Throughout his long movie and television career, Cherokee actor “Iron Eyes” Cody became the all-time American Indian hero.
Known to a generation as the “Crying Indian” for his appearances as the symbol of the ‘Keep America Beautiful’ anti-litter television campaign in the 1970s, Iron Eyes Cody began his acting career in the 1920s, appearing in over 200 films, including Son of Paleface (1952), Sitting Bull (1954), The Great Sioux Massacre (1965), Nevada Smith (1966), A Man Called Horse (1970) and Ernest Goes to Camp (1987).
Throughout his life, he campaigned to present screen Indians in a historically accurate fashion and was frequently used in Hollywood as a technical adviser regarding Native American matters.
He won respect for devoting much of his time and money to numerous Native American projects.
His biography said he had followed his Cherokee father Thomas Long Plume as a performer in circuses and Wild West shows before breaking into Hollywood.
A tabloid story broke in 1996, in which his half-sister revealed that Iron Eyes Cody was in fact born Espera Oscar DiCorti in Louisiana in 1904 to Italian parents.
The old Hollywood actor was heartbroken and denied the claim.
Cody died of natural causes on 4 January 1999 at his home in Los Angeles, aged 94.