Native American actors have been in the film industry for many years. Over time, they have left impressive roles in the hearts of fans. In addition, they also excellently won major awards such as the Oscars, and Golden Globes,… Here are the 15 most famous native American actors. Who are they and what movies have they been in?
15 Most Famous Native American Actors
Famous Native American Actors: Male
Adam Beach is one of the Famous Native American Actors. He won the Oscar for best actor in 1995 for the movie “Smoke Signals”. He was a strong supporter of Native Americans having a voice in society. Some people may have seen him as Ira Hayes in Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers,” but Chris Eyre’s “Smoke Signals” is the film where he became famous and where he is best known.
Wes Studi is a Native American actor and film producer. He has won numerous acclaim and awards throughout his career, notably his portrayal of a Native American in the Scott Cooper film Hostiles. He is one of the most Famous Native American Actors of the 21st century. He has left in the hearts of the audience many excellent roles. Therefore, he has been awarded many awards, in which the most special award being the “Academy Honorary Award”.
One of the Famous Native American Actors cannot fail to mention is Gil Birmingham. He is a Comanche-American actor. Gil Birmingham rose to fame as Billy Black in the 2008 series The Twilight Saga. He later became known for his stellar roles in television series such as George Hunter in Banshee and Virgil White in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He won the Oscar for best supporting actor for playing a father in Wind River, which was directed by Taylor Sheridan.
Taika Waititi is one of the 100 most influential people in the world today. He is a famous Native American actor. He has also won a lot of awards, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Grammy Award. He has also been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards. He and his wife, Chelsea Winstanley, also made history as the first native to be nominated as a director for best comedy.
Forrest Goodluck is one of the famous Native American actors. He is best known for his roles as Hawk, Hugh Glass’s son, in the 2015 movie The Revenant, and as Adam Red Eagle, a supporting character, in Cameron Post’s The Miseducation. In 2016, he won a Young Artist Award for his role in The Revenant as the best supporting actor. In addition, he also appeared in many other famous short films such as Ink, Blood Quantum, Indian Horse, etc.
Floyd Westerman is a Native American from the Sioux tribe. He was born on the South Dakota Lake Traverse Indian Reservation. He is a famous Native American actor who has played older Native Americans on TV.
His acting career started in 1989. Renegades was his first movie role. After that, Westerman was in a lot of other movies, like Dances with Wolves (1990), The Doors (1991), and Tillamook Treasure (2006). He is a multi-talented artist who not only acts but also sings and writes country music.
Youngblood is a Native American and Latino talent. He is one of the current famous native American actors. In 2006, Mel Gibson chose him to play the main character, Jaguar Paw, in the epic movie Apocalypto. And for that role, he won an Oscar for best actor performance.
He has also played many other great characters in well-known movies, such as Warrior Protector in Spirit: The Seventh Fire, Brandon Becker in Beatdown, and most recently, Phoenix in Dandelion Season.
One of the famous Native American actors that should be known is Zahn McClarnon. He is one of the most popular native actors today.
He has been in a huge number of movies and TV shows. McClarnon has also been in a lot of movies, like 2009’s “Repo Chick,” 2015’s “Bone Tomahawk,” 2018’s “Doctor Sleep,” 2019’s “Hell on the Border,” and 2021’s “The Forever Purge.” In 2022, he also returns with a role in the movie Westworld.
Famous Native American Actors: Female
Irene Bedard was born in Anchorage, Alaska. She has ancestors from the Inupiat, Métis, Yupik, and Cree tribes, among others. She is one of the famous Native American actors.
Her acting career began in 1990. In the 1994 TV show Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, she played Mary Crow Dog. For this role, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. She has also won a lot of awards for her acting, and the list of movies in which she has appeared is quite long. Some of the typical movies she has been in are The Outer Limits (2001), Into the West (2005), and Spectacular Spider-Man (2008).
Q’orianka Kilcher is a famous actress of the 21st century. She is also one of the famous Native American actors. She is best known for playing Pocahantas in The New World by Terrence Malick. She won the NBR Award for Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress because of that role. Kilcher is the fourth Native American actress to win the “best actress” award.
Some of the roles and films she has acted in are the role of Princess Ka’iulani in the movie of the same name, the role of Alexa in the movie The Power of Few, and most recently the role of Niki in the movie Dog.
Rosario Dawson is one of the famous Native American actors that deserves a mention on this list. She is a brilliant actress and has won an Oscar for best-supporting actress. She is best known for playing Mimi Marquez in the film Rent, which was directed by Chris Columbus. In addition to acting, she has also taken on many roles in movies and TV shows such as voice actress, guest, host, etc.
MorningStar Angeline is a Navajo and Latina actress, director, and model. She is also one of the famous Native American actors. At the American Indian Film Festival in 2014, she won the award for best-supporting actress for her role in the movie Drunktown’s Finest. She has also been in a lot of dramas, like Yellowstone (2018), Mitzi Bearclaw’s Incredible Twenty-Fifth Year (2019), and the two most recent movies, Outer Range (2022) and Westworld (2022).
Here is a list of the 15 most famous native American actors and the roles that helped them win prestigious acting awards. Do you know of any other well-known actors who are Native American? Leave a comment below to tell us about them!