahmoh and his family (his father, and his twin sisters Sarah and Stephanie) make their home in Vancouver, ...

Upper Tanana Nation

32. August Schellenberg

Actor | Black Robe

August Schellenberg was born on July 25, 1936 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as August Werner Schellenberg. He was an actor and director, known for Black Robe (1991), The New World (2005) and Free Willy (1993). He was married to Joan Karasevich. He died on August 15, 2013 in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Seneca Nation

33. Jay Tavare

Actor | Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Jay Tavare describes himself best when he says he is a storyteller and a citizen of the world.

Jay's acting performances in several Oscar winning films--with some of our era's most talented and acclaimed directors and actors--are the natural outcome of his eclectic life experiences and the direct ...

White Mountain Apache & Navajo Nations

34. Noah Watts

Actor | Assassin's Creed III

Noah Watts is an actor and composer, known for Assassin's Creed III (2012), Assassin's Creed III: The Tyranny of King Washington (2013) and Ringer (2011).

Crow Nation

35. Karina Lombard

Actress | Legends of the Fall

Karina Lombard is an actor, screenwriter and director. She was born in Tahiti, the youngest of five children, and raised and educated in Spain, Switzerland and Peru. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, French and German. She resides in Venice, California.

She is known for roles in such films...

Lakota Nation

36. Roseanne Supernault

Actress | Blackstone

Roseanne Supernault is an Actress originally from East Prairie Metis Settlement, Canada. Born in northern Alberta to a Politician Father and Artist Mother, her eclectic upbringing included classical training in art, theatre, and dance; practicing and sustaining her cultural hunting & land rights as...

Cree & Metis Nations

37. Rachelle White Wind Arbez

Actress | XIII: The Movie

Rachelle White Wind Arbez is an actress, known for XIII: The Conspiracy (2008), Elijah (2007) and Liar (2012).

Anishinabe (Ojibway) & Cree Nations

38. Kyle Nobess

Actor | Curse of Chucky

Kyle Nobess was born and raised in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada. A credited Film Actor and Screen Play Writer. He began his film and television training in 2005, attending local film schools throughout the city. Kyle has had various types of exposure to television, From supporting roles to becoming one...

Metis Nation

39. Wesley French

Actor | Outlander

Wesley French was born on Good Friday April 13th, 1979 in London, Ontario, Canada. He is a member of the Chippewas of the Thames 1st Nation reservation in Southwestern Ontario. He is an actor known for Cashing In (2009-2014), Skinwalkers (2006) and In Einem Wilden Land (Wild Land) (2013). He ...

Anishinabe (Chippewa) Nation

40. Elizabeth Frances

Actress | Love

Acclaimed for her grace and charisma both on screen and off, actress Elizabeth Frances, is best known for her countless on camera roles such as troubled girlfriend Angela Maryboy in Drunktown's Finest, produced by Robert Redford which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, rock star Bad Penny in the ...

Cherokee Nation

41. Will Finley

Actor | The Bold and the Beautiful

Will Finley is an actor, known for The Bold and the Beautiful (1987), NCIS (2003) and JAG (1995).

Cherokee Nation

42. Ryan Cunningham

Dracula 2000

Ryan Cunningham is known for his work on Dracula 2000 (2000), They Call Me Sirr (2001) and Blackstone (2009).

Metis Nation

43. Marisa Quintanilla

Actress | The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

A dedicated performer, visual artist, & creative producer, Marisa is best known for her role as "Huilen" - a pivotal character in the Box Office hit Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.

She is a graduate of the esteemed Brown University, and as part of her Ivy League undergraduate experience she had...

44. Chief John Big Tree

Actor | She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

Chief John Big Tree was born on June 2, 1877 in Buffalo, New York, USA as Isaac Johnny John. He was an actor, known for She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Avenging Arrow (1921) and Wheels of Destiny (1934). He died on July 6, 1967 in Onondaga Indian Reservation, New York.

45. Iron Eyes Cody

Actor | Indian Agent

Iron Eyes Cody was born Espera or "Oscar" DeCorti, the son of two first-generation immigrants from Italy. In 1924 he moved to California, changed his name from "DeCorti" to "Corti" to Cody, and started working as an actor, presenting himself as a Native American. He married an Indian woman, Bertha ...

46. Cree Summer

Actress | Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Cree Summer was born on July 7, 1969 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Cree Summer Francks. She is known for her work on Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000) and Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016). She is married to Angelo Pullens. They have two children.

47. Charles Stevens

Actor | The Three Musketeers

Charles Stevens was born on May 26, 1893 in Solomonsville, Arizona, USA as Carlos Stevens. He was an actor, known for The Three Musketeers (1921), Call of the Wild (1935) and Across the Pacific (1926). He was married to Lila Ethel Berry. He died on August 22, 1964 in Hollywood, California, USA.

(Apache) Grandson of Geronimo. Sadly buried in an unmarked grave in Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood

48. Chief Yowlachie

Actor | Red River

A member of the Yakima tribe in Washington state, Chief Yowlachie (whose real name was Daniel Simmons) began his show-business career as--believe it or not--an opera singer and spent many years in that profession. In the 1920s he switched to films, and over the next 25 or so years played everything...

49. Chief Thundercloud

Actor | Rustlers of Red Dog

Victor Daniels was given the title of "Chief" in an honorary capacity and identified himself as Cherokee although is background is vague. His application for a social security number lists his birth date as April 12, 1899, and his birthplace as Arizona. Thundercloud was the first of nine children ...



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