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Top 50 Best Western Movie Actors Of All Time [2023 Updated]
Aishwarya-Updated Jan 7, 2023
Westerns are a genre of films that depict the lawless world of the Old West. Western Movies are characterized by lawless bandits, sheriffs, gunslingers, frontier justice, etc.
The wild west represented unchartered territory for the hopeful European settlers, and they also came there in search of gold mines.
In every Western movie, we can surely find lawless frontier men, dusty and arid towns in the Wild West or Old West, saloon bars where some form of poker is played, cheating is rampant, and a good sheriff and his deputy struggle to maintain peace.
While these Western movies depicted lawlessness and uncivilized society, they also represented the American dream where no social hierarchies existed, and any man with strength and smarts could rule.
It was a dreamland where no one was born with a silver spoon, and everyone got equal opportunities. All this apart, we love western movies for the tense duels, shooting matches, exciting chases on horseback, damsels in distress, and the rogue heroes who could bend the rules but never break them.
If this is the kind of movie that you love, sit back and enjoy this list of Western movie actors.
ENTOIN brings you a list of 50 top movie actors who shone brightly in Western movies. These actors made westerns popular, and memorable in the minds of audiences for all time.
Without any more pandering, here is the list of best actors from Western Movies.
50. Keenan Wynn
|Date of Birth||July 27, 1916|
|Place of Birth||New York City, New York, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Somewhere I'll Find You|
Keenan Wynn was one of the top character actors in Hollywood. He was known for his expressive face, which made his style of acting effective.
He began his career in the mid-thirties, doing theater roles on Broadway and radio shows. After debuting on screen, Keenan Wynn appeared in several supporting roles on television and in films.
He was always a supporting actor and never crossed over to lead roles. His tryst with westerns included the TV series, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeterson on ABC network and Alias Smith and Jones.
He also starred in Sergio Leone's western Once Upon a Time in the West to acclaim.
49. Tom Tyler
|Date of Birth||August 9, 1903|
|Place of Birth||Port Henry, New York, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Three Weeks|
Tom Tyler was born Vincent Markowski to Lithuanian American parents. He came from a family of miners and right after finishing high school, Tyler left home to take up a variety of jobs like seaman for merchant marines, powerlifter, lumberjack, miner, etc.
In the early 1920s, Tyler was offered a contract by FBO to appear in silent movies for four years.
Here Tom Tyler learned his acting skills and slowly grew in popularity for his silent Western movie. He later moved to another production house but continued working as a Western film hero.
His most famous roles were as Captain Marvel in the film series, The Adventures of Captain Marvel and as Kharis in The Mummy’s Hand.
48. Dan Blocker
|Date of Birth||December 10, 1928|
|Place of Birth||De Kalb, Texas, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Hook a Crook|
Bobby Dan Davis Blocker was a television actor whose most famous role was in the popular western TV series, Bonanza.
The series ran for 13 seasons with Dan Blocker as a main cast member. Blocker was perfect for the role with his staggering height of 6 feet 4 inches and gained massive popularity.
As a young man, Dan Blocker studied English and drama at Hardins-Simmons university and played football in his college.
He soon transferred to Sul Ross State Teachers College where he joined the drama club. Later, Blocker served two years in the Korean war before he came back and became an actor.
47. James Drury
|Date of Birth||April 18, 1934|
|Place of Birth||New York City, New York, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Blackboard Jungle|
James Drury was an American actor who played the leading man in many television series and films. Drury was the son of a Texan farm owner and a New York University professor, so he spent his days between the city and the idyllic farm life.
He got interested in acting after working on a play, Life With Father at the age of 12 years.
After schooling, he joined NYU to study drama and acting. He also took additional courses at UCLA before beginning his acting career in 1955.
Drury acted in Western TV series like Love Me Tender, Black Saddle, The Rebel, Wagon Train, Ride The High Country, etc.
46. Slim Pickens
|Date of Birth||June 29, 1919|
|Place of Birth||Kingsburg, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Smoky|
Slim Pickens was the stage name of Louis Burton Lindley Jr. He was an acclaimed actor and rodeo personality who appeared in many westerns as a cowboy.
But, as he was called at home, was a dairy farmer and grew tired of that work, so he took part in rodeos, and riding broncos.
