Ray Mala was a real life Inuit Eskimo living in Alaska named Ray Wise. He was discovered by director W.S. Van Dyke, who had gone to Alaska to film his movie "Eskimo" on location. Wise played the lead role and was so successful that he changed his name to Ray Mala and moved to Hollywood where he made 24 movies in the 1930s and 1940s, mostly playing Alaskan native Inuit Eskimo characters, but sometimes playing South Sea islanders and Native American Indians. He passed away in 1952 at the age of 45 from a heart attack.
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