The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the “Dances with Wolves” and “The Last of the Mohicans” star will be inducted Saturday with the late-film noir actor, Robert Mitchum.
The Arroyo Hondo resident is also known for his roles as the Apache leader in “Geronimo: An American Legend” and Navajo detective Joe Leaphorn in the made-for-TV movies based on mysteries by the late New Mexican writer Tony Hillerman.
The only other American Indian in the Hall of Great Western Performers is Jay Silverheels, a Canadian Mohawk First Nations actor known for playing Tonto in the 1950s television series “The Lone Ranger.”
By Tom Sharpe
He returned to the Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma, attended college on the GI Bill, helped start a Cherokee newspaper and then ran his own horse ranch and became a professional horse trainer. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Studi turned to acting—live theater in Oklahoma, television and then his first feature film role in Powwow Highway, partly filmed in New Mexico.
A small roll in the ABC-TV movie Longarm brought him to Santa Fe in 1988, and a few years later, he and his wife, Maura Dhu Studi, a singer and actress whom he had met in Los Angeles, decided to make Santa Fe their home. They lived in town for the first two years, then moved to Arroyo Hondo. He said he no longer keeps horses, but many of his neighbors do.
“We’ve been here for 20 years,” Studi said. “The big reason is I like the area. I like the lack of humidity. My family lives in northeastern Oklahoma … and then my wife’s family lives in Los Angeles, and this is like halfway between the two. So it’s good logistics.”