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 Chief Thunderbird

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Chief Thunderbird

Original Name Richard Davis
Birth
Montana, USA
Death 6 Apr 1946 (aged 79)
Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Eventide, Lot 2221
Memorial ID 11461 View Source
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Actor. Born the son of Pawnee Man of the Cheyenne people at Sand Creek, Colorado. According to his school records he entered the Carlilsle Indian School at age twelve in 1879, he left in 1882 but returned in 1886 remaining until 1891. He met and he married Nannie Aspenall, a Pawnee woman, while at school and had at least two daughters with her. He was placed in charge of the school dairy heard and the dairying until 1894, when he was appointed district farmer of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency. By 1910 he was also working as an interpreter in Oklahoma. He also appeared with the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show which toured seasonally. He began appearing in films in 1914 with an uncredited roll in the silent, 'The Perils of Pauline.' His first talkie, as well as his first credit, was a 12 part serial called 'Battling with Buffalo Bill' (1931) playing a character called Chief Thunder Bird. Other films, some where he was credited as Thunder Bird and some where he was credited as Chick Davis, followed and included 'Laughing Boy' (1934), 'Cyclones of the Saddle' (1935), 'Annie Oakley' (1935), 'Custer's Last Stand' (1936), and 'Wild West Days' (1937). His last role, in the feature 'The Falcon Out West' (1944), was uncredited. After his death two years later, the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles received a donation of much of the regalia he wore in films from his widow. In 2015 the Cheyenne eagle-feather headdress he was often shown wearing, was donated to The Museum of Western Film History. During his life, he was known variously as Richard Davis, Chick Davis, Thunder Bird, and Chief Thunderbird.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 7 Aug 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11461
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/11461/chief-thunderbird : accessed ), memorial page for Chief Thunderbird (6 Aug 1866–6 Apr 1946), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11461, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .