Joe Leaphorn is not his old self but Tony Hillerman is happy with ‘Skinwalkers’

veteran native american actor Wes Studi

The Navajo police lieutenant from 14 Tony Hillerman novels has been altered for television. But his creator is pleased with what he sees.

Wes Studi, who plays Leaphorn in “Skinwalkers” as the new PBS Mystery  season gets under way Sunday (9 p.m. EST), must share credit for the novelist’s pleasure with director Chris Eyre and writer Jamie Redford, son of Robert Redford (who’s the executive producer).

Instead of the wise, patient and culturally sensitive sleuth of literature, the Leaphorn of the first U.S.set episode of the previously all-British Mystery series is redrawn as a grouchy urban cop who has lost touch with his Navajo roots and returns to the reservation with his ailing wife. Joe Leaphorn is not his old self but Tony Hillerman is happy with ‘Skinwalkers’ »»

TV Review: 1st segment of Comanche Moon mini-series

Comanche Moon DVD Cover

Filmmakers take note; if you’re looking for an actor to hold up your
Western, call Steve Zahn. With that out of the way, the long awaited
prequel to the popular Lonesome Dove books-turned-mini-series debuted on
CBS on Sunday, January 13.

After eighteen years, the Pulitzer Prize winning mind of Larry McMurtry comes to life again in Comanche Moon, a powerful pre-Civil War journey across the Western frontier with the younger versions of Texas Rangers Gus McCrae (Steve Zahn) and Woodrow Call (Karl Urban) as they search for horse thieves (which includes Adam Beach) and a vicious
Mexican bandit (Sal Lopez) while doggedly hunting for legendary Comanche
war chief Buffalo Hump (Wes Studi).

It’s this three-story search that pushes Comanche Moon forward across its three night run. TV Review: 1st segment of Comanche Moon mini-series »»

Wes Studi, Cherokee actor

Wes Studi, native american actor

Wesley Studie was born December 17, 1947, at Norfire Hollow, Oklahoma,near Tahlequah. He was the eldest of four sons of Andy Studie, a ranch hand, and Maggie Nofire. Wesley is a full blood Cherokee.

He later dropped the “e” from his last name when he began his acting career and shortened his first name to Wes. Wes Studi did not become an actor until he was 40 years old.

Wes Studi, as he is known in Hollywood, spoke only the Cherokee language until he was five years old, when he was sent to Chilocco Indian Boarding School in Northern Oklahoma, where he remained until high school graduation. Unlike many young victims of the boarding schools, he did not forget his language. Wes Studi, Cherokee actor »»