Santa Barbara, CA – Harry Carey Jr. dies at age 91. The Western character actor was best known for his acting roles in 3 Godfathers and Wagon Master. Harry Carey Jr., whose lifelong nickname was Dobe, died Thursday of natural causes surrounded by family at a hospice facility in California.
According to Reuters and the Associated Press, Harry Carey Jr’s daughter, Melinda Carey, said his passing was a peaceful one:
“No cancer or nothing, he just got old. … He went out as gracefully as he came in.”
During World War II, Harry Carey Jr. served in the Navy and worked with the John Ford Stock Company on films for the Navy. Carey and fellow character Ben Johnson famously learned to stand simultaneously on two galloping horses — a trick known as roman riding — for the 1950 film Rio Grande starring John Wayne. All in all, he made 11 movie appearances with John Wayne.
Harry Carey Jr’s acting career spanned more than 50 years and included such John Ford classics as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, ‘The Searchers and The Long Gray Line. Later in life, he appeared in the movies Gremlins and Back to the Future Part III.
In 1994, Harry Carey Jr. published his memoir, Company of Heroes: My Life as an Actor in the John Ford Stock Company, and according to the Associated Press wrote fondly of his fellow actors:
“My journey has been that of a character actor. I’ve worked with the great and the not-so-great. But mostly I’ve worked with men and women who loved their profession, and who like me, had kids to raise and houses to pay for.”
In remembering Harry Carey Jr. after his death, do you recall him playing his western roles?