His father forbade him from this dangerous work, so Burt competed under the name Slim Pickens. The name Slim Pickens stuck to him through his 20 years of Rodeo career and even when he entered films and television.
He acted in westerns like Rocky Mountain, Old Oklahoma Plains, Down Laredo Way, Tonka, One-Eyed Jacks, Major Dundee, Stagecoach, An Eye For an Eye, Never A Dull Moment, etc.
45. Ben Johnson
|Date of Birth||June 13, 1918|
|Place of Birth||Foraker, Shidler, Oklahoma, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Fighting Gringo|
Ben Johnson was a world champion rodeo cowboy and a TV and film actor. He was the son of a champion rodeo cowboy and spent all his life around rodeos and animals.
Once while he was delivering horses to a film set for Howard Hughes he became interested in the job.
He began as a stuntman because of his excellent horse riding skills and later, graduated into acting roles. Ben Johnson mostly stuck to the work he knew and played cowboys in western films.
He starred in The Virginian, The Monroes, The Train Robbers, The Undefeated, etc. For his role in the coming-of-age drama The Last Picture Show, Ben Johnson won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe Award.
44. John McIntire
|Date of Birth||June 27, 1907|
|Place of Birth||Spokane, Washington, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Ramparts We Watch|
John McIntire was an actor who worked in radio programs, theater, television, and films. He began his career in radio shows before moving to the theater.
His popular radio performances were in Crime Doctor, The Adventure of Bill Lance, etc. After shifting course to television and films, he worked with many big names in films like Psycho, The Hucksters, The Asphalt Jungle, etc.
The roles that brought McIntire acclaim were mostly in westerns like The Far Country, The Tin Star, Winchester ‘73, etc.
He also worked in television series like Cimarron City, The Virginian, Wagon Train, The Overland Trails, Bonanza, Dundee, and the Culhane, etc.
43. Brian Keith
|Date of Birth||November 14, 1921|
|Place of Birth||Bayonne, New Jersey, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Pied Piper Malone|
Brian Keith was an actor who worked on stage, television, and film screens. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II and retired in 1945.
He was the son of film and stage actors Robert Keith and Helena Shipman, so he too took up acting.
Keith starred in many television anthology series before gaining film stardom with Westerns like Fort Dobbs, Sierra Baron, Run of the Arrow, Hell Canyon Outlaws, Rawhide, Laramie, and Ten Who Dared, Frontier Circus, Nevada Smith, The rare Breed, etc.
42. Richard Farnsworth
|Date of Birth||September 1, 1920|
|Place of Birth||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||A Day at the Races|
Richard Farnsworth was a two Academy Award-nominated actor who starred in many acclaimed films. He began his career in film and television with uncredited or minor roles in Gone With The Wind, Laramie, The Ten Commandments, Red River, The Wild Ones, etc.
The roles that earned him acclaim include The Gray Fox, Comes a Horseman, Roots, The Tin Star, A Lawless Street, The Cowboys, The Straight Story, Anne of Green Gables, etc.
41. Harry Carey Jr.
|Date of Birth||May 16, 1921|
|Place of Birth||Saugus, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Rolling Home|
Harry George Carey Jr was an actor and the child of actors Harry Carey Sr. and Olive Carey. He grew up on his parent’s Santa Clarita ranch among horses and cattle.
This gave him an edge while playing cowboys in western for John Ford. Harry Carey Jr. served in the Navy as a pharmacist’s mate during World War II but was recalled stateside to work as a Naval photographer making training videos for the Office of Strategic Services.
After beginning his acting career, Carey worked in many John Ford films, with whom he served in the Navy.
He appeared in Western TV series like 3 Godfathers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Searchers, Cheyenne Autumn, The Lone Ranger, Red River, Cahill US Marshall, etc.
40. Warren Oates
|Date of Birth||July 5, 1928|
|Place of Birth||Depoy, Kentucky, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The United States Steel Hour|
Warren Oates was an acclaimed actor who starred in several westerns during his career. Oates worked in both films and television series with equal success.
Warren Oates is known to frequently collaborate with Sam Peckinpah on his productions. After graduating from high school, Oates joined the armed forces and served as an aircraft mechanic.
