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Michael Spears
Born Michael Spears
(1977-12-28) December 28, 1977 (age 37)
Chamberlain, South Dakota, U.S.
Other names Michael Spears
Years active 1990 - present
Website http://www.michaelspears.com

Michael Spears (born December 28, 1977) is an American actor. He is a member of the Kul Wicasa Oyate Lakota (often called "Sioux") Lower Brulé Tribe of South Dakota.

Early life[edit]

Michael Spears was born in Chamberlain, South Dakota near the Lower Brulé Indian Reservation to Native American parents and lived there until he was in fifth grade.[1] After that, his family moved to Pierre, South Dakota.[2] Later, his family moved to Aberdeen, South Dakota where he grew up and graduated Simmons Middle School then Aberdeen Central High School, graduating in 1995.[3]

A member of the Sicangu Lakota (often called "Sioux") Lower Brule Tribe of South Dakota, he has six siblings. A younger brother, Eddie, is also an actor, with both movie and TV credits.[4]



Spears's film credits include a major role as the character Dog Star in the 2005 Steven Spielberg-produced cable mini-series, Into the West, which aired on TNT.

His debut role as the child character Otter, in the Academy-Award-winning 1990 film Dances with Wolves, also earned him national notice at thirteen years old. By the age of 17, Spears had acted in both TV and film with other actors, including Kevin Costner, Jimmy Smits and Kim Delaney.

In 2007 he was preparing for the release of the movie, Imprint, in which he portrays Tom Grey Horse, a tribal police officer. Also in 2007 he filmed Shadowheart, which was released on August 4, 2009.[5]

In 2014, for his role as Tenkill in Angels in Stardust, Spears received critical acclaim in The New York Times.[6]

Other work[edit]

In 2005, Michael and Eddie Spears modeled for Cochiti Pueblo fashion designer Virgil Ortiz for his "Indigene" clothing line, and were featured on the cover of the August 2005 issue of New Mexico Magazine.[7]

He has hosted and co-hosted the American Indian Film Institute Awards, the latest being the 38th Annual American Indian Film Institute Awards in 2013.[8]


  • American Indian Film Festival and Awards: Nominated in 2013 for Best Supporting Actor as Bud "One Bull" Ward in The Activist.
  • American Indian Film Festival and Awards: Nominated in 2011 for Best Actor as Broken Wing in Yellow Rock.
  • Bronze Wrangler Award at the Western Heritage Awards in 2012 for Lead Actor as Broken Wing in Yellow Rock.
  • Young Artist Awards Nominated in 1993 for Best Young Actor Under Ten in a Television Movie as Adam, as a boy in The Broken Cord .[9]

Personal life[edit]

Spears is an accomplished hand drum player and singer, often performing at native American "pow-wow" gatherings and in non-tribal venues (he was the opening act for Rita Coolidge and Friends at her 2005 concert in Great Falls, Montana). Michael often travels as a celebrity speaker concentrating on inspirational and educational topics including sustainable energy, and mentors youth in South Dakota.[citation needed]

He worked with his late father, Patrick Spears, and his brother Eddie on COUP's (Intertribal Council on Utility Policy) Native Energy and Native Wind[10] as part of the Inter-Tribal Group, whose goal is to encourage creation of "natural" sustainable energy sources. Formed in 1994, COUP provides a forum for utility issues discussion from regulatory and economic perspectives.[11]

He can speak Lakota but is not fluent. Michael first learned from his father and grandfather, and is continuing to learn. During the filming of Into the West, he (and the other actors) had lessons from linguist, Charlie White Buffalo.[12]

As per an article in Distinctly Montana, Spears' love in his life was "an Italian-American beauty with just a hint of Dine Cherokee” – they were not married and have 2 sons together. He has two other children from a previous relationship.[13] Spears currently resides in Bozeman, Montana.[14]


