Harry Carey Sr.

Main Street (East Side)

Honored in 1987

Harry Carey (January 16, 1878 - September 21, 1947) was an American actor and one of silent film's earliest superstars. He was the father of Harry Carey Jr., who was also a prominent actor.

Carey is best remembered as one of the first stars of the Western film genre. One of his most popular roles was as the good-hearted outlaw Cheyenne Harry. The Cheyenne Harry franchise spanned three decades, from A Knight of the Range (1916) to Aces Wild (1936). Carey starred in director John Ford's first feature film, Straight Shooting (1918).

 

Carey's rugged frame and craggy features were well suited to westerns and outdoor adventures. When sound films arrived, Carey displayed an assured, gritty baritone voice that suited his rough-hewn screen personality. He was the logical choice for the title role in MGM's outdoor jungle epic Trader Horn. By this time Carey, already in his fifties, was too mature for most leading roles, and the only starring roles that he was offered were in low-budget westerns and serials. He soon settled into a comfortable career as a solid, memorable character actor; he received an Oscar nomination for his role as the President of the Senate in the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Among his other notable later roles were that of M/Sgt. Robert White, crew chief of the bomber "Mary Ann" in the 1943 Howard Hawks film Air Force and Mr. Melville, the cattle buyer, in Hawks's Red River. Carey made his Broadway stage debut in 1940, in Heavenly Express, with John Garfield.

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