Westerns The Greatest Western Movie Stars  

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177.3k votes 12.2k voters 542k views 169 items

List Rules Vote up and add all of your favorite Western movie stars of all time.

All the greatest Western movie stars of television and film in one list of the best cowboy actors. Some of these top Western characters were featured in the greatest Western movies ever made, while others starred in classic TV series and mini-series. Whatever the medium, these are the best of the West(ern characters).

The TV Western series, a now almost-dead genre of entertainment that was once all the rage, attracting some of the biggest stars in Hollywood to roles where a horse was the supporting actor. These stars were some of the biggest and brightest, not only on TV, but in films as well. From Clint Eastwood (perhaps the biggest Western star of all time) to Steve McQueen (a true outlaw through and through), this list of famous old cowboys brings together the best of the genre in one Western stars list.

Who were the greatest Western movie stars? Who are the classic cowboys (and cowgirls) in Westerns? It's time to vote and find out! Vote up your favorite Western TV and movie stars, and vote down the ones you think should be run out of town. If your favorite Western movie star isn't on the list, make sure to add him or her.

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4,790 891
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
mch418 added John Wayne Died at 72 (1907-1979) Marion Mitchell Morrison, better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director, and producer. An Academy Award-winner, Wayne was among the top box office draws for ...more

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4,832 972
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Clint Eastwood age 88 Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and politician. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio ...more

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2,557 877
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
mch418 added James Stewart Died at 89 (1908-1997) James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl voice and down-to-earth persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many ...more

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2,206 706
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
RodneyBlair added Gary Cooper Died at 60 (1901-1961) Gary Cooper was an American film actor known for his natural, authentic, and understated acting style and screen performances. His career spanned thirty-six years, from 1925 to 1961, and ...more

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Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Robert Duvall age 87 Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, six Golden Globes, and has multiple nominations and one win each of the BAFTA, Screen ...more

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2,270 904
Lee Van Cleef is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Lee Van Cleef Died at 64 (1925-1989) Clarence Leroy "Lee" Van Cleef, Jr., was an American film actor who appeared mostly in Westerns and action pictures. His sharp features and piercing eyes led to his being cast as a ...more

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2,214 930
Charles Bronson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Charles Bronson Died at 82 (1921-2003) Charles Bronson was an American film and television actor. He starred in films such as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Rider on the Rain, ...more

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2,241 808
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Lee Marvin Died at 63 (1924-1987) Lee Marvin was an American film and television actor. Known for his distinctive voice, white hair and 6 ft 2 in stature, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers ...more

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2,144 868
James Arness is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
James Arness Died at 88 (1923-2011) James King Arness was an American actor, best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon in the television series Gunsmoke for 20 years. Arness has the distinction of having played the role of ...more

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1,751 920
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Henry Fonda Died at 77 (1905-1982) Henry Jaynes Fonda was an American film and stage actor with a career spanning five decades. He made his Hollywood debut in 1935, and his career gained momentum after his Academy Award-nominated ...more

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1,963 890
Steve McQueen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Steve McQueen Died at 50 (1930-1980) Terence Steven "Steve" McQueen was an American actor. Called "The King of Cool", his "anti-hero" persona, developed at the height of the Vietnam War-era ...more

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James Garner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
James Garner Died at 86 (1928-2014) James Garner was an American actor, voice artist, and comedian. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s ...more

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1,910 694
Randolph Scott is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
RodneyBlair added Randolph Scott Died at 89 (1898-1987) George Randolph Scott was an American film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety ...more

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Ben Johnson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
RodneyBlair added Ben Johnson Died at 78 (1918-1996) Ben "Son" Johnson, Jr. was an American stuntman, world champion rodeo cowboy and actor. The son of a rancher, Johnson arrived in Hollywood to deliver a consignment of horses for a ...more

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1,645 628
Jack Elam is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Jack Elam Died at 83 (1920-2003) William Scott Elam, known as Jack Elam, was an American film and television actor best known for his numerous roles as villains in Western films and, later in his career, comedies. His most ...more

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1,544 762
Chuck Connors is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Chuck Connors Died at 71 (1921-1992) Kevin Joseph "Chuck" Connors was an American actor, writer and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 12 athletes in the history of American professional sports ...more

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1,476 505
Walter Brennan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
mch418 added Walter Brennan Died at 80 (1894-1974) Walter Andrew Brennan was an American actor. Brennan is one of three men to win three acting Oscars, having won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1936, 1938 and 1940.

