Famous Old Western Actors

Friday, March 25 by Wendy Adams

Famous old western actors made some of the greatest westerns in history. John Wayne will always be the King of the Western movie as Andy Devine will always be the best cowboy sidekick of all time. Old Western actors will live forever through the character they created making each film a timeless classic.

  1. Clint Eastwood. Born May 31, 1930. Eastwood became a famous old western actor making a series of spaghetti westerns like “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. Later in his career he chewed cigars and squinted his way through several great westerns like “Two Mules for Sister Sara”, High Plains Drifter”, and “Pale Rider”.
  2. James Garner. Born April 7, 1928. Tall, dark, handsome, smooth, and good with a gun made Garner one of the best old western actors. Some may only remember him from “The Rockford Files” but his character “Maverick” made his famous. His best westerns are “Hour of the Gun”, "Support Your Local Gunfighter”, and “Support Your Local Sheriff”.
  3. Gene Barry. June 14, 1919 to December 9, 2009. Gene Barry is best known for his character Bat Masterson on television from 1958 to 1961. His best western films are “Forty Guns” and “The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw."
  4. Richard Boone. June 18, 1917 to January 10, 1981. His heavy breathing and gruff gravely voice made Boone perfect for the black hat bad old western actor. Not all of his characters were bad men, but when it called for him to be bad he was perfection. The short list of his best westerns include “”The Shootist”, “God’s Gun”, and “Big Jake”.
  5. John Wayne. May 26, 1907 to June 11, 1979. John Wayne is the most famous old western actor that ever lived. He has the most impressive western film credits starting in 1926 and ending with his last film “The Shootist” in 1976. Some of his best westerns are “True Grit”, “Red River”, “Stagecoach”, “McClintock”, “The Searchers”, and “Rooster Cogburn”.
  6. Gary Cooper. May 7, 1901 to May 13, 1961. Cooper’s characters sat tall in the saddle, were quiet, sometimes shy, but not afraid to fight, and he did his own harmonica playing. It is difficult to choose his best performances and movies because there are so many. Among his best films are “Along Came Jones”, “The Cowboy and the Lady”, “The Westerner”, “Dallas”, “High Noon”, and “The Hanging Tree”.
  7. Andy Devine. October 7, 1905 to February 18, 1977. Andy Devine was one of the most famous old western actors who played mainly comedy sidekicks. What made him great was his ability to look serious when he was being funny. Some of his best movies include “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok” (TV series), “The Ballad of Josie”, “Gunsmoke” (TV series), and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”.
  8. Glenn Ford. May 1, 1916 to August 30, 2006. Glenn Ford’s characters had an easy going attitude with a small smirk, even when trying to make a point. However he looked just as comfortabl fighting and gun slinging. Some of his best westerns are “3:10 to Yuma”, “Cimarron”, “Heaven with a Gun”, “The Sheepman”, and “Cowboy”.
  9. Rory Calhoun. August 8, 1922 to April 28, 1999. Rory Calhoun was not only a famous old western actor; he was also a screen writer and producer. His best known westerns were “River of No Return”, “Apache Territory”, "Ride Out for Revenge", as well as several appearances on Westerns television series “The Texan”, “Wagon Train”, “Gunsmoke”, “Rawhide”, and “Death Valley Days”.
  10. RandolphScott. January 23, 1898 to March 2, 1987. Hollywood knew him as Randy and considered him one of the all time greatest western stars. Scott was the cool headed, long legged, and usually wore the white hat. Among his best westerns are “Carson City”, “Ride the High Country”, “Comanche Station”, “Fort Worth”, “Santa Fe”, and the Nevadan.
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