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Iron Eyes Cody

Main Street (East Side)

Honored in 1985/86

Iron Eyes Cody (born Espera Oscar de Corti April 3, 1904 - January 4, 1999) was an American actor. He frequently portrayed American Indians in Hollywood films. In 1995, Cody was honored by the American Indian community for his work publicizing the plight of Native Americans, including his acting in films. In 1996, his Italian ancestry was made public.


He appeared in more than 200 films, including The Big Trail (1930), with John Wayne; The Scarlet Letter (1934), with Colleen Moore; Sitting Bull (1954), as Crazy Horse; The Light in the Forest (1958) as Cuyloga; "The Great Sioux Massacre" (1965), with Joseph Cotten; Nevada Smith (1966), with Steve McQueen; A Man Called Horse (1970), with Richard Harris; and Ernest Goes to Camp (1987), as Chief St. Cloud. In 1953, he appeared twice as Chief Big Cloud in Duncan Renaldo's television series, The Cisco Kid. He later guest starred on John Payne's NBC western series, The Restless Gun.


Cody became widely seen in his "crying Indian" role in the "Keep America Beautiful" Public Service Announcement (PSA) in the early 1970s. The environmental commercial showed Cody as an Indian, shedding a tear after people throw trash from a speeding car and it lands at his feet. The announcer, William Conrad, says: "People start pollution; people can stop it."

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