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Sam Elliott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Sam Elliott age 74 Samuel Pack "Sam" Elliott is an American actor. His rangy physique, thick horseshoe moustache, deep, resonant voice, and Western drawl lend to frequent casting as cowboys and ranchers. ...more

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Glenn Ford is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
IrinaGinger79 added Glenn Ford Died at 90 (1916-2006) Glenn Ford was a Canadian-born American actor from Hollywood's Golden Era with a career that lasted over 50 years. Despite his versatility, Ford was best known for playing ordinary men in ...more

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Robert Mitchum is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Robert Mitchum Died at 80 (1917-1997) Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. Mitchum rose to prominence for his starring roles in several classic films noir, and is generally ...more

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Roy Rogers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Roy Rogers Died at 87 (1911-1998) Roy Rogers was an American singer and actor. Known as the "King of the Cowboys", he appeared in over 100 films and numerous radio and television episodes of The Roy Rogers Show. His ...more

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Clint Walker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Clint Walker age 91 Norman Eugene Walker, known as Clint Walker, is a retired American actor. He is perhaps best known for his cowboy role as "Cheyenne Bodie" in the ABC/Warner Brothers western television ...more

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Richard Boone is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Richard Boone Died at 64 (1917-1981) Richard Allen Boone was an American actor who starred in over 50 films and was notable for his roles in Westerns and for starring in the TV series Have Gun – Will Travel.

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Maureen O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Maureen O'Hara age 98 Maureen O'Hara is an Irish film actress and singer. She was first educated at the John Street West Girls' School near Thomas Street in Dublin's Liberties Area. From the age of 6–17 she trained ...more

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Slim Pickens is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Slim Pickens Died at 64 (1919-1983) Louis Burton Lindley, Jr., known by the stage name Slim Pickens, was an American rodeo performer and film and television actor who epitomized the profane, tough, sardonic cowboy, but who is best ...more

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1,357 636
Kevin Costner is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Kevin Costner age 63 Kevin Michael Costner is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and singer. He has won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and one Emmy Award, and has been nominated ...more

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Kirk Douglas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
JasonWrayAnderson added Kirk Douglas age 102 Kirk Douglas is an American film and stage actor, film producer and author. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of ...more

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Eli Wallach is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Eli Wallach Died at 99 (1915-2014) Eli Herschel Wallach was an American film, television and stage actor whose career spanned more than six decades, beginning in the late 1940s. Trained in stage acting, which he enjoyed doing ...more

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Alan Ladd is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
slaft added Alan Ladd Died at 51 (1913-1964) Alan Walbridge Ladd was an American actor and film and television producer. Ladd found success in film the 1940s and early 1950s, particularly in Westerns and film noirs where he was often ...more

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1,190 624
James Coburn is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added James Coburn Died at 74 (1928-2002) James Harrison Coburn III was an American actor. He was featured in more than 70 films and made 100 television appearances during his 45-year career, winning an Academy Award for his supporting ...more

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Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Tom Selleck age 73 Thomas William "Tom" Selleck is an American actor and film producer. He is best known for his starring role as the private investigator Thomas Magnum in the television series Magnum, ...more

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Gene Autry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
jhalterman36 added Gene Autry Died at 91 (1907-1998) Orvon Grover Autry, better known as Gene Autry, was an American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in ...more

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1,177 555
Dan Blocker is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Dan Blocker Died at 44 (1928-1972) Dan Blocker was an American television actor and Korean War veteran. He is best remembered for his role as Hoss Cartwright in the NBC western television series Bonanza.

