I was busy last week and failed to notice that Harry Carey, Jr. had died on December 27. He was 91 and had lived a long, full life.
Henry George “Dobe” Carey, Jr. (May 16, 1921 – December 27, 2012) appeared in over 90 films as well as numerous television series. Born in Saugus, California, he was the son of respected actor Harry Carey (1878–1947) and actress Olive Carey (1896–1988). As a boy, he was nicknamed “Dobe”, short for adobe, because of the color of his hair. He served with the United States Navy during World War II.
One of my pet peeves, as you may know, is Hollywood being such a nepotiz-town. There are way too many sons, daughters, nieces and nephews in the business, if you ask me. If they weeded out all the Ben Stillers and Drew Barrymores out there…well, I’ll end this rant now before I really get going. Sorry. But clearly Harry Carey, Jr. was an actor who owed his career to his father whose famous friends like John Ford were willing to insert his son into their movies. In this case, however, Junior seemed satisfied with being a character in the background. He excelled as a character actor in such movies as Rio Grande, where he was priceless teamed with Ben Johnson. When he did get a part with featured billing, he rose to the occasion, as in 3 Godfathers, where he played the guileless Abilene Kid admirably. He is also excellent in The Searchers as the clueless young man who elicits the wrath of Ethan Edwards.
Carey made eleven films with John Wayne and at least nine with John Ford– awesome career accomplishments in themselves! He also played ranch counselor Bill Burnett in the popular Disney serial Spin and Marty and an assortment of grizzled types in his later career which lasted through the 1990s.
I did not get a chance to watch 3 Godfathers over the holidays, so I think I will watch it now in honor of Harry Carey, Jr. Vaya con Dios, amigo!
I have to add that for years we have kidded my husband about being Harry Carey, Jr’s doppelganger (see top picture). But, oh my, what does the future hold?