The weathered face of John Wayne is as familiar to Wild West fans as the rock formations of Monument Valley, a Winchester '73 rifle, a short black cigar clenched between Clint Eastwood's teeth, or the wild rear of a palomino named Trigger. In addition to all these icons of the western film world, we bet even casual cowboy fans can recognize many of the genre's top stars, from TV actors like James Arness or James Garner to big screen players like Steve McQueen and Walter Brennan to singing cowboys and other stars who donned those 10-gallon hats both onscreen and off.
Yet as familiar as the figures of these famous actors might be to fans of "Stagecoach," "True Grit" or "A Fistful of Dollars," how well do you think you could recognize your favorite stars without the normal context? If we zoomed in on John Wayne, Sam Elliott or Lee Van Cleef, could you still ID these Wild West heroes that stole our hearts? If you think you've got what it takes to claim this town, then it's time to head out on the range and give this quiz a shot. Just don't forget your spurs partner!
Known as the King of Cool, which "Bullitt" star and skilled race car driver is shown in this image?
Steve McQueen spent the late '50s starring as bounty hunter Josh Randall in the TV series "Wanted: Dead or Alive." While the show was a hit, McQueen really wanted to get out of the show so he could take part in "The Magnificent Seven." A "fortunately-timed" car accident left McQueen just injured enough to leave the TV studio, but well enough to star in the smash 1960 cowboy flick. What are the odds?
The star shown here not only had success playing cowboy roles, but is also remembered for his work with Rita Hayworth in "Gilda." Know his name?
Glenn Ford performed in more than two dozen westerns throughout his career, beginning with "Texas," in 1941. He played bad guy Ben Wade in the 1957 classic "3:10 to Yuma," then starred as a cattle hand who brings a hotel clerk out on the range in "Cowboy" in 1958.
Before his face appeared on salad dressing, this actor was a huge Hollywood star. Can you ID this actor who played Bruce Cassidy back in '69?
Lee Van Cleef
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "The Long, Hot Summer" made him a star, but it was "Bruce Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" that made Paul Newman a western icon. Playing the legendary outlaw alongside Robert Redford as Sundance, Newman robbed trains and ran from the law all the way to Bolivia in South America.
Identify this actor who earned a whopping three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, including one for the 1940 flick "The Westerner."
After a stunt gone wrong, actor Walter Brennan lost most of his teeth in 1935. Fortunately for Brennan, wearing false teeth made him much more versatile as an actor. He went on to win three Best Supporting Actor Oscars between 1936 and 1940. The final award came for his portrayal of the villainous Judge Roy Bean in "The Westerner."
When he couldn't find anyone to make "Dances with Wolves," this actor produced, directed and starred in the 1990 flick himself, but can you name him?
After a friend wrote a script for the movie, Kevin Costner got frustrated trying to get "Dances with Wolves" made, so he took a chance and made it himself. He not only won fans as Army Lieutenant John Dunbar but also won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director.
Which of these actors had his hands full as a father to Adam, Hoss and Little Joe on "Bonanza?"
As family patriarch Ben "Pa" Cartwright on "Bonanza," Lorne Greene had his hands full caring for three sons at the Ponderosa ranch. Greene capitalized on his cowboy image with a series of popular country-western albums in the '60s.
After a turn as Boo Radley in the 1962 classic "To Kill a Mockingbird," this actor went on to play a cowboy. Who is he?
After "To Kill a Mockingbird," Robert Duvall got into an intense shootout with John Wayne in "True Grit" in 1969. He later starred opposite Tommy Lee Jones as Texas Ranger Gus McCrae in the 1989 hit "Lonesome Dove."
After playing in both the MLB and NBA, this actor starred on "The Rifleman" in the '50s and '60s. Who is he?
Chuck Connors was an overachiever from the start, playing basketball for the Celtics before playing pro baseball with the Cubs. Later, he went to Hollywood, where he found fame as widowed father Lucas McCain on the long-running series "The Rifleman."
This founder of the Sundance Film Festival actually played the Sundance Kid in 1969, but can you recognize him from this image?
