Author. Actor. Born Ota Kte, son of Standing Bear, an hereditary chief of the Lakota. Until the age of about ten, he lived a traditional life on the plains. At about age eleven in 1879, his father enrolled him in the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Once there, he was compelled to choose a name from a list on the wall. He randomly pointed at the symbols on a wall and named himself Luther. His father's name became his surname. In 1884, following his final term at Carlisle, Standing Bear moved home to the Rosebud Reservation where he was hired as an assistant at the reservation's school. In 1891 took charge of a reservation day school at Allen, South Dakota in the neighboring Pine Ridge Reservation. In 1902 he joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West show and toured in Britain for a year. His 1903 season, however, was cut short by a train accident that killed several of the troupe, Standing Bear was himself badly injured. In 1905 he inherited his father's chieftanship. By 1912 he had moved to California, where he worked for Tom Ince Studios and made his screen debut in ‘Ramona' in 1916. He appeared in a dozen films including ‘The Santa Fe Trail' in 1930, ‘Texas Pioneers' in 1932, ‘Circle of Death' and ‘Cyclone of the Saddle' in 1935. He was elected president of the Indian Actors' Association. He is probably better remembered, however, for four books he wrote about the Sioux; ‘My People, the Sioux' published in 1928, ‘My Indian Boyhood' in 1931, ‘Land of the Spotted Eagle' in 1933, and ‘Stories of the Sioux' in 1934. He was a member of the League for Justice to the American Indian and toured on the lecture circuit as an advocate for Indian rights. He died in Huntington, California, during the filming of the movie ‘Union Pacific.'
Bio by: Iola