After his service ended, Oates returned to college, where he grew an interest in acting. Warren Oates began his career with guest roles in TV series like The Rifleman, The Virginian, Wagon Train, Rawhide, The Rebel, Gunsmoke, etc.
Slowly Oates began playing major roles and supporting roles in films like Ride the High Country, Major Dundee, In The Heat of The Night, There Was a Crooked Man, Dillinger, etc.
39. Sam Shepard
|Date of Birth||November 5, 1943|
|Place of Birth||Fort Sheridan, Illinois, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Brand X|
Samuel Shepard Rogers III was an acclaimed actor and prolific playwright, and writer. He has acted in many Oscar-nominated films and earned a nomination himself for his performance in The Right Stuff.
Apart from acting, Shepard was a well-known director and playwright with over 55 theater play to his credit. Sam Shepard won the Obie Award, the Pulitzer Prize for drama, and many more accolades for his writing.
When it comes to westerns, Sam Shepard acted in Thunderheart, The Good Old Boys, All The Pretty Horses, Don’t Come Knocking, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, etc.
38. Ernest Borgnine
|Date of Birth||January 24, 1917|
|Place of Birth||Hamden, Connecticut, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Rocky King, Detective|
Ernest Borgnine was an American actor who worked on stage, film, and television. He was born to Italian immigrant parents and served in the Navy during World War II.
After the war, Borgnine had no job and was offered a stage role. From here began his tryst with acting that led to several accolades, including an Oscar award for Marty Borgnine starred in several acclaimed productions that included westerns like Vera Cruz, Bad Day At Black Rock, The Wild Bunch, Little House on The Praire, Frontier Justice, Johnny Guitar, etc.
37. Kevin Costner
|Date of Birth||January 18, 1955|
|Place of Birth||Lynwood, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Malibu Hot Summer|
Kevin Costner is an acclaimed actor, director, and producer. He won two academy awards for Best Picture and Best Director for the epic western Dances With The Wolves.
Kevin has starred in many other box-office hits and directed many more movies. However, his biggest hits have been sports dramas and western movies.
Some of his best westerns include Dances With Wolves, Wyatt Earp, Open Range, Hatfields & McCoys, Yellowstone, Silverado, etc.
36. Paul Newman
|Date of Birth||January 26, 1925|
|Place of Birth||Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Aldrich Family|
Paul Newman is an Oscar-winning actor with nine more nominations under his belt. Newman also received an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award.
Paul Newman served in the IS Navy during World War II, and after his return, he earned his degree in drama and economics.
Paul Newman starred in many classic blockbusters like Cool Hands Luke, Cat On The Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, The Color of Money, etc.
He also starred in multiple westerns from that era, chief of them being Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hud, "Buffalo Bill and the Indians", The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, etc.
35. George ‘Gabby’ Hayes
|Date of Birth||May 7, 1885|
|Place of Birth||Stannards, New York, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The House Without Children|
George ‘Gabby’ Hayes was one of the most popular western movie actors in Hollywood. Although he always played a sidekick or comic relief in his films, he was a top draw for the audiences and was constantly listed among the Top 10 western movie actors.
Initially, he was a successful vaudeville actor and planned to retire with his savings, yet, the 1929 stock market crash wiped out his savings.
This made Gabby Hayes return to acting, and this time, he starred in films. Despite being a well-read and intelligent person off-screen, Hayes perfected the role of an uneducated cowboy who is irritable, misogynistic, and sometimes clownish.
Gabby Hayes is famous for his catchphrases like ‘yer darn tootin’, ‘durn pernickety female’, ‘young whippersnapper’, etc.
34. Ward Bond
|Date of Birth||April 9, 1903|
|Place of Birth||Benkelman, Nebraska, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Salute|
Ward Bond was a character actor who starred in over 200 movies and TV series during his career and built a reputation for his western roles.
With his towering height of 6 ft 2 inches, he was a football player and this gave him many of his early roles as a sportsman.
After completing his bachelor's degree in engineering, Ward Bond and John Wayne began their movie career together. Bond appeared in several character roles in a wide variety of films.
Some of his famous roles in westerns were in The Searchers, The Big Trail, Rio Bravo, Drums Along The Mohawk, Fort Apache, Wagon Train, Johnny Guitar, etc.