Robert Redford became a cowboy icon playing Bruce Cassidy's famous sidekick in the classic 1969 film, which co-starred Paul Newman. Though he is perhaps best known for the 1973 movie "The Sting," he returned to western drama with "The Horse Whisperer" in 1998.
Choose the correct name for this actor who appeared in three John Wayne films and who was known for his unusual white hair.
Despite hair that turned white at an early age, Lee Marvin found plenty of Hollywood success. He can be seen opposite John Wayne in "The Comancheros" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." He also played duel roles in the comedy western "Cat Ballou," which also starred Jane Fonda.
Before he was Doc Holliday in "Tombstone" he played Jim Morrison in "The Doors." Think you can name this actor?
Val Kilmer may have played a rock star in "The Doors" and a pilot named Iceman in "Top Gun," but he was also able to pull off the part of a cowboy. He proved his western mettle with his role as the title character in the TV movie "Billy the Kid," and again playing the legendary Doc Holliday in the 1993 hit movie "Tombstone."
That's Marshall Matt Dillon to you. Do you know who played this "Gunsmoke" star?"
As Marshall Matt Dillon, James Arness protected the people of Dodge City from mayhem. After 20 seasons on the show, Arness swapped his clean-shaven look for a rugged beard to play mountain man Zeb Macahan in "How the West Was Won."
"Along the Great Divide" was his first western, and one of the 100-plus films he appeared in during a long career. Recognize this cowboy?
Many film fans today recognize Kirk Douglas for his starring role in the 1960 film "Spartacus," but this actor also tried his hand at westerns. He played in the 1957 flick "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," which is one of seven movies Douglas appeared in with Burt Lancaster. You may also remember him as Marshal Howard Nightingale in the 1975 film "Posse."
Primarily know for noirs, who is this actor who had his first starring role as a cowboy who saves a dance hall girl in the 1944 flick "Nevada?"
Robert Mitchum's western career stretched over several decades. He appeared in both "Blood on the Moon" and "Rachel and the Stranger" in 1948, and also showed up as a Sheriff in the 1967 flick "El Dorado," which co-starred John Wayne.
Hi-ho Silver! Can you identify this actor who played the Lone Ranger?
Clayton Moore starred in "The Lone Ranger" from 1949 through 1957, and kept up the part through live appearances for many years after that. His cowboy career actually started much earlier, with bit parts in '30s movies and a turn as the infamous outlaw in the 1947 movie "Jesse James Rides Again."
You might remember him from the 1968 flick "Planet of the Apes," but do you remember the name of this actor who also starred in dozens of westerns?
Charlton Heston won an Oscar for his work in the 1959 classic "Ben-Hur" and pulled off a great twist ending in 1968 with "Planet of the Apes." This movie industry icon also donned a cowboy hat more than once, appearing in "The Savage" and "Arrowhead" in the '50s, then starring in the 1980 flick "The Mountain Man," which was written by his son Fraser.
After winning Best Actor for "The French Connection," this legend won Best Supporting Actor two decades later for "Unforgiven." Know his name?
Gene Hackman has had a storied film career that has included numerous movies set in the west. He won wave reviews and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work as Little Bill Daggett in the 1992 Clint Eastwood blockbuster "Unforgiven." The nest year Hackman played the lead in "Geronimo: An American Legend," then took of the role of Mayor John Herod in "The Quick and the Dead."
From 1959 through 1965, this cowboy played the eldest son Adam Cartwright on the classic series "Bonanza." Do you recognize this actor?
"Bonanza" offered plenty of western action and cowboys of all ages, including Pernell Roberts, who played the eldest son Adam. Roberts went on to play a U.S. Marshal on the big screen in "Four Rode Out," and famously starred as Dr. John McIntyre in the "M.A.S.H." spin-off "Trapper John M.D." in the '80s.
The Singing Cowboy shown here not only made movies, but also recorded some of your favorite Christmas tunes. Think you can name him?
Gene Autry appeared in a whopping 100 cowboy films in the '30s and '40s, then starred in "The Gene Autry Show" alongside his horse Champion from 1950 through 1956. Even those who've never seen a western film may know Autry from his recordings of classic Christmas songs like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Here Comes Santa Claus."
