100 Years Ago: Lillian St. Cyr, First Native Star in Hollywood Feature

Princess Red Wing (1884 - 1974) - Born a member of the Winnebago Nation, in Nebraska, she was also know as Lillian Red Wing St. Cyr and Winona Red Wing.

Entering films in 1908, Red Wing was the first Native American actress to become a noted star, via D.W. Griffith (he produced a series of Red Wing films in the 1910s). She also made films for the Bison, Vitagraph, Kalem, Selig, Kay-bee, Pathe and Paramount studios.

She appeared in numerous one and two-reelers with James Young Deer, her husband who also directed several of these films. She had a prominent role in Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw Man (Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Co.

In the Days of the Thundering Herd (Selig, 1914), starring Tom Mix; two versions of Ramona - (Biograph, 1910), starring Mary Pickford and (Clune, 1916), with Monroe Salisbury; and White Oak (Artcraft, 1921), starring William S. Hart.

After the silent era was over, Princess Red Wing retired from films to devote her energies to Indian affairs in Washington, DC.


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