33. Gian Maria Volontè
|Date of Birth||April 9, 1933|
|Place of Birth||Milan, Lombardy, Italy|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Fedra|
Gian Maria Volontè was an Italian actor and the son of a fascist officer who was in command of the Brigata Nera.
After he grew up, Volantè rejected this fascist ideology and became an outspoken communist. Gian Maria Volantè began acting in films in Italian cinema, but he gained worldwide acclaim and popularity for his Spaghetti Western.
He starred in For a Few Dollar More, A Fistful of Dollars, A Bullet For The General, Face to Face, etc.
32. Walter Brennan
|Date of Birth||July 25, 1894|
|Place of Birth||Lynn, Massachusetts, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Webs of Steel|
Walter Brennan was a character actor who was known for playing supporting roles in films. He could be described as the most successful character actor as he is the only actor, male or female, to win three Academy awards in supporting roles.
He is also one of the only three male actors to win three Academy awards. Walter Brennan won his Oscars for Come and Get It, "Kentucky and The Westerner", while he earned nominations for Sergeant York.
His memorable Western movies include Red River, Rio Bravo, My Darling Clementine, Tearin’ Into Trouble, Calgary Stampede, Ridin’ Rowdy, Three Godfathers, etc.
31. Audie Murphy
|Date of Birth||June 20, 1924|
|Place of Birth||Kingston, Texas, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven|
Audie Murphy was a real-life hero apart from being a singer, actor, and rancher. He had a difficult childhood where his father deserted the family, and his mother died when he was sixteen years old.
After the Pearl Harbor incident, Murphy enlisted in the Army and became the most decorated American soldier in WW2.
After the war was over, he began his career as a singer and an actor, where most of his roles were in westerns.
He also opened his ranch and participated in horse racing. Due to his strong ethics, Audie Murphy refused to make commercials for alcohol or cigarettes though they paid huge salaries.
30. Robert Taylor
|Date of Birth||August 5, 1911|
|Place of Birth||Filley, Nebraska, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Handy Andy|
Robert Taylor was the stage name of Spangler Arlington Brugh. He was a very popular Hollywood actor in the 1930s and 1940s.
When the war broke out, Robert Taylor joined the US Naval Air force and served as a flight instructor.
Even though Taylor had a good run with all genres of romantic suspense and drama movies, he preferred to work in western comedies.
He starred in Many Rivers To Cross, "The Law and Jake Wade", Savage Pampas, etc.
29. Errol Flynn
|Date of Birth||June 20, 1909|
|Place of Birth||Hobart, Tasmania, Australia|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||In the Wake of the Bounty|
Errol Flynn was an Australian- American actor known for his swashbuckling roles as an anti-hero or a lovable rogue.
The American Film Institute listed Flynn as the 18th greatest hero of the American Film Industry. He was also famous for his many roles in collaboration with Olivia de Havilland.
Apart from other war films, romantic dramas, and pirate films, Flynn appeared in many western as was the norm of the era.
His most popular roles were in Dodge City, Santa Fe Trail, San Antonio, Virginia City, They Died With Their Boots On, etc.
28. James Arness
|Date of Birth||May 26, 1923|
|Place of Birth||Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Farmer's Daughter|
James Arness was born James King Aurness. He was born to parents of Norwegian descent. When WW2 broke out, Arness enlisted in the armed forces and was drafted into the Army.
He participated in the Battle of Anzio, where he was severely wounded in his leg. He suffered from this injury for the rest of his life.
After his treatment, Arness worked in radio and later moved to Hollywood. James Arness is known for his roles in many westerns, most notably the Gunsmoke TV series and the made-for-TV films.
He also starred in other westerns like Hondo, Gun The Man Down, Red River, How The West Wass Won, etc.
27. Tommy Lee Jones
|Date of Birth||September 15, 1946|
|Place of Birth||San Saba, Texas, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Love Story|
Tommy Lee Jones is an actor and director who won an Academy Award for his role in The Fugitive.
He also has four more Academy Award nominations to his credit. Born in Texas, Tommy Lee Jones has been a constant supporter of the Rodeo races and has been inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and Hall of Great Western Performers.
Tommy Lee Jones is well known for his performances in political thrillers, action dramas, psychological thrillers, etc., but he has acted in quite a few acclaimed westerns and neo-westerns.
