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Wes Studi stars in James Cameron's "Avatar" as Eytukan.

Wes Studi is a native Oklahoman, Vietnam veteran, sculptor, musician, author, activist, full-blooded Cherokee, and legendary actor. Best known for his roles in "Dances with Wolves," "The Last of the Mohicans" and "Heat," Studi discovered his true calling in life much later than most actors.

Born in Nofire Hollow, Oklahoma in 1946, Studi is the eldest son of a ranch hand. He spoke only the Cherokee language until he was five years old, when he was sent to Chilocco Indian Boarding School in Northern Oklahoma, where he remained until high school graduation. Unlike many young Native American boarding school students, he did not forget his native tongue.

Studi graduated high school and in 1967 was drafted into the Army, serving 18 months in South Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. At one point, his company was pinned down—and nearly killed—by friendly fire.

After an honorable military discharge, Studi became involved with Native American politics. He joined the American Indian Movement and participated in the Trail of Broken Treaties protest march in 1972, where hundreds of Native American activists marched on Washington, D.C. He was one of a group of protesters who briefly occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs Building. In 1973, Studi participated in the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, for which he was arrested and later released from jail on the condition that he would depart the state.

Shortly thereafter, Studi moved to the Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma. He enrolled at Tulsa Junior College on the G.I. Bill, where he helped start a Cherokee newspaper. During his college years, Studi began teaching the Cherokee language professionally. Later attending Tahlequah University, Studi continued his work to benefit the Cherokee Nation.

After college, Studi shifted his attention to running his own horse ranch and became a professional horse trainer. At the same time, he began acting at The American Indian Theatre Company in Tulsa. In 1988, he landed his first film role, in "Powwow Highway," and made his TV debut in a small role in the ABC TV-movie "Longarm."



In 1990, he landed the role of a Pawnee warrior in "Dances with Wolves." Two years later Studi was cast in the role he is most-famous for, as the vengeful Magua in Michael Mann's "The Last of the Mohicans."

Studi played the title character in Walter Hill's "Geronimo: An American Legend," alongside veteran actors Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall; Studi won a Western Heritage Award (shared with cast and crew). He also made memorable appearances in the film's "Heat" (as Al Pacino's partner), "Crazy Horse" and "Deep Rising." In 2002, Studi brought to life the legendary character Lt. Joe Leaphorn, for a series of PBS movies produced by Robert Redford, based on Tony Hillerman's books "Skinwalkers," "A Thief of Time" and "Coyote Waits."

In 2005, he portrayed a character inspired by the Powhatan warrior Opechancanough in the 2005 Academy Award-nominated film "The New World," directed by Terrence Malick. Studi's other film credits include: "500 Nations," "Big Guns Talk," "Broken Chains," "The Doors," "Highlander," "Ice Planet," "The Killing Jar," "Lone Justice 2," "Mystery Men," "Ned Blessings," "Seraphim Falls," and the acclaimed television films "Comanche Moon," "Streets of Laredo" and "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." His recent projects include "The Only Good Indian," which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, as well as the NBC  television series "Kings."

In addition to acting, Studi has many interests in which he is prolific including sculpture, tennis and jazz guitar. He is an internationally recognized expert in indigenous languages and has worked as a language consultant on several films. He is a stone carver working in soapstone and other soft stones, and author of two children's books, "The Adventures of Billy Bean" and "The Further Adventures of Billy Bean," both written for the Cherokee Bilingual/Cross Cultural Education Center. In 2006, Wes was honored with the Golden Boot Award.




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WES STUDI: FACTS

How tall is Wes Studi? How old is Wes Studi? Find out here.

Age: 66 years old
Birthday: December 17, 1947
Height: 6' 0"
Full Name / Real Name: Wesley Studie
Birthplace: Nofire Hollow, OK
Wife: Rebecca Graves
Maura Albertson





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