He crooned "Happy Trails" and rode a palomino named Trigger, but do you recall the name of this beloved cowboy?
Lee Van Cleef
Roy Rogers had plenty of movie credits under his belt, including "Don't Fence Me In" and "My Pal Trigger" by the time he starred on "The Roy Rogers Show" in the '50s. And yes, the chain of fast-food burger restaurants is named for this iconic cowboy.
In the 1953 flick "Shane," this western star plays a Wyoming ranch hand who takes on a cattle baron, but do you remember his name?
Alan Ladd starred as Confederate Army Captain Brett Sherwood in the 1951 western "Red Mountain." His next cowboy role is the one he is best remembered for today ... the starring role of a mysterious gunslinger who settles down in Wyoming in the 1953 flick "Shane."
Name this "Tombstone" actor who got his start in a '60s western-themed TV series.
Believe it or not, Kurt Russell got his big break in 1963 when he appeared in the title role on western family series "The Travels of Jamie McPheeters." While he had plenty of memorable roles in the years after, one of his most iconic cowboy parts was playing Wyatt Earp in the 1993 movie "Tombstone," which co-starred Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday.
Famous for "The Magnificent Seven" and "Duck, You Sucker!," who is the lanky film star shown in this image?
James Coburn had roles in a series of forgettable '50s westerns before hitting it big with the part of Britt in "The Magnificent Seven" in 1960. He later found great success with spaghetti westerns, notably Sergio Leone's "Duck, You Sucker!" that was also known as "A Fistful of Dynamite."
He was Paladin in "Have Gun, Will Travel" and also played the title role in "Hec Ramsey. Who is this TV cowboy icon?
Richard Boone played a roaming Wild West mercenary on "Have Gun, Will Travel," from 1957 through 1963. He later went on to star on "Hec Ramsey" in the '70s. This series, set in the 1910s, combined a western theme with a brand new concept ... forensic science.
Gary Cooper starred in the 1929 version of "The Virginian," but can you name this actor that played the title character in the 1946 remake?
Joel McCrea was the unnamed cowboy at the heart of "The Virginian." After the release of this 1946 movie, he acted only in westerns for the next three decades, including playing former Sheriff Steve Judd in "Ride the High Country" in 1962, which co-starred Randolph Scott.
Who is this 6'6" actor famous for playing the title character in the '50s TV series "Cheyenne?"
As Cheyenne Bodie, Clint Walker played a white man who was raised by Native Americans and grew up to become a cowboy. The series ran from 1955 to 1963, after which Walker found roles in westerns like "More Dead Than Alive" and "The Great Bank Robbery."
You're probably used to seeing him as George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life," but can you name this actor who headlined countless westerns?
James Stewart got his start sporting a cowboy hit in "Destry Rides Again," where he co-starred with Marlene Dietrich. After a stint in the Army, Stewart returned to Hollywood to make "Winchester '73" and to play the title role in the 1962 classic "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."
He was "the Bad" as Angel Eyes in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Know the name of this sinister-looking cowboy?
Lee Van Cleef
You may have missed Lee Van Cleef's silent role in "High Noon," but you can't miss him as the villain Angel Eyes in Sergio Leone's classic "For a Few Dollars More" or "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Van Cleef also played the role of Sabata the gunman in a pair of spaghetti westerns in the late '60s and early '70s.
He was "The man with no name" in the Sergio Leone "Dollars" trilogy, but do you know the name of the actor-turned-director shown here?
He was cowboy Rowdy Yates in the '60s TV series "Rawhide," but it was his role as a mysterious man with no name in "A Fistful of Dollars," "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" that launched Clint Eastwood into stardom. Almost 30 years later, he won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for his western flick "Unforgiven."
Sorry pilgrim, but if you can't name this legendary cowboy, you can't rightfully call yourself a western fan. Know who he is?
Born Marion Morrison, John Wayne made well over 100 movies, almost all of them westerns. After dozens of roles, he got his big break in the 1939 John Ford classic "Stagecoach," and later played rancher Tom Doniphon in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence." It was Wayne's turn as Marshall Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 movie "True Grit" that won him his first Oscar for Best Actor. Maybe it was the eye patch.