A few of them are No Country for Old Men, Lonesome Dove, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The Good Old Boys, The Missing, etc.
26. Kirk Douglas
|Date of Birth||December 9, 1916|
|Place of Birth||Amsterdam, New York, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Strange Love of Martha Ivers|
Kirk Douglas was an actor and film producer who starred in many hit films through the 1950s and later.
He was nominated for three Academy Awards Champion, The Bad and The Beautiful, and Lust For Life. He won the Honorary Academy Award in 1996.
Some of the most memorable films of Kirk Douglas include Spartacus, Ace In The Hole, The Final Countdown, etc.
The westerns that he starred in are There Was a Crooked Man, A Gunfight, Posse, A Man From Snowy River, A Man Without a Star, Lonely Are The Brave, Along The Great Divide, etc.
25. Charlton Heston
|Date of Birth||October 4, 1923|
|Place of Birth||Wilmette, Illinois, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Peer Gynt|
Charlton Heston was an actor and activist of great acclaim. He starred in some of the most memorable films ever, like The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, El Cid, The Greatest Show on Earth, Khartoum, The Greatest Film Ever Made, Touch of Evil, The Planet Of The Apes, Soylent Green, The Omega Man, etc.
We also saw Charlton Heston in memorable westerns like The Savage, Pony Express, Arrowhead, The Far Horizons, Three Violent People, The Big Country, Will Penny, etc.
24. Yul Brynner
|Date of Birth||July 11, 1920|
|Place of Birth||Vladivostok, Russia|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Mr. Jones and His Neighbors|
Yuliy Borisovich Briner was the birth name of Yul Brynner. He was a Russian actor who was honored in the USA with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He is best known for his portrayal of King Mongkut in "King and I", on the stage and in its film adaptation.
He won two Tony Awards and an Academy Award for this role. The other notable performances of Yul Brynner were in The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, Invitation To a Gunfighter, Return of the Seven, Villa Rides, Adios, Sabata, Catlow, Westworld, etc.
23. Rock Hudson
|Date of Birth||November 17, 1925|
|Place of Birth||Winnetka, Illinois, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Fighter Squadron|
Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer Jr. He was one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the golden era and was the heartthrob of millions.
He starred in many different genres of films, including westerns like The Undefeated, Showdown, Giant, etc. Rock Hudson also earned an Oscar nomination for his role in Giant.
His other acclaimed films were Magnificent Obsession, All That Heaven Allows, Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Send Me No Flowers, Seconds, Ice Station Zebra, Tobruk, etc.
22. Lee Van Cleef
|Date of Birth||January 9, 1925|
|Place of Birth||Somerville, New Jersey, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||High Noon|
Lee Van Cleef was an actor best known for his roles in spaghetti westerns like For A Few Dollars More, The Good, "The Bad and The Ugly".
He debuted his acting career with a western, High Noon, which won high acclaim. Initially, Van Cleef was cast only as a minor villain or a goon, but Sergio Leone took a chance on him, and he became a hit.
Lee Van Cleef started his career as a US Naval officer on the minesweeper USS Incredible as a sonarman.
After the war, Van Cleef worked on stage before getting film roles. He also starred in The Adventures of Kit Carson, The Lone Ranger, Annie Oakley, Brave Eagle, etc.,
21. Sam Elliott
|Date of Birth||August 9, 1944|
|Place of Birth||Sacramento, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Way West|
Sam Elliott is an American actor who was nominated for an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, two Primetime Emmy awards, two SAG awards, etc.
His trademark Southern drawl and a lanky physique made him a staple in cowboy movies. He debuted in a western film and acted in many more.
Sam Elliott has starred in films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Shadow Riders, Gunsmoke, Murder in Texas, The Quick and the Dead, The Buffalo Girls, Conagher, Gettysburg, Tombstone, We Were Soldiers, Hulk, etc.
20. Charles Bronson
|Date of Birth||November 3, 1921|
|Place of Birth||Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Fireside Theatre|
Charles Bronson is the stage name of Charles Dennis Buchinsky, born to parents of Lithuanian origin. He was born in a family of coal miners and did the same job til WW2 broke out.
He then joined the US Army Air Force division and served till the end of the war. He received a Purple Heart for his contributions.
