Oscar-winning actor Wes
Studi was Number 19 on The New York Times 25 Greatest
Actors of the 21st Century (So Far) list.
NEW YORK Wes Studi (Cherokee) was named on Sunday to The
New York Times prestigious 25 Greatest Actors of the
21st Century (So Far) list.
Studi comes in at Number 19 on the list. The Times writes about
the award-winning actor:
Wes Studi has one of the screens most arresting faces
jutting and creased and anchored with the kind of penetrating
eyes that insist you match their gaze. Lesser directors like to
use his face as a blunt symbol of the Native American experience,
as a mask of nobility, of suffering, of pain thats unknowable
only because no one has asked the man wearing it. In the right movie,
though, Studi doesnt just play with a characters facade;
he peels its layers. A master of expressive opacity, he shows you
the mask and what lies beneath, both the thinking and the feeling.
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Studi, who grew up in Tahlequah, Okla., is known for his portrayal
of Native Americans in a way that forever shattered age-old stereotypes
in the movie industry. Breaking new ground, he brought fully developed
Native American characters to the screen, and then took it a step
further by highlighting the success of Native Americans in non-traditional
Throughout his 30-plus-year career hes won numerous awards,
including several First Americans in the Arts awards and the 2009
Santa Fe Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.
In October 2019, Studi became the first American Indian actor to
receive an Academy Honorary Award at the annual Governors Awards
in Los Angeles.
Id simply like to say, its about time,
Studi said upon receiving the Oscar. Its been a wild
and wonderful ride, and Im really proud to be here tonight
as the first Indigenous Native American to receive an Academy Award.
Its a humbling honour to receive an award for something I
love to do.
He became only the second Indigenous person ever to receive an
Oscar. Singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie shared an Oscar for
best original song for Up Where We Belong for 1982s
An Officer and a Gentleman.
In February 2018, Studi, a Vietnam vet, was invited to present
at the 90th Academy Awards, where he introduced a video montage
of military movies as a tribute to U.S. veterans. He is a passionate
advocate for American Indian issues and a leader in promoting and
preserving Indigenous languages.
Studis credits include 1990s Dances with Wolves,
1992s The Last of the Mohicans, 1993s Geronimo:
An American Legend, 2005s The New World,
2009s Avatar and 2017s Hostiles.