A shot of this actor's piercing blue eyes shocked viewers when he played villain Frank in "Once Upon A Time in the West." What's his name?
Henry Fonda was one of the most famous actors of the 20th century, and his role as Tom Joad in "The Grapes of Wrath" in 1940 is among his most celebrated performances. While Fonda appeared opposite John Wayne in "Fort Apache" and starred on the TV series "The Deputy," one of his cowboy roles was designed to shock the audience. The murderous Frank who appears at the start of the film and murders kids in cold blood? That was Fonda, and Sergio Leone was fully aware of how fans would react to seeing their beloved hero play a villain.
What is the name of this cowboy who starred in a staggering 300 films, almost all of them silent and produced before the 1930s?
Lee Van Cleef
Tom Mix was the original big-screen cowboy, starring in 300 films between 1909 and 1935. His ties to the west didn't end there, however; Mix helped John Wayne get his first studio job in Hollywood, and even served as a pallbearer at the 1929 funeral of Wyatt Earp.
Hollywood came up with yet another remake of "The Virginian" in the '60s, this time in the form of a TV series. Know the name of the actor who played Trampas?
Doug McClure starred as Trampas on the 90-minute TV show "The Virginian" from 1962 through 1971. By transforming the classic villain into more of a comedic role, McClure made the part feel fresh while winning new fans for the western genre. You may also remember this actor from the 1965 film "Shenandoah" with James Stewart.
If we tell you he played Virgil Earp in the 1993 classic "Tombstone," could you guess the name of this iconic cowboy?
Though his face looks like it was created for the western genre, Sam Elliott actually got his big break playing a muscled hunk in the 1976 flick "Lifeguard." In addition to plenty of TV and film roles, Elliot showed off his cowboy mettle as Virgil Earp alongside Kurt Russell in the 1993 film "Tombstone."
Many of the western TV shows of the '50s and '60s featured a villainous appearance by this actor, but we bet you can't guess his name!
In addition to dozens of small parts in cowboy TV series, Jack Elam also showed up on the big screen. He was a gunslinger in "Once Upon a Time in the West" and was seen sitting in a jail cell in "High Noon." Later, Elam found great success with comedy cowboy roles in "Support Your Local Sheriff!" and "Support Your Local Gunfighter!"
After rolling on the beach in "From Here to Eternity," which actor went on to play Wyatt Earp in "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral?"
It looks like Burt Lancaster is versatile enough to play any role; after a roll in the sand in "From Here to Eternity," he spent the next few years playing rough and rugged cowboys. Lancaster starred as the legendary Wyatt Earp in "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," and also starred as a gun-slinging bad guy opposite Gary Cooper in "Verz Cruz."
More than half of the 100-plus films featuring this actor were westerns. Think you can name him?
Randolph Scott had a series of small roles in early westerns, including "The Virginian" in 1929. His first leading role came with "The Last of the Mohicans" in 1936, but it was starting his own production company in the '40s that gave the strong, silent cowboy persona Scott portrayed to really shine.
This "Maverick" star was more of an anti-hero than an old-school cowboy. Do you recognize him?
James Garner played traveling poker player Bret Maverick on the small screen from 1957 through the early '60s. At the start of the new millennium, he joined fellow western icons Tommy Lee Jones and Clint Eastwood on "Space Cowboys," a film that took on a whole new frontier and left the Wild West far behind.
Who is this actor who appeared in silent westerns throughout the '20s, but had his first major speaking role in a film with the 1929 hit "The Virginian?"
Gary Cooper left silent films behind with his starring role in "The Virginian." He later won an Oscar playing Marshall Will Kane in "High Noon." Because Cooper couldn't be there to accept the Best Actor statue, he asked John Wayne to receive the prize in his absence.
Take a close look ... who is this actor who played a man known only as Harmonica in "Once Upon a Time in the West?"
The 11th of 15 kids, Charles Bronson went to work in a coal mine to support his family starting at the age of 10. This tough childhood prepared him well to play a cowboy, which he did in dozens of small roles throughout the '50s. He got a big break with "The Magnificent Seven" in 1960, then had his most memorable role as Harmonica in "Once Upon a Time in the West" in 1968.