Saginaw Grant: His Career Story From 'Breaking Bad' To 'The Lone Ranger'

Saginaw Grant began his career in a Chrysler commercial in the late 1980s. From there, he guest-starred in various TV series and had roles in a number of films.

He was known as a character actor and used his platform to promote the Native American culture, of which he was part.

Not only was he an actor but also the hereditary chief of the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, and he was well-known as a Pow Wow dancer.

Speaking to Associated Press, his publicist and friend Lani Carmichael said of his passing: "He loved both Oklahoma and L.A.

"He made his home here as an actor, but he never forgot his roots in Oklahoma. He remained a fan of the Sooner Nation.

"His motto in life was always respect one another and don't talk about one another in a negative way."

As fans mourn his death, we consider some of his most iconic roles and his career.

The Career of Saginaw Grant

Grant's first TV and film roles came later in his life, given he was born in Pawnee, Oklahoma on July 20, 1936.

Before beginning life as an actor, he served in the Korean War as a marine.

After appearing in a Chrysler commercial, his first film role was in 1988 movie War Party, which was centered around the hostility between Native and White Americans.

From here, he mainly appeared in TV for some time, taking on the role as store owner Augie in Western comedy drama Harts of the West, starring Beau Bridges and his father Lloyd Bridges.

He played a medicine man in Auf Wiedersehn, Pet, as well as having a guest role in Baywatch.

In the film world, in 1996 he played a Holy Man in Shane Meadows' directorial debut, Small Time, after which he appeared in Richard Attenborough's movie Grey Owl, opposite Pierce Brosnan, who played the title character.

He played various medicine and holy men throughout his career, such as in Legend of the Phantom Rider (2002), Sin City Saints (2015) and TV movie Purgatory (1999.)

However, he is best recognized for his roles in big series such as sitcom My Name Is Earl, in which he appeared as Dakota, and American Horror Stories.

Another of his more recognizable roles was in Breaking Bad, where he played a Native American man in one of the series' most dramatic episodes, Ozymandias.

In the film world, his most recognizable role is in Johnny Depp-movie The Lone Ranger, where he played Chief Big Bear, the leader of the Comanche.

His later roles included episodes of Zach Galiafinakis' Baskets and political comedy Veep, as well as playing himself in war documentary Journey to Royal.

On Grant's Facebook page, fans have shared an outpouring of tributes to the actor, with many posting comments on the announcement of his passing.

The announcement read: "It's with heavy hearts we announce a warrior has been called home.

"Saginaw Morgan Grant, the hereditary chief and medicine man of the Sac & Fox tribe, traveled the world speaking of his traditions, his experiences, his sobriety and his faith as both a Native American and a Christian.

"Saginaw loved this country and fought in Korea as a Marine. He bore the mark of this service as a proud reminder and had a deep love for bulldogs (the mascot for the US Marines).

"Saginaw was always happiest at pow wow sharing the love, energy and tradition of his people. Watching the children grow in the traditions of their ancestors and to share in the spirits of dance to the beat of the drum brought him both joy and peace.

"He enjoyed competing in dance and did so up until Covid temporarily halted gatherings. He came to acting later in life and felt enormous pride in sharing culture through movies and public speaking. He was a jewelry maker and artist."

Saginaw Grant
Saginaw Grant in October 2019 in San Diego. His publicist announced his death from natural causes on July 28, aged 85. Andrew Toth/Getty Images