  1. ^ Interview with Michael Spears by Patricia Sheridan, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
  2. ^ Morreale, Marie. "DreamKeeper: Meet Eddie Spears", scholastic.com, February 25, 2004.
  3. ^ Aberdeen News "Aberdeen: Former resident on TV series" http://articles.aberdeennews.com/2012-01-14/news/30628880_1_aberdeen-central-high-school-midcontinent-communications-series January 14, 2012.
  4. ^ Profile, spearsbrothersfans.webs.com; retrieved March 19, 2013.
  5. ^ Shadowheart profile, imdb.com; accessed March 16, 2015.
  6. ^ Review, nytimes.com; accessed March 16, 2015.
  7. ^ Haaland, Debra. "An Eye for Fashion: Cochiti Pueblo's renowned potter Virgil Ortiz has expanded his artistic talents to the world of fashion, now rubbing elbows with famed international designer Donna Karan", nmmagazine.com; accessed March 16, 2015.
  8. ^ IMDb profile, imdb.com; retrieved February 23, 2015.
  9. ^ Profile, imdb.com; accessed March 16, 2015.
  10. ^ http://www.nativeenergy.com/
  11. ^ Renaud, Roseanna, "KILI celebrates 25 years and wind turbine dedication", LakotaCountryTimes.com; accessed March 16, 2015.
  12. ^ Interview with Michael Spears by Lynn Taylor Rick, Rapid City Journal
  13. ^ Profile, distinctlymontana.com; accessed March 16, 2015.
  14. ^ Hill, Pat. The Montana Pioneer "Native Stars: The Spears Brothers—Rising Stars Call Bozeman Home", mtpioneer.com; accessed March 16, 2015.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Spears — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

919 news items

Hilton Head Island Packet

Hilton Head Island Packet
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 10:37:30 -0700

"I want to join the town council because I want to see the industries of Bluffton be diversified, and more sustainable in the event of an economic downturn," he said. "I have experienced firsthand how difficult it is to search for a job in this town ...

Danbury News Times

Danbury News Times
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 06:24:53 -0700

Six members of the ring are awaiting sentencing — Danbury residents Marlon Patterson, Michael Spears, Laquanna Briggs and Paul Whitehurst; and Bridgeport residents Paul Whitehurst and Kevin Lemon. Antonio Parker, of Danbury, was sentenced in May ...

Hilton Head Island Packet

Hilton Head Island Packet
Fri, 04 Sep 2015 10:37:30 -0700

TOP ROW, left to right: Cynthia Bensch and Mayor Lisa Sulka for mayor; and Oliver Brown, Brendan Downey and Ted Huffman for council. BOTTOM ROW: Harry Lutz, Eleanor McKinsey-Chandler, Jim Sims, Michael Spears and Dan Wood, all for council.
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 22:25:30 -0700

We're excited to see how he comes along,” Abbs said, adding that safety Michael Spears, a former East Noble player, should have a terrific season. Manchester, which was 4-6 last year, will certainly test that Trine defense with the multifaceted ability ...

Hilton Head Island Packet

Hilton Head Island Packet
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 09:39:09 -0700

Cynthia Bensch speaks during a hearing before the Beaufort County Board of Elections in November 2012. At the hearing, Dan Duryea, the opponent she defeated in the District 7 County Council election on Nov. 6, presented evidence in his challenge that ...

NBC 6 South Florida

NBC 6 South Florida
Tue, 01 Sep 2015 03:37:16 -0700

NBC 6's Michael Spears reports. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015). There, the found a Jeep that had barreled through the front wall of the home. The family tells NBC 6 that they were woken up by a loud screeching noise. They immediately went to the ...
Hilton Head Island Packet
Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:26:15 -0700

Old Town Bluffton resident Michael Spears filed Tuesday to run for a town council seat. Spears, 33, works for a resort development firm. He said if elected he will focus on polices to help the town diversify its economy. Spears joins incumbent ...

Hilton Head Island Packet

Hilton Head Island Packet
Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:00:00 -0700

Sims and Wood are joined in the council race by newcomer Eleanor McKinsey-Chandler, who filed to run Monday; former councilman Oliver Brown; Michael Spears; Brendan Downey and incumbent councilman Ted Huffman. Councilwoman Karen Lavery ...

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