After joining films, Charles Buchinsky worked in supporting roles in many westerns and as a villain too. When the House Un-American Committee started investigating Hollywood, Buchinsky changed his name to Bronson to escape the label of Communist.
Chiles Bronson starred in films like Once Upon a Time In The West, The Magnificent Seven, Death Wish, The Great Escape, Vera Cruz, Drum Beat, Jubal, Run Of The Arrow, Tales Of Wells Fargo, etc.
19. Glenn Ford
|Date of Birth||May 1, 1916|
|Place of Birth||Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Portneuf, Québec, Canada|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Night in Manhattan|
Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford shortened his name to Glenn Ford. He was a Canadian American actor who starred in many blockbusters during the 1940s, 50s, and even the 60s.
Glenn Ford came to California as a high schooler when his father got a job at the Venice Electric Tram Company.
He developed an interest in acting during high school and worked in stage plays. After school, Glenn Ford began acting in films, but his father advised him to learn another money-making skill to ensure he will have a job if acting fails.
Hence, he learned plumbing and repair work for all home appliances. As an actor, he starred in films like Gilda, Blackboard Jungle, Pocketful of Miracles, Texas, Go West Young Lady, The Man From Colorado, Lust For Gold, etc.
18. Robert Ryan
|Date of Birth||November 11, 1909|
|Place of Birth||Chicago, Illinois, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Ghost Breakers|
Robert Ryan was an American actor and civil rights activist. He actively supported and spoke out for groups like the rights of the African American community, Supporters of the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union, etc.
Robert Ryan also served in WW2 and turned into a pacifist after the war. Robert Ryan is known for playing Strong and forceful characters like an upright policeman, law enforcement officer, mobster, or bad guy.
Some of his popular performances were in Crossfire, Trail Street, Return of the Badmen, Best of The Badmen, The Naked Spur, Bad Day At Black Rock, etc.
17. James Garner
|Date of Birth||April 7, 1928|
|Place of Birth||Norman, Oklahoma, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Warner Brothers Presents|
James Garner was an actor who earned numerous accolades, including nominations for an Academy Award, multiple Golden Globe awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, and SAG awards.
Garner had a reputation of being amiable and charming and played many lovable rogues, anti-heroes, and con-men. The most popular performances of James Garner include Maverick, The Great Escape, Duel At Diablo, Support Your Local Sheriff, Support Your Local Gunfighter, The Castaway Cowboy, etc.
He also played supporting roles in The Space Cowboys, The Notebook, 8 Simple Rules, Murphy’s Romance, etc.
16. Richard Widmark
|Date of Birth||December 26, 1914|
|Place of Birth||Sunrise Township, Chisago County, Minnesota, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Kiss of Death|
Richard Widmark was an actor and producer who earned an Oscar nomination for his debut film, Kiss of Death.
For the same role, he won a Golden Globe for the most promising newcomer. Widmark portrayed much more villainous and anti-hero before he could shift lanes to westerns and TV roles with lead roles.
He was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The most noteworthy performances of Widmark include Kiss of Death, The Alamo, Coma, Murder On The Orient Express, Yellow Sky, Warlock, No Way Out, Against All Odds, etc.
15. James Coburn
|Date of Birth||August 31, 1928|
|Place of Birth||Laurel, Nebraska, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Four Star Playhouse|
James Coburn was an American actor with an iconic image as a cool dude and tough guy. He represented the new Hollywood era, with Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, etc., as his contemporaries.
James Coburn also won an Academy Award for his role in Affliction. The other popular movies that made James Coburn a star were The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Charade, Duck, You Sucker!, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, The Restless Gun, Ride Lonesome, Tales of Wells Fargo, Waterhole No.3, Face of a Fugitive, Major Dundee, etc.
14. Gregory Peck
|Date of Birth||April 5, 1916|
|Place of Birth||La Jolla [now in San Diego], California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Days of Glory|
Eldred Gregory Peck was one of the most iconic American actors of the Classical Hollywood era. He ruled over Hollywood between the 1940s to the 1970s.
He was also politically active and campaigned for major causes against the Nixon government and House Un-American Committee.
The most prominent movies of Gregory Peck include To Kill A Mocking Bird, Guns of Navarone, Duel in The Sun, The Gunfighter, Yellow Sky, Only The Valiant, The Bravados, "David and Bethsheba", Captain Horatio Hornblower, Roman Holiday, Moby Dick, Cape Fear, etc.
