Entertainment
457 voters

The Best Cowboy Characters In Film & TV History

Updated March 25, 2020 4.8k votes 457 voters 10.7k views29 items

List RulesMovie and TV characters only

A lot of people have romantic notions about America's Wild West. They dream of a time when people rode on horseback and followed their own code of ethics. Back then, there was still land to discover, and people settled their differences with a showdown at high noon. It seems like it would have been an exciting time to be alive, which is probably why so many people flock to Westerns, and why these stories often feature so many iconic characters. Here is a list of the greatest cowboy characters to ever grace the big and small screens.

The Lone Ranger is a famous example of the classic cowboy. Alongside his friend, Tonto, he follows his own moral code and always stands up for the little guy. Zorro also falls into this category, as did William Munny - at least in his later years. The one thing all these cowboy characters seem to have in common is that they are often loners who stand up for justice, even if it means occasionally breaking the rules. Which cowboy character from films and TV shows is your favorite?

Grab your lasso and vote up all the cowboys you would feel safer having around to protect your town from ruffians.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    261
    54

    Doc Holliday

    Tombstone

    Played ByVal Kilmer

    "I have two guns, one for each of ya."

  • 2
    235
    49

    Man with No Name

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Played ByClint Eastwood, Yasuo Yamada, Timothy Olyphant

    "It's not a joke, it's a rope, Tuco. Now I want you to get up there and put your head in that noose."

  • 3
    219
    44

    Josey Wales

    The Outlaw Josey Wales

    Played ByClint Eastwood

    "Are you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?"

  • 4
    180
    37

    Played ByJohn Wayne

    "You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You gotta kill him or let him be."

  • 5
    188
    42

    Wyatt Earp

    Tombstone

    Played ByKevin Costner

    "You tell 'em I'M coming... and hell's coming with me, you hear?... Hell's coming with me!"

  • 6
    157
    55

    William Munny

    Unforgiven

    Played ByClint Eastwood

    "It's a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have."

  • 7
    125
    52

    Marshal Matt Dillon

    Gunsmoke, Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge

    Played ByJames Arness

    "If you're gonna to use that gun, you better start on me."

  • 8
    125
    54

    Eric 'Hoss' Cartwright

    Bonanza

    Played ByDan Blocker

    "Folks around here judge a man by what he is, not what he was."

  • 9
    124
    54

    Ethan Edwards

    The Searchers

    Played ByJohn Wayne

    "Figure a man's only good for one oath at a time; I took mine to the Confederate States of America."

  • 10
    124
    58

    Butch Cassidy

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

    "If he'd just pay me what he's spending to make me stop robbing him, I'd stop robbing him."

  • 11
    104
    46

    Tom Doniphon

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    Played ByJohn Wayne

    "Liberty Valance's the toughest man south of the Picketwire - next to me."

  • 12
    104
    47

    Lieutenant Dunbar

    Dances with Wolves

    Played ByKevin Costner

    "My name is Dances with Wolves. I have nothing to say to you. You are not worth talking to."

  • 13
    99
    55

    The Sundance Kid

    Blackthorn, The Legend of Butch & Sundance

    "What I'm saying is, if you want to go, I won't stop you. But the minute you start to whine or make a nuisance, I don't care where we are, I'm dumping you flat."

  • 14
    85
    57

    Will Kane

    High Noon, High Noon part II: The Return of Will Kane

    Played ByGary Cooper, Lee Majors

    "Don't shove me Harv. I'm tired of being shoved."

  • 15
    75
    65

    Ben Wade

    3:10 to Yuma

    Played ByGlenn Ford, Russell Crowe

    "You know, squeezin' that watch won't stop time."

  • 16
    77
    70

    Curly Bill Brocius

    Tombstone

    Played ByPowers Boothe, Jon Voight, Lewis Smith

    "Looks like we win."

  • 17
    75
    68

    Billy the Kid

    Young Guns

    Played ByEmilio Estevez

    "You know, Sir, I do admire you, and I sure would like to touch the gun that's gonna kill Billy the Kid."

  • 18
    82
    78

    Zorro

    Zorro, Kaiketsu Zorro

    Played ByToshihiko Seki, Guy Williams, Tyrone Power, Antonio Banderas, Douglas Fairbanks

    "Be careful senorita, there are dangerous men about."

  • 19
    73
    68

    Sam Chisholm

    Magnificent Seven

    "Man carries a gun, he tends to use it."

  • 20
    66
    60

    John Ruth

    The Hateful Eight

    "You only need to hang mean b*stards, but mean b*stards you need to hang!"

  • 21
    97
    100

    Django

    Django Unchained, Django

    Played ByFranco Nero, Jamie Foxx, Jack Betts, Anthony Steffen, George Hilton

    "Kill white people and get paid for it? What's not to like?"

  • 22
    74
    75

    The Lone Ranger

    The Lone Ranger, The Lone Ranger

    Played ByChad Michael Murray, Armie Hammer

    "That was supposed to be a warning shot."

  • 23
    70
    72

    Ranger Cordell Walker

    Walker, Texas Ranger

    Played ByChuck Norris

    "That's what life is all about people, making the smart choices."

  • 24
    58
    59

    Dan Evans

    3:10 to Yuma

    Played ByVan Heflin, Christian Bale

    "You say one more word, and I'll cut you down right here."

  • 25
    60
    62

    Charlie Prince

    3:10 to Yuma

    Played ByBen Foster

    "For a one-leg rancher... he's one tough son of a b*tch."