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Iron Eyes Cody

Joseph William 'Joe' Cody

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Roy Rogers and Iron Eyes Cody, real name: Espera Oscar DeCorti.

And the answer is "Yes" ... am aware of the controversy over Iron Eyes Cody and his Native American heritage (or lack thereof).  You'll find some links below which detail the issue of Cody being of Italian heritage, not Native American, and that he was born in Louisiana.

The question: if Cody was not Native American, why is he included in this section of the Old Corral?  Answer: many readers identify Cody as one of the more important and recognized "cinema Indians" ... because of the quantity of film roles, his real life activities and presence, and his "tear-rolling-down-the-cheek" Keep America Beautiful public service ad.  Ye Old Corral webmaster also had a inkling that if I left Iron Eyes out of this section, readers would ask why he wasn't included.

After his parents divorced, Iron Eye's father Antonio DeCorti lived in Texas and changed his name to Tony Corti. Iron Eyes, Joe, and another brother named Frank, joined their father in Texas. The brothers wound up in Hollywood ... with their last name changed to Cody.

There is no info on Cody at the California Death Records database.  There is a record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI): Iron E Cody, born 3 April 1904, and he passed away 4 January 1999.

Iron Eyes received a Golden Boot award at the 1984 ceremony.

The Keep America Beautiful organization has an Iron Eyes Cody Award which honors outstanding volunteers for exceptional leadership in raising public awareness about litter prevention, roadside and community beautification, solid waste issues, and the need for citizens to participate in activities that preserve and enhance natural resources and public lands.

Info on the 1971 Keep America Beautiful public service announcement with a tear on Cody's cheek is available at the Keep America Beautiful and Ad Council websites:

Here's the "Iron Eyes Cody with a Tear" print ad (in Adobe Acrobat pdf file format):

There's an Iron Eyes Cody website at:

An article about Cody's passing is at:

Articles about Iron Eyes Cody and the controversy regarding his Native American lineage:

1970 - Keep America Beautiful television ads with Iron Eyes Cody shedding a tear (one minute length):
Iron Eyes in a canoe:
Iron Eyes on horseback:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for Iron Eyes and his wife at Hollywood Forever, Hollywood, California. The marker shows his birth year as 1904:

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Iron Eyes Cody and his brother Joe:
Iron Eyes Cody:
J. W. 'Joe' Cody:

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are John Elliott, Bill Cody and Hank Bell looking over Iron Eyes Cody.  In the right background are Sheila Mannors and Andy Shuford.  From Cody's TEXAS PIONEERS (Monogram, 1932).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Jean Carmen, James Newill (as Renfrew of the Mounted), Milburn Stone, and Roy Barcroft in a scene from CRASHING THROUGH (Monogram, 1939).  On the stairs, and about to deliver a crushin' blow to Newill's noggin, is Iron Eyes Cody.  Jean Carmen's most remembered role was as the rider of the paint horse in the Republic serial, THE PAINTED STALLION (1937), in which she was billed as Julia Thayer.  In later life, Milburn Stone became 'Doc' on TV's long running GUNSMOKE.

Above is J. W. 'Joe' Cody, the brother of Iron Eyes Cody.  Blowup from the KING OF THE STALLIONS lobby cards.

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