Played Native Americans in films, on TV
Canadian actor Gordon Too-toosis, who frequently played Native Americans on the big and smallscreen, most notably in 1995 Western “Legends of the Fall,” died Tuesday of pneumonia in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. He was 69.
In Edward Zwick’s stylish epic “Legends of the Fall,” the actor portrayed narrator One Stab, the Cree who watches over Anthony Hopkins’ three sons in the pic.
Tootoosis had supporting roles in Bruce Beresford’s 1992 film “Black Robe” and in John Frankenheimer’s 2000 thriller “Reindeer Games,” starring Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron.
On television, he had roles in HBO’s 2007 adaptation of Dee Brown’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and CBS’ 1993 telepic adaptation of Jack London’s “Call of the Wild”; he also guested on “MacGyver,” “Northern Exposure” and “The X-Files,” and more recently recurred on “Smallville.”
Of Cree and Stoney descent, Tootoosis was born in Poundmaker Reserve, Saskatchewan. In the 1960s and ’70s, he toured with the Plains Intertribal Dance Troupe. He made his film debut in the 1974 Western “Alien Thunder,” starring Donald Sutherland.
On Canadian TV, he was a series regular on 1990s skein “North of 60,” which centered on the Aboriginal people of a fictional town in the Northwest Territories province.
More recently he recurred on the stop-motion animation skein “Wapos Bay,” about a family in northern Saskatchewan, and was a series regular on 2011’s “Blackstone.” He also appeared in the 2005 CBC biopic “Shania Twain: A Life in Eight Albums.”
Still to be released are the Syfy telepic “Doomsday Prophecy” and the bigscreen thriller “Guns, Girls and Gambling,” starring Gary Oldman. He has supporting roles in both.
Tootoosis was also a stage actor who sat on the board of directors of the Saskatchewan Native Theater Company.
He was the subject of a 2003 documentary, “Stage, Screen and Reserve: The Life and Times of Gordon Tootoosis.”
Tootoosis is survived by his wife, Irene Seseequasis; two daughters; two adopted sons; and several grandchildren.