Westerns stars today

This one came to me just reading various posts.
It’s just in the old days there were westerns stars, actors intrinsically linked to the genre. Some managed to cross over to other genres. Then were actors who crossed over to the western genre. I kind of think that’s it is today. Name actors do make westerns but I can’t think of 100% western stars.

Well, if an actor only took roles in westerns these days he’d be pretty short of work most of the time.

In the 1950s this was much more possible. Actors such as Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott made clear career decisions to only make westerns when they reached a certain age and knew their matinee idol status was long behind them and they had little chance of pulling off romantic lead roles anymore. In those days westerns were a staple of the movie industry and they could make a good living working solely in that genre. McCrea made the decision at the age of 46 that he would only make westerns in future and went on to 18 of them in the next 10 years. Good luck with that today.

Likewise, for young actors. There just aren’t enough westerns made to make a name in that field alone. An exception is maybe Timothy Olyphant who, although he has made far more non-westerns than westerns, is inextricably linked to roles in two successful TV shows where he plays a gun toting lawman in a big hat. And even then Justified was a modern day cop show although it was clearly a western underneath.


That’s a great post Phil that probably covers it. I would add Audie Murphy to the list cause I cannot think of anything other than Westerns that he did.