The western genre helped propel many great actors to superstardom when they wore those hats and boots, then rode their horses toward the sunset, up until their director yelled "Cut!" Do you remember these celebs?
Since the western film genre is as old as Hollywood filmmaking itself, many Silent Film Era actors appeared in westerns of that time. Film historians identify William S. Hart as the first western film hero who epitomized what we now know of typical western film protagonists: a man of integrity who fights when needed, and is honorable in his intentions and action. His 1925 silent film called "Tumbleweeds" started it all, and paved the way for future western film heroes to develop and evolve from this character archetype.
As the western film genre flourished, so did the variety of western film heroes. The concept of the anti-hero came to be, with outlaws becoming the main protagonists of western films. They may not have the honor and integrity of the typical western hero, but these figures gave the western character a more nuanced context. They now appeared more human, and less of "a perfect hero." In the process, they also became relatable to audiences.
Up to now, the western as a genre is still being revised and reformed. But the big-named stars still want to star in them, as they see it as a good opportunity to contribute to the western genre.
So, can you name the films where these actors played cowboys, outlaws or western in-betweens? Ride on and take the quiz, pardner!