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ROGER WILLIE (Charlie Whitehorse) makes his screen debut in Windtalkers. Having never acted before, Willie was discovered by the film's casting director Mindy Marin at an open casting call for Navajo in Durango, Colorado, on December 7th, 1999. With no intention of auditioning, he was coaxed into reading for a part by his two nephews, whom he had brought to the casting call.

Willie was brought to Los Angeles to study with an acting coach for a week, had his long hair cut to Marine length, and reauditioned for John Woo and the producers. He heard the news that he was cast in Windtalkers while participating in the Red Earth Art Show in Oklahoma City in June 2000.

Self-employed as an artist, Willie pursued his Arizona/New Mexico teaching certificate with Navajo Culture endorsement and was recently accepted into the graduate program at the University of Arizona in American Indian Studies, but has deferred entrance until next year in order to work on Windtalkers. Additional academic accomplishments include a Bachelor of Arts in Art from Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, as well as a secondary B.A. in American Indian Studies from UNC-Pembroke, North Carolina. His varied professional experience includes serving as a consultant for the American Indian Programs in Washington, DC, a public school art instructor, and a four-year stint in the U.S. Army in the Airborne Infantry in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Willie is currently a full-time student at the University of Arizona and is teaching the Navajo language for the University.

Willie was born and raised in Continental Divide, New Mexico, and is a member of the Wateredge clan. He speaks both fluent Navajo and English and was educated in the traditional ways of Navajo culture. Willie is married to Teresa, and they have two children, Seattle and Jodi.


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