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Ranker Video
RodneyBlair added Ward Bond Died at 57 (1903-1960) Wardell Edwin "Ward" Bond was an American film actor whose rugged appearance and easygoing charm were featured in over 200 films and the television series Wagon Train. He is remembered ...more

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1,026 282
Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
slaft added Kurt Russell age 67 Kurt Vogel Russell is an American actor. His first roles were as a child in television series, including a lead role in the Western series The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters. In the late 1960s, he ...more

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1,567 660
Dean Martin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
mch418 added Dean Martin Died at 78 (1917-1995) Dean Martin was an American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed the "King of ...more

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1,064 601
Burt Lancaster is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Burt Lancaster Died at 81 (1913-1994) Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique, blue eyes, and distinctive smile. After initially building his career on "tough ...more

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938 211
Ken Curtis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PhilAndrews added Ken Curtis Died at 75 (1916-1991) Ken Curtis was an American singer and actor best known for his role as Festus Haggen on the long-running CBS western television series Gunsmoke. Although he appeared on Gunsmoke in other roles ...more

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Lorne Greene is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Lorne Greene Died at 72 (1915-1987) Lyon Himan Green, OC, better known by the stage name Lorne Greene, was a Canadian actor and musician. His television roles include Ben Cartwright on the western Bonanza, and Commander Adama in ...more

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823 261
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
slaft added Paul Newman Died at 83 (1925-2008) Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, professional racing driver, auto racing team owner, environmentalist, social activist and philanthropist. He won numerous ...more

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916 472
Joel McCrea is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
RodneyBlair added Joel McCrea Died at 85 (1905-1990) Joel Albert McCrea was an American actor whose career spanned 50 years and appearances in over 90 films.

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1,122 454
Yul Brynner is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
PeteBoyle added Yul Brynner Died at 65 (1920-1985) Yul Brynner was a Russian-born United States-based film and stage actor. He was best known for his portrayal of the King of Siam in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which ...more

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775 292
Harry Carey, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Harry Carey, Jr. Died at 91 (1921-2012) Henry George "Dobe" Carey, Jr., known as Harry Carey, Jr., was an American actor. He appeared in more than ninety films including several John Ford westerns as well as numerous

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Michael Landon is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Michael Landon Died at 55 (1936-1991) Michael Landon (October 31, 1936 – July 1, 1991) was an American actor, writer, director, and producer, who starred in three popular NBC TV series that spanned three decades. He is widely known ...more

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Clayton Moore is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Clayton Moore Died at 85 (1914-1999) Clayton Moore was an actor.

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858 305
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
bsatcher added Gregory Peck Died at 87 (1916-2003) Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor. One of the world's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play major film roles until the late 1970s. His performance ...more

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726 359
Forrest Tucker is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
mch418 added Forrest Tucker Died at 67 (1919-1986) Forrest Meredith Tucker was an American actor in both movies and television from the 1940s to the 1980s. Tucker, who stood 6'4" tall and weighed 200 lb, appeared in nearly 100 action films ...more

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797 281
Fess Parker is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Fess Parker Died at 86 (1924-2010) Fess Elisha Parker, Jr. was an American film and television actor best known for his portrayals of Davy Crockett in the Walt Disney 1955–1956 TV mini-series and as Daniel Boone in a television ...more

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1,206 386
George
mch418 added George "Gabby" Hayes Died at 84 (1885-1969) George Francis "Gabby" Hayes was an American radio, film, and television actor. He was best known for his numerous appearances in Western films as the colorful sidekick to the leading

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1,036 329
Jack Palance is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Western Movie Stars
Jack Palance Died at 87 (1919-2006) Jack Palance was an American actor. During half a century of film and television appearances, Palance was nominated for three Academy Awards, all for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, winning in ...more