13. William Holden
|Date of Birth||April 17, 1918|
|Place of Birth||O'Fallon, Illinois, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Prison Farm|
William Holden was an actor of high acclaim who won an Academy Award for his role in Stalag 17.
Holden was regarded as one of the top 25 greatest actors from the Classic Hollywood era. He also won a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in the TV series The Blue Knight.
William Holden starred in classics like Sabrina, Sunset Boulevard, Picnic, The Bridge on River Kwai, The Wild Bunch, Network, etc.
His western movies included Arizona, Texas, Streets of Laredo, Escape From Fort Bravo, Alvarez Kelly, Wild Rovers, etc.
12. Joel McCrea
|Date of Birth||November 5, 1905|
|Place of Birth||South Pasadena, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Fair Co-Ed|
Joel McCrea is a popular leading man in westerns. He was a rancher who loved riding horses and acting as a hobby.
However, he has a film career of five decades with successful comedies, dramas, romantic films, and westerns to his credit.
Some memorable films of McCrea include Foreign Correspondent, Sullivan's Travels, The Palm Beach Story, Bird of Paradise, The Most Dangerous Game, Bed of Roses, The More the Merrier, These Three, Come and Get It, Dead End, Wichita, Ride The High Country, etc.
11. Robert Duvall
|Date of Birth||January 5, 1931|
|Place of Birth||San Diego, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Robert Herridge Theater|
Robert Duvall is a highly acclaimed actor and filmmaker who won Academy awards and has six more nominations under his belt.
He garnered many more accolades, including four Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Robert Duvall starred in Westerns like Lonesome Dove, True Grit, Joe Kidd, Broken Trail, etc. His most prominent roles have been in To Kill a Mocking Bird, Bullitt, Tender Mercies, M*A*S*H*, The Godfather series, Network, Outer Limit, Colors, Apocalypse Now, The Judge, Widows, etc.
10. Randolph Scott
|Date of Birth||January 23, 1898|
|Place of Birth||Orange County, Virginia, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Sharp Shooters|
Randolph Scott is one of the beloved actors in western films. Throughout his four-decade-long career, he appeared in all genres of films from musicals and comedies to suspense and romantic dramas, but his most successful genre has been Westerns.
Out of the 100 films he starred in, 80 were westerns. His memorable westerns were The Last of The Mohicans, Susannah of the Mounties, Frontier Marshall, Virginia City, When The Daltons Rode, Western Union, The Spoilers, The Desperados, Albuquerque, Badman's Territory, Trail Street, The Cariboo Trail, Return of the Bad Man, etc.
9. Burt Lancaster
|Date of Birth||November 2, 1913|
|Place of Birth||New York City, New York, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Killers|
Burt Lancaster was an actor and filmmaker who was ranked the 19th greatest actor of the classic Hollywood era and the American Film Institute.
He won the Academy Award one time and earned four more nominations. Burt Lancaster also won a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and many more awards.
Lancaster built his career playing tough guys with complex personalities, and his roles became more complex as the years passed.
Some of his most memorable films include The Professionals, The Killers, From Here To Eternity, The Rainmakers, Gunfight at the O. K. Corral, Run Silent, Run Deep, Judgment at Nuremberg, Birdman at Alcatraz, etc.
8. Lee Marvin
|Date of Birth||February 19, 1924|
|Place of Birth||New York City, New York, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Escape|
Lee Marvin is an Academy Award-winning actor who had a trademark head full of white hair and a distinctive voice.
He portrayed hard-boiled characters and slowly moved to playing hardened anti-heroes. Along with Clint Eastwood, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, etc., he represented a new Hollywood era of heroes.
Some of Lee Marvin's successful films include Cat Ballou, Paint Your Weapon, The Professionals, Seminole, The Stranger Wore a Gun, Bad Day At Black Rock, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Virginian, The Killers, The Comancheros, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, etc.
7. Steve McQueen
|Date of Birth||24th March 1930|
|Place of Birth||Beech Grove, Indiana, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Family Affair|
Steve McQueen was the original King of Cool. He popularized the anti-hero persona in Hollywood and ushered in a new era of Hollywood greats like Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, etc.
