The Top 10 Western Actors of all times


Top 10 Western Actors

For over a century, the silver screen has offered up more than its fair share of western movies. And the actors that came with them, perhaps hundreds. I’m limiting this list to lead actors.
I’m offering up these 10 as what I think is a fair representation of the tippy top 10.
Let me know what you think. Who is missing and who should shuffle down the list?
I’m ready to make a sequel to this video based on your comments.
Here are what I think are the top 10 best western actors, lets mozy on now…
Starting the countdown with…

  1. Lee Marvin
    Born Lamont Waltman Marvin Jr.; otherwise known as Lee Marvin, was an American actor. Famous for his deep voice and premature white hair, best remembered for playing “tough guy” characters. Initially typecast as the “heavy”, he gained fame for portraying anti-heroes. Lee played in 25 western movies in his career.
  2. Robert Duvall
    Robert Selden Duvall, born in 1931, is an American actor and filmmaker. His career spans more than seven decades and he is considered one of the greatest American actors of all time. The recipient of many awards. A natural in the saddle and western movies. He has made his mark on this genre.
  3. Burt Lancaster
    Burton Stephen Lancaster (1913 – 1994) was an American actor and producer. Known for playing tough guys with a tender heart, he achieved success with complex and challenging roles over a 45-year career in film. Winner of many awards. Very comfortable in the western genre, having spent some time here.
  4. Steve McQueen
    Born Terrence Stephen McQueen (1930 – 1980). His antihero persona, emphasized during the height of the counterculture of the 60s, made him a top box-office draw for his films of the late 50s, 60s, and 70s. Nicknamed the “King of Cool”.
    No stranger to many genres of film. Very comfortable in westerns, thankfully for us.
  5. Robert Mitchum
    Born Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (1917 – 1997). He rose to prominence with an Academy Award nomination for the Best Supporting Actor for The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), starring in several classic film noirs. His acting is generally considered a forerunner of the antiheroes prevalent in film during the 1950s and 1960s. Mitchum probably wouldn’t have gone as far as he did without his work in the western genre.
    A few notable movies…
    Pursued (1947)
    El Dorado (1966)
    The Way West (1967)
    The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969)
  6. Henry Fonda
    This remarkable, soft-spoken American began in films as a difficult juvenile. With passing years, he matured into a star character actor who exemplified not only integrity and strength, but an ideal of the common man fighting against social injustice and oppression. Perfect for a Western movie.
    A few notable movies…
    The Ox-Bow Incident (1942)
    Fort Apache (1948)
    How the West Was Won (1962)
    The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)
    My Name Is Nobody (1973)
  7. James Stewart
    Known for his distinctive drawl and everyman screen persona, Stewart’s film career spanned 80 films from 1935 to 1991. With the strong morality he portrayed both on and off screen, he epitomized the “American ideal” in the mid-twentieth century. He brought a sincere honesty to his western movies.
    A few notable movies…
    Broken Arrow (1950)
    The Man from Laramie (1955)
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
    The Shootist (1976)
  8. Gary Cooper
    An stoic American actor known for his strong, quiet screen persona and understated acting style. He was one of the top 10 film personalities for 23 consecutive years and one of the top money-making stars for 18 years. A natural in westerns.
    A few notable movies…
    The Westerner (1940)
    Unconquered (1947)
    Vera Cruz (1954)
    The Hanging Tree (1959)
  9. Clint Eastwood
    An iconic actor, film director, producer and composer. Achieving success in the Western TV series Rawhide, rose to fame with his role as the “Man with No Name” in Sergio Leone’s “Dollars Trilogy” of Spaghetti Westerns during the mid-1960s and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Eastwood is an enduring cultural icon of masculinity.
    A few notable movies…
    A Fistful of Dollars (1964),
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966),
    Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970),
    High Plains Drifter (1973),
    The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976),
    Unforgiven (1992).
  10. John Wayne
    Nicknamed The Duke, a name adopted from his dog, an actor who became a popular icon through his starring roles in films made during Hollywood’s Golden Age, especially in Western movies. He appeared in a total of 179 film and TV shows. Consistently in the top box-office for three decades, he shared the screen with many other Hollywood stars of his era.
    A few notable movies…
    The Big Trail (1930)
    Stagecoach (1939)
    Rio Grande (1950)
    The Searchers (1956)
    Rio Bravo (1959)
    The Alamo (1960)
    The Comancheros (1961)
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
    True Grit (1969)
    The Shootist (1976)