APRIL 6, 1946


James Y. Johnson, born April 1, 1876, in Washington, D.C., of Nanticoke heritage, served in the U.S. Navy during the Spanish-American War and later performed with the Barnum & Bailey Circus. In 1906, Johnson married Winnebago actress Lillian St. Cyr (Red Wing) and, by 1909, as James Young Deer, acted in 1-reel Westerns produced in New York City (NYC). In 1910, he directed for French studio Pathé Frères which sent him to Los Angeles to make Indian-themed films. Red Wing acted in many of his films. Young Deer soon ran the company’s West Coast Studio operations and acted in, wrote, or directed over 150 silent movies. In 1914, James worked briefly in London, shooting thrillers as Westerns had lost their popularity. In the 1930s, he worked low-budget B movies and serials. Young Deer died in NYC and was buried as James Young Johnson. In 2008, the Library of Congress added White Fawn’s Devotion, one of his few surviving pictures, to its National Film Registry.

  “James Young Deer,” IMDb.  Retrieved 8/23/2021, James Young Deer - Biography - IMDb
“’White Fawn’ and the lost history of James Young Deer,” The University of Manchester.  Retrieved 8/23/2021, ‘White Fawn’ and the lost history of James Young Deer (wordpress.com)
Photo: Henry Hyde, ed., 3/1910.  Public Domain.  Source: The Technical World Magazine, Volume 13, March, 1910 March, 1910. 

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