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Many actors played Indian roles ... but they weren't Native Americans.

Al Kikume (1894 - 1972) was born Elmer Kikume Gozier and bios on him have him born in Hawaii or Topeka, Kansas. His Hollywood career spanned about twenty five years, roughly 1933 to the mid 1950s.

Serial fans may recall him as 'Lothar', the helper to Warren Hull in MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN (Columbia, 1939), and native 'Chief Lutembi' in JUNGLE GIRL (Republic, 1941).

Kikume's specialty was portraying Island chieftains and natives. He did portray an Indian (Native American) in KIT CARSON (Edward Small/United Artists, 1940) which starred Jon Hall, Dana Andrews, and Lynn Bari.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Al Kikume:

Kikume was the father of actor Bernie Gozier (1917 - 1979):

Find A Grave website notes that Al Kikume was cremated:

March 17, 1938 Honolulu Star-Bulletin has a photo of Dorothy Lamour and Al Kikume in THE HURRICANE (Samuel Goldwyn/United Artists, 1937). Male lead was Jon Hall and directed by John Ford:


Joe De La Cruz (1892 - 1961) specialized in playing natives, Indians and Mexicans in a movie career that spanned twenty+ years, from about 1920 - 1942. His death certificate and the 1940 census note that Joe was born in Mexico.

Joe has one of his few credited roles in the William Wyler directed HELL'S HEROES (Universal, 1929) which was re-made several times including John Wayne's THREE GODFATHERS. Joe is a gang member, and after staging a robbery, baddies Charles Bickford, Fred Kohler Sr., Raymond Hatton and De La Cruz gallop out of town. But Joe is shot off his horse and dies at about 14 minutes in to the film.

You can spot him as one of Francis McDonald's henchmen in Bob Steele's HIDDEN VALLEY (Monogram, 1932).

There's good close-ups of a near fifty year old De La Cruz in the saloon gunfight near the end of Chapter 1 of THE ADVENTURES OF RED RYDER (Republic, 1940). De La Cruz, as the "Apache Kid", gets shot by Don Barry.

(Courtesy of Bruce Hickey)

Joe De La Cruz, Charles 'Slim' Whitaker and Jack Perrin do battle in a lobby card from Perrin's CACTUS KID (Reliable, 1935). De La Cruz was credited as Slim Whitaker's henchman 'Cheyenne' and kills Fred Humes who plays Perrin's partner.

 There's more information and photos on Joe De La Cruz on the Old Corral.  Go back to the Old Corral homepage, and scroll down the left side menu to the Henchies/Henchmen section, and go to the page with De La Cruz ... or click HERE and that bio will open in a separate window / tab.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above L-to-R: William Boyd, George Hayes and Russell Hayden have Steve Clemento / Clemente (as 'Lone Eagle') under wraps in this crop from a lobby card from the Hopalong Cassidy adventure HILLS OF OLD WYOMING (Paramount, 1937).

Clemento (1882 - 1950) was born in Mexico, and was cast in silent and sound films as a native, Mexican or Indian. There are a few mentions in trade publications and newspapers that he was Native American, perhaps of Yaqui ancestry. While he did some movie roles, his claim to fame - and main source of income - was his prowess throwing knives, axes, etc. He used those skills in various films as well as touring with rodeos, circuses, etc.

He has a nice, lengthy role in the Technicolor short THE SUNDAY ROUND-UP (Warners, 1938) with Dick Foran. Foran plays a preacher who arranges a stage show to collect money for the poor and needy. Clemento is one of the acts and he gets to show off his knife and axe throwing skills (and his target is a very nervous Glenn Strange).

 There's more information and photos on Steve Clemento / Clemente on the Old Corral.  Go back to the Old Corral homepage, and scroll down the left side menu to the Henchies/Henchmen section, and go to the page with Clemento ... or click HERE and that bio will open in a separate window / tab.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Rick Vallin (1919 - 1977) was another familiar face in B films and 1950s western TV shows and he did a variety of ethnic roles.

In the photo left, Vallin (as 'Little Bear') gives assistance to Dennis Moore in the chapterplay, PERILS OF THE WILDERNESS (Columbia, 1956).

You can see more of Rick Vallin in the photos and lobby cards from KING OF THE STALLIONS.

Robert 'Bobby' Blake was 'Little Beaver' to both Bill Elliott and Allan Lane in their 1940s Red Ryder westerns at Republic Pictures.  Shown with Blake is Alice Fleming who played the Duchess in many of the Ryder films.

Blake, whose real name is Michael Gubitosi, was one of the 'Our Gang' kids at MGM and in later life, the star of the BARETTA TV detective show.  His best film role is that of murderer Perry Smith in IN COLD BLOOD (1967).

From left to right are Frankie Darro (as 'Jerry' / 'Little Brave Heart'), Gordon Elliott and Chief Thunder Cloud (Victor Daniels) in the fifteen episode serial THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK (Columbia, 1938).
(From Old Corral collection)

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

L-to-R in the foreground are Dick Botiller, Carlyle Moore, Jr., Iron Eyes Cody and Dick Foran.  There are several unidentifieds in the background.  However, the only Native American appears to be Artie Ortego, who is directly behind Foran's left shoulder.  Still from TREACHERY RIDES THE RANGE (Warners, 1936).

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