Charles Stevens

Active - 1915 - 1961  |   Born - May 26, 1893   |   Died - Aug 22, 1964   |   Genres - Western, Action, Adventure, Drama

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A grandson of the legendary Apache chief Geronimo, Charles Stevens (often billed as Charles "Injun" Stevens because of his ethnic background) made his film bow as an extra in The Birth of a Nation (1915). The close friend and "mascot" of cinema idol Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Stevens appeared in all but one of Fairbanks' starring films, beginning with 1915's The Lamb. He was often seen in multiple roles, never more obviously than in Fairbanks' The Black Pirate (1926). His largest role during his Fairbanks years was Planchet in The Three Musketeers (1921) and its sequel The Iron Mask (1929). In talkies, Stevens was generally cast as a villain, usually an Indian, Mexican, or Arab. Outside of major roles in early sound efforts like The Big Trail and Tom Sawyer (both 1930), he could be found playing menacing tribal chiefs and bandits in serials and B-pictures, and seedy, drunken "redskin" stereotypes (invariably named Injun Joe or Injun Charlie or some such) in big-budget films like John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946). He was also much in demand as a technical adviser on Native American lore and customs. Charles Stevens remained active until 1956, 17 years after the death of his pal and mentor Doug Fairbanks.

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