I didn’t know this. How funny is this? I was watching a repeat of the Sapranos where the characters on the show were fighting with an native American (Indian) group of protesters, and the Italians told the Indians that Iron Eyes Cody was an Italian.
I had no idea, but I remember seeing Cody on those pollution commercials in the seventies, and my Italian father used to say ” I don’t care what them Indians say, That guy is an Italian.”
He would say this all the time, and get in huge arguments with friends and family over it. It turns out he was right. I guess this was already public knowledge, but I had never heard it.
Cody was an American actor. He was recognized for portraying Native Americans in Hollywood films. Near the end of his life, his Sicilian ancestry was made public. In 1995 he was honored by the Native American community for his portrayals.
Cody was born as Espera Oscar de Corti in Kaplan, Louisiana, a son of Antonio de Corti and his wife, Francesca Salpietra, immigrants from Sicily. They had a local grocery store in Gueydan, Louisiana, where he was raised. In some of his earliest acting credits, Cody was listed as Tony de Corti. He later changed his name to Tony Cody, falsely claiming to be of Cherokee and Cree descent.