16.5k voters

The Greatest Western Movie Stars

Updated March 22, 2021 228.8k votes 16.5k voters 652.0k views162 items

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

Here you will find all of 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, 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. Then check back to see if your favorite Western movie stars topped our list. 

  • 1

    Clint Eastwood

    California, United States of America

    Credits (Film)Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry, Million Dollar Baby, Back to the Future Part II

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  • 2

    John Wayne

    Winterset, Iowa

    Credits (Film)The Searchers, The Longest Day, Stagecoach, True Grit, Rio Bravo

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    James Stewart

    Indiana, Pennsylvania

    Credits (Film)It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Philadelphia Story

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  • 4

    Sam Elliott

    Sacramento, California

    Credits (Film)The Big Lebowski, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Ghost Rider, Hulk, We Were Soldiers

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  • 5

    Ben Johnson

    Foraker, Oklahoma

    Credits (Film)The Wild Bunch, Shane, The Last Picture Show, Red Dawn, The Getaway

  • 6

    Robert Duvall

    USA, California

    Credits (Film)The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, To Kill a Mockingbird, MASH

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  • 7

    Ken Curtis

    Lamar, Colorado

    Credits (Film)The Searchers, Robin Hood, How the West Was Won, The Horse Soldiers, The Alamo

  • 8

    Maureen O'Hara

    Ranelagh, Republic of Ireland

    Credits (Film)Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, How Green Was My Valley, The Parent Trap, Big Jake

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  • 9

    Jack Elam

    Miami, Arizona

    Credits (Film)Once Upon a Time in the West, High Noon, The Cannonball Run, Kiss Me Deadly, Support Your Local Sheriff!

  • 10

    Randolph Scott

    Virginia, United States of America

    Credits (Film)Island of Lost Souls, Ride the High Country, Jesse James, The Tall T, Follow the Fleet

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  • 11

    Lee Marvin

    New York City, New York

    Credits (Film)The Dirty Dozen, Cat Ballou, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Big Red One, The Big Heat

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  • 12

    James Arness

    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Credits (Film)The Thing from Another World, Them!, Battleground, Hondo, The Farmer's Daughter

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  • 13

    Walter Brennan

    Lynn, Massachusetts

    Credits (Film)Bride of Frankenstein, Rio Bravo, How the West Was Won, Red River, My Darling Clementine

  • 14

    Lee Van Cleef

    Somerville, New Jersey

    Credits (Film)Good, Escape from New York, For a Few Dollars More, High Noon, How the West Was Won

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  • 15

    Slim Pickens

    Kingsburg, California

    Credits (Film)Blazing Saddles, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Howling, The Black Hole, The Getaway

  • 16

    James Garner

    Norman, Oklahoma

    Credits (Film)The Great Escape, The Notebook, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Maverick, Space Cowboys

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  • 17

    Audie Murphy

    Kingston, Texas

    Credits (Film)To Hell and Back, The Red Badge of Courage, The Unforgiven, No Name on the Bullet, Night Passage

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  • 18

    Chief Dan George

    Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, North Vancouver

    Credits (Film)The Outlaw Josey Wales, Harry and Tonto, Little Big Man, Americathon, Smith!

  • 19

    Glenn Ford

    Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Quebec

    Credits (Film)Superman, Superman II, Midway, The Big Heat, Gilda

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  • 20

    Jack Palance

    Hazle Township, Pennsylvania

    Credits (Film)Batman, Shane, City Slickers, Young Guns, Tango & Cash

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  • 21

    Gary Cooper

    Helena, Montana

    Credits (Film)High Noon, Cinema Paradiso, The Pride of the Yankees, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Wings

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  • 22

    Kurt Russell

    Springfield, Massachusetts

    Credits (Film)Forrest Gump, The Thing, The Fox and the Hound, Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China

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  • 23

    Ward Bond

    Benkelman, Nebraska

    Credits (Film)Gone with the Wind, It's a Wonderful Life, The Maltese Falcon, The Searchers, It Happened One Night

  • 24

    Robert Mitchum

    Bridgeport, Connecticut

    Credits (Film)Cape Fear, Scrooged, The Night of the Hunter, The Longest Day, Dead Man

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  • 25

    Jay Silverheels

    Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, Canada

    Credits (Film)True Grit, Broken Arrow, The Lone Ranger, One Little Indian, Saskatchewan