A veteran film and television actor who was one of those familiar faces even if many viewers didn’t know his name has died. The U.K.’s Daily Mail reports that August Schellenberg, known for a string of Native American roles including the mentor Randolph in three "Free Willy" movies, died Thursday at 77.
The Canadian-born Schellenberg died in Texas after a long battle with lung cancer.
"Born of Swiss-German and Mohawk descent, the actor leaves behind a legacy of playing Native American characters on both TV and film," the story reports. "He got his start at the National Theatre School of Canada, taking stage roles before soon transitioning to screen work."
He was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for his supporting role as Sitting Bull in the HBO miniseries "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." He also played Sitting Bull in the 1996 TBS production "Crazy Horse."
"He was also nominated for and won several Canadian screen awards, including a Genie for his performance in the much-praised period film ‘Black Robe’ and a Gemini Award for the TV movie ‘The Prodigal,’" the report notes.
He most recently appeared in a 2012 Canadian feature, "The Last Movie." He also appeared alongside Christian Bale and Colin Farrell in the 2005 release "The New World."
"He took great pride in his heritage and supported several charities, such as The American Indian College Fund and The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, in light of that," the Daily Mail reports. "He also gave acting seminars around North America, notably at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and York University, both based in Toronto."