While McQueen did not win an Oscar, his performances in The Sand Pebbles, Papillon, Love With The Proper Stranger, The Reivers, etc. were highly acclaimed.
Steve McQueen’s films that received high commercial and critical success include Bullitt, The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, The Cincinnati Kid, Nevada Smith, The Thomas Crown Affair, Tales of Wells Fargo, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Tom Horn, etc.
6. James Stewart
|Date of Birth||May 20, 1908|
|Place of Birth||Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Art Trouble|
James Stewart was an actor and a distinguished ex-serviceman who served in the United States Army and in the Air Force.
When Stewart retired from the Airforce, he held the rank of Brigadier General. Later, he also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
James Stewart is considered the third greatest American male actor of the Classical Hollywood era. Some of the best movies by James Stewart include Rear Window, Vertigo, Winchester '73, The Glenn Miller Story, The Naked Spur, Rope, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cheyenne Autumn, Mr. Smith Goes West, The Philadelphia Story, Two Rode Together, The Searchers, How The West Was Won, etc.
5. Henry Fonda
|Date of Birth||May 16, 1905|
|Place of Birth||Grand Island, Nebraska, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Farmer Takes a Wife|
Henry Fonda was a highly acclaimed actor on both stage and film. He had a well-established career as a Broadway actor before he forayed into films.
He is known for portraying everyday people in his films and doing them convincingly. Fonda won an Oscar for On Golden Pond and an Honorary Oscar.
He also has two more nominations for 12 Angry Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Some of his notable performances were Jesse James, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Ox-Bow Incident, My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, Once Upon a Time in the West, My Name is Nobody, Battle of The Bulge, Mister Roberts, The Wrong Men, Gideon’s Trumpet, etc.
4. Robert Mitchum
|Date of Birth||August 6, 1917|
|Place of Birth||Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Human Comedy|
Robert Mitchum was an actor who is considered the pioneer of the anti-hero persona. He was known for his various roles in the film-noir genre, which earned him many accolades.
Mitchum earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Story of G. I. Joe. The other prominent roles of Robert Mitchum include Cape Fear, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Out of the Past, River of No Return, The Night of the Hunter, Thunder Road, El Dorado, Ryan's Daughter, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Hopalong Cassidy, West of The Pecos, Nevada, Pursued, etc.
3. Gary Cooper
|Date of Birth||May 7, 1901|
|Place of Birth||Helena, Montana, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||The Last Hour|
Gary Cooper is a two-time Academy Award winner who also earned an honorary Oscar for all his achievements. He is listed among AFI’s list of the greatest Hollywood actors of the classic era.
Gary Cooper is known for his understated performances, strong and silent persona that lends weight to all the roles he plays.
He is known for the numerous westerns that he acted in, chiefly High Noon, The Man of The West, The Virginian, The Texan, The Spoiler, Fighting Caravans, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, The Lives of a Bengal Lancers, The Plainsman, The Cowboy and The Lady, A Farewell To Arms, Meet John Doe, Sergeant York, etc.
2. John Wayne
|Date of Birth||May 26, 1907|
|Place of Birth||Winterset, Iowa, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Brown of Harvard|
John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison. But he also used the nickname Duke. He is one of the most popular western actors of the classic Hollywood era and the silent era.
He became a people’s icon who represents Westerners. Some of his most popular westerns are The Big Trail, Stagecoach, Red River, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit, Rio Bravo, the Quiet man, The Shootist, Riders of Destiny, Three Mesquiteers, and many more.
1. Clint Eastwood
|Date of Birth||May 31, 1930|
|Place of Birth||San Francisco, California, USA|
|Debut Movie/ TV series||Revenge of the Creature|
Clint Eastwood is an actor and filmmaker of high acclaim. He is one of those few early Hollywood actors who made the anti-hero persona popular and cool.
Eastwood is also well known for his westerns that garnered international acclaim, making him an enduring cultural icon. The most popular Westerns of Eastwood are A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Unforgiven, Hang 'Em High, and Pale Rider, Cry Macho, etc.
Apart from his westerns, Clint Eastwood acted in and made many great films like the Dirty Harry franchise, Where Eagles Dare, Letter From Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby, Space Cowboys, Changelings, Invictus, etc.
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