Jay Silverheels (born Harold Preston Smith, May 26, 1912 – March 5, 1980) was a Mohawk Canadian actor and athlete. He was well known for his role as Tonto, the faithful Indian companion of the Lone Ranger in the long-running American western television series, The Lone Ranger.
Jay Silverheels was born Harold Preston Smith on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, near Hagersville, Ontario, Canada. He was a grandson of Mohawk Chief A.G. Smith and Mary Wedge, and one of the 11 children of Captain Alexander George Edwin Smith, MC, Cayuga, and his wife Mabel Phoebe Doxtater, also a Mohawk. His father was wounded and decorated for service at The Somme and Ypres during World War I, and later was an adjutant training Polish-American recruits for the Blue Army (Poland) for service in France, at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Jay Silverheels excelled in athletics and lacrosse before leaving home to travel around North America. In the 1930s, he played indoor lacrosse as Harry Smith with the "Iroquois" of Rochester, New York in the North American Amateur Lacrosse Association. He lived for a time in Buffalo, New York, and in 1938 placed second in the Middleweight class of the Golden Gloves tournament. Silverheels was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a veteran player in 1997.