The Best Cowboy Characters In Film & TV History

Over 800 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Cowboy Characters In Film & TV History
Voting Rules
Movie 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: The Weinstein Company
Ranked by
  • Doc Holliday
    477 votes
    • Played By: Val Kilmer

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

  • Man with No Name
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars
    405 votes
    • Played By: Clint Eastwood

    "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"

  • Josey Wales
    The Outlaw Josey Wales
    356 votes
    • Played By: Clint Eastwood

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

  • Wyatt Earp
    318 votes
    • Played By: Kurt Russell

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

  • Rooster Cogburn
    295 votes
    • Played By: John Wayne, Jeff Bridges

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

  • William Munny
    295 votes
    • Played By: Clint Eastwood

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