Jay Silverheels Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Wife

Jay Silverheels Net Worth

Jay Silverheels had an estimated net worth of $3 million at death. Jay Silverheels was an American-Canadian athlete and actor. He is best known for his role as ‘Tonto’ in the television series ‘The Lone Ranger.’ Because Silverheels was born into a Native American family, he excelled in his portrayal of ‘Tonto,’ who was also a Native American. Jay earned the majority of his income from movies and TV shows.

Silverheels spent his childhood in poverty. He excelled at athletics, boxing, and lacrosse. Silverheels was spotted by Joe E. Brown, an American actor, while playing lacrosse. He advised Silverheels to show up for the screen test. This marked the start of his film and television career. He was a stuntman who appeared in several films. It was his role as ‘Tonto’ that made him famous.

Following this series, Silverheels landed more prominent roles in films such as ‘The Cowboy and the Indians,’ ‘Broken Arrow,’ and ‘Brave Warrior.’ Silverheels continued to perform despite his dissatisfaction with being typecast in Native American roles. In the film sequels ‘The Lone Ranger’ and ‘The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold,’ he played ‘Tonto.’

He was a big fan of Native American actors. Silverheels had a stroke in his final days and died as a result of the complications. Silverheels is honored with a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame.’ He was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s ‘Hall of Great Western Performers.’

To calculate Jay Silverheels’s net worth, add up all of his assets and subtract his debts, also known as liabilities.

Jay Silverheels’s assets include everything he owns, such as the amount of money in his checking or savings account, real estate equity, savings and investment plans, and items with a clear market value (car, jewelry, clothes, art, etc.).

All outstanding debts, including the remaining balance on his home, car, business or personal loan, credit card debt, back taxes, and anything else he still owes, are included in his liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Jay Silverheels
Net Worth: $1.5 Million
Monthly Salary: $10 Thousand+
Annual Income: $100 Thousand+
Source of Wealth: Actor and Athlete

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Early Life

On May 26, 1912, in Six Nations of the Grand River, near Ontario, Canada, Jay Silverheels was born Harold Jay Smith. He was from the Mohawk tribe, an indigenous American tribe. His father was Captain Alexander George Edwin Smith, and his mother was Mabel Phoebe Doxtater. His grandfather was a chief of the Mohawk tribe. Silverheels was one of his parents’ eleven children.

Silverheels had a difficult upbringing. He turned to athletics and sports to help him get out of poverty. He was a skilled lacrosse player as well as a boxer. Silverheels competed in several boxing ‘Golden Gloves’ competitions.


Jay Silverheels was discovered by actor Joe E. Brown while playing lacrosse in Los Angeles in 1937. Brown invited him to a screen test after being impressed by his athletic body. This is how he got his start in show business. Silverheels began his acting career as a stuntman and extra. During his early career, he was known as Harold Smith or Harry Smith.

Silverheels appeared in several films in the 1940s, including ‘The Sea Hawk,’ ‘This Woman Is Mine,’ and ‘Perils of Nyoka.’ In 1943, he played a ‘Astari warrior’ in the television series ‘The Phantom.’ Silverheels played ‘John Osceola’ in the 1948 crime film ‘Key Largo.’ The film’s lead actor was Humphrey Bogart. During the same year, he appeared in several films, including ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,’ ‘Fury at Furnace Creek,’ and ‘Family Honeymoon.’

Jay Silverheels landed the most important role of his career in 1949. He was cast in ‘The Lone Ranger,’ an American western drama series. Clayton Moore portrayed the title character, ‘The Lone Ranger.’ ‘Tonto,’ the Indian companion of the ‘Lone Ranger,’ was played by Silverheels.

It was one of the most popular series to air on the ‘ABC’ network, and it ran for 5 seasons. The story revolved around a lone survivor of a massacre. He traveled with a trusted companion to help those who are victims of goons.

Following the success of ‘The Lone Ranger,’ Jay Silverheels was approached for similar roles. He was frequently stereotyped as a Native American. He played ‘Lakohna’ in the 1949 film ‘The Cowboy and the Indians.’ In 1960, he played a Native American in the episode ‘Leap of Life’ of the television series ‘Rescue 8.’

Silverheels also played ‘Tonto’ in several films. He appeared in the film ‘The Legend of the Lone Ranger’ in 1952. Silverheels played ‘Tonto’ in the 1956 film ‘The Lone Ranger.’ He played the same character again in the 1958 film ‘The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold.’ Silverheels also appeared in ‘Alias Jesse James’ and ‘The Phynx.’ His name had come to be associated with the character.

Silverheels also played the Native American character ‘Geronimo.’ He played ‘Geronimo’ in several films, including ‘Broken Arrow,’ ‘The Battle of Apache Pass,’ and ‘Walk the Proud Land.’ Silverheels appeared in a few episodes of the American action-adventure series ‘Daniel Boone’ in 1964 and 1965.

Jay Silverheels appeared on the comedy sketch show ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson’ in 1969. He appeared in the show as ‘Tonto,’ without the ‘Lone Ranger.’ Silverheels was never shy about making fun of himself. He was an outspoken supporter of the ‘Indian Actors Workshop,’ where Indian actors learned to hone their craft.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Personal Life & Wives

Jay Silverheels had two marriages. He was previously married to Bobbie. The couple is parents to a child. In 1943, they divorced. Silverheels married Mary Diroma in 1946. They have four kids.


Silverheels had a stroke in 1976. On March 5, 1980, he died as a result of complications from the stroke. He was cremated at the ‘Chapel of the Pines Crematory,’ and his ashes were returned to the Six Nations Reservation.

Jay Silverheels was inducted into the ‘Hall of Great Western Performers’ at Oklahoma City’s National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1993. He also received a star on the ‘Hollywood Walk of Fame.’

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