Iron Eyes Cody Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 05, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Jun 23, 2022
Fact-checked by Pratiti Nath
Interesting facts about Iron Eyes Cody, his birthday, and net worth reveal that he began acting in the late '20s.
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Read time: 5.2 Min

About Iron Eyes Cody

Iron Eyes Cody was an American actor of Italian descent.

Iron's Eyes Cody was born Espera Oscar de Corti to two first-generation Italian immigrants in California. As a young man, he changed his name from DeCorti to Corti and then to Cody.

Iron Eyes Cody, a southern Louisiana native, is most known for his portrayals of Native Americans in Hollywood movies, most notably in Bob Hope's 1948 comedy 'The Paleface'. Cody also played a Native American in 'Keep America Beautiful', one of the most well-known TV public service commercials in the country.

Iron Eyes Cody married twice in his life, first to Bertha Parker and then to Wendy Foote. Cody died in his Los Angeles home on January 4, 1999, at the age of 94, from mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer. After his death, it was revealed that Cody was of Sicilian origin and was not of Native American descent.

Iron Eyes Cody Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Iron Eyes Cody’s net worth?

Iron Eyes Cody has an approximate net worth of $5 million.

How much did Iron Eyes Cody earn per year?

The annual income of Iron Eyes Cody was not known.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Iron Eyes Cody?

Iron Eyes Cody stood at a height of 6 ft (189 cm). He had black hair and dark brown eyes.

How old was Iron Eyes Cody?

Iron Eyes Cody was 94 years old when he died.

Childhood And Education

Espera Oscar de Corti, popularly known as Iron Eyes Cody, was born on April 3, 1904, in Kaplan, Vermilion Parish, south-western Louisiana. Cody was the second son of Francesca Salpietra and her husband, Antonio de Corti, from southern Italy.

Iron Eyes Cody had two brothers named Joseph, and Frank, as well as a sister named Victoria. Iron Eyes Cody grew up in Gueydan, Louisiana, where his parents had a grocery business. His father abandoned the family and relocated to Texas, where he assumed the name, Tony Corti. Alton Abshire, his mother's second husband, had five more children with her.

The three de Corti brothers migrated to Texas with their father when they were teenagers and changed their surname to Corti. Tony Corti died in Texas in 1924.

The brothers relocated to California to pursue acting careers in movies and changed their names to Cody. After working as extras, Joseph William Cody and Frank Henry Cody moved on to other projects.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Iron Eyes Cody’s partner?

Iron Eyes Cody married archaeologist Bertha Parker in 1936. They adopted two children of Dakota-Maricopa origin, Robert Cody and Arthur Cody. The actor married another woman, Wendy Foote, in 1992, and they divorced in 1993.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

 Iron Eyes Cody's first credited role was in the 1927 film 'Back To God's Country.' He then starred in 'The Big Trail', which was chosen for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2006 because it was deemed 'historically, culturally, or aesthetically significant'.

In 1931, Iron Eyes Cody did the films 'Oklahoma', 'The Rainbow Trail' and 'Fighting Caravans'. The American actor portrayed Red Corn in the adventure film 'Unconquered', which depicted the violent battles between Native Americans and American colonists during Pontiac's Rebellion in the mid-18th century.

Iron Eyes Cody played Chief Iron Eyes, a Native American, in the 1948 technicolor comedy western 'The Paleface', starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell. Ray Evans and Jay Livingston's song 'Buttons And Bows' from the film won the Academy Award for Best Song that year.

In 1953, Cody played two different characters in Duncan Renaldo's syndicated TV series 'The Cisco Kid'.

Iron Eyes Cody made guest appearances in a number of TV programs including 'Rawhide', 'Cavalcade Of America', 'Mackenzie's Raiders', and 'The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour'.

In the '50s, he also featured in Mark Stevens’ western flick 'Gun Fever' alongside Maureen Hingert, Larry Storch, John Lupton, and Mark Stevens.

Iron Eyes Cody appeared in episodes of 'The Rebel', 'Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre', and 'The Virginian' in the early '60s. Cody was portrayed as an ineffective warmonger with the Indians as his victims in Sidney Salkow's 'The Great Sioux Massacre'.

Iron Eyes Cody portrayed Taka-Ta in the 1966 western 'Nevada Smith'. Cody also appeared as a guest star in the drama series 'The Fastest Guitar Alive' and 'Then Came Bronson'.

In the 1970 American-Mexican western film 'A Man Called Horse', Iron Eyes Cody played a brief role alongside Richard Harris. Following cameo appearances in the comedies 'Newhart' and 'The A-Team', he played Old Indian Chief St. Cloud in the film 'Ernest Goes To Camp'.

Iron Eyes Cody was widely seen as the 'Crying Indian' in the 'Keep America Beautiful' public service announcements (PSA) in the early '70s. The commercial showed Cody shedding a tear after he witnesses garbage being thrown from the window of a car, polluting the environment.

Cody's chanting is featured in Joni Mitchell's song 'Lakota', from the 1988 album 'Chalk Mark In A Rainstorm'. In the 1990 film 'Spirit Of '76', he also made a cameo appearance.

Iron Eyes Cody appeared in the documentary series 'Hollywood (1980)', where he examined the use of Native American Sign Language by early Western filmmaker William S. Hart.

Iron Eyes Cody was an outstanding Indian dancer and won several honors and trophies throughout his travels with various shows, according to the Native American defenders. He was tasked with performing before the King and Queen of England and toured Australia with the Sydney Royal Agricultural Show.

Charity Work

Iron Eyes Cody led a simple life and gave generously to Native American causes his entire life, donating money to tribal schools and orphanages and devoting countless hours to charitable work.

What awards did Iron Eyes Cody win?

On April 20, 1983, Iron Eyes Cody was inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6601 Hollywood Boulevard. In 1999, Iron Eyes Coby was honored with a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in California.

Iron Eyes Cody’s Hobbies And Interests

Photography was one of Iron Eyes Cody's well-known interests, and he was rarely seen without his camera. He took, developed, and printed the photographs in his basement darkroom for his book 'Indian Talk-Hand Signals Of The American Indians', published by Naturegraph Publishers in 1970 and reissued in 1992.

Other Interesting Iron Eyes Cody Facts And Trivia

  • Archery was one of his specialties. He hunted wild boar and kangaroo with his bow and arrows.

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Iron Eyes Cody Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Espera Oscar de Cody

Date of Birth


Date of Death




Place of Birth



189 cm

Eye Color

Dark Brown



Net Worth



Wendy Foote


Francesca Salpietra, Antonio de Corti


Joseph William Cody, Frank Henry Cody, Victoria Cody
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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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