Western is a genre of movies which is centered around the latter half of the 19th century in the American frontier. When you think about Western movies, some of the first things that come to mind are cowboys, mighty steeds, gun-slinging outlaws, lots of liquor and wide stretches of desert-like landscapes.
While we all love a good hero, they would not be as successful without having the trusty sidekicks alongside them. These saddle pals not only provide much-needed comedic relief, but they are also the one, in most cases, who play an integral role into taking down the bad guy.
There are hundreds of actors who have the role of the sidekick, but there are very few who stay in our minds as the best. Some of them have been so successful that their roles have led to the creation of their own series. Some of these people include Smiley Burnette, Dub Taylor, Fuzzy St. John, Slim Pickens, Andy Clyde and Rand Brooks.
How well do you know some of the most popular Western sidekicks to ever grace both the big screen and television? If you would like to put your knowledge to the test, then this is definitely the quiz for you. Take it to see how well you will perform!
George Francis “Gabby” Hayes (1888 – 1969) was an American actor who is best known for playing the roles of cantankerous, brave and loyal sidekicks in a string of Western films, 40 of which were in within 7 years. He is also known for saying the phrases “young whippersnapper” and “dadgummit”.
Clifton Avon Edwards (1895 – 1971), also known as “Ukulele Ike”, was an American actor and singer who is well known for being the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Disney’s 1940 classic Pinocchio. He also starred in a few Western comedies as a supporting character.
Jay Silverheels (1912 – 1980) was a Mohawk Canadian actor who is well known for playing the role of the faithful Indian companion, Tonto, to the Lone Ranger in the television series with the same name.
Walter Clarence Taylor Jr. (1907 – 1994), better known as Dub Taylor, was an American actor whose 50-year career saw him starring in numerous Western films. One of his most popular roles was that of the co-hero “Cannonball," which he reprised in over 50 movies.
Lloyd “Slim” Andrews (1906 – 1992) was an American actor who was best known for playing the role of a sidekick in a number of Western films from the 1940s to the 1950s. Some of his signature phrases include “Great gobs of goose grease” and “Hi Ho Josephine”.
Paul Hurst (1888 – 1953) was an American actor and director who in his film career is best remembered for being the person who was shot by Scarlett in "Gone with the Wind." He is also known for starring in “The Old Frontier”, “The Missourians” and “Big Him McLain”.
Robert Blake (1933 - ) is an American retired actor who is best known for playing the recurring role of “Little Beaver” the sidekick in more than 20 Western films. In 2002, he was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley.
Roscoe Lee Browne (1922 – 2007) was an American actor and director, whose body of work has won him almost every major award. The most famous Western films that he has starred in is “The Cowboys” where he played the role of a young cowhand who avenged the death of his rancher and friend.
Chris-Pin Martin (1893 – 1953) was an American actor who is best known for his portrayal of Mexican sidekicks in “The Cisco Kid” film series. He also appeared in “King of the Bandits”, “The Ox-Bow Incident” and “Romance of the Rio Grande”.
William Scott “Jack” Elam (1920 – 2003) was an American actor who was best known for playing villainous roles in Western films. Throughout his career, he has made over 100 appearances in film and television. He also appeared in “The Night of the Grizzly” alongside Clint Walker.
Leo Carrillo (1880 – 1961) was an American actor who is best known for playing the role of Pancho in the Western television series “The Cisco Kid” alongside Duncan Renaldo. He also starred in Viva Villa! and the Arizona Wildcat.
Lester Alvin Burnett (1911 – 1967), better known as Smiley Burnett, was an American actor who is best known for playing the role of sidekick to actors including Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. His famous role was in the film serial “The Adventures of Rex and Rinty” as Jensen.
Buddy Ebsen (1908 - 2003) is an America actor whose career lasted for over 70 years, the most famous of which was the role of family patriarch in the sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies." In the 1950s, he starred in a string of Westerns including Utah Wagon Trail.
Strother Martin (1919 – 1980) was an American actor who was known for appearing in numerous Western films as in support of actors like Paul Newman and John Wayne. His biggest success was in the film "Cool Hand Luke," where he was heard saying “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate”.
Al St. John (1892 – 1963) was an American actor who is best known for starring as Fuzzy Q. Jones in the Billy the Kid series and the Lone Ranger series. In total, he made over 80 Western films as Fuzzy as the sidekicks of other characters.
Andy Clyde (1892 – 1967) was a Scottish-born American actor who has had a career exceeding 40 years. Some of his most significant roles include the supporting role of California Carlson in the Hopalong Cassidy movie series and as farmer Cully Wilson in the TV series Lassie.
Johnny Depp (1963 – ) is an American actor who is best known for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In 2013, he starred as Tonto, a Native American warrior who accompanies the John Reid on his quests.
Walter Andrew Brennan (1894 – 1974) was an American actor who is one of three actors to have won three Academy Awards. He also starred in many sidekick roles alongside actors like Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, James Stewart and Gary Cooper.
Max Terhune (1891 – 1973) was an American actor who has starred on almost 70 different films, most of which were B-westerns. He was best known for playing the role of the comical sidekick, Lullaby Joslin, in The Three Mesquiteers movie series.
Fran Yaconellu (1898 – 1965) was an Italian actor who is one of the more memorable sidekicks in western films. He is best known for portraying Mexican characters in movies like Senor Americano, Empty Saddles and Flirting With Danger.
Gordon Jones (1912 – 1963) was an American comedian and actor who has often been called one of the most overlooked sidekicks in B western films. Some of the films he has starred in include Belle of Old Mexico, Arizona Cowboy and Sunset in the West, North of the Great Divide.
Frank Rice (1892 – 1936) was an American actor who initially began working in silent films taking on supporting actor roles. He then moved on the play the role of the helper and sidekick of Buzz Barton in many of the Buzz series.
Emmett Earl Lynn (1897 - 1958), nicknamed "Pappy," was an American actor who played several sidekick roles throughout his career, in movies including Frontier Outlaws, Blazing Guns, Fighting Frontiersman and The Kid from Broken Gun.
Kevin Costner (1955 – ) is an American actor who is best known for starring in films like Dances with Wolves and Waterworld. In 2003, he starred as Charley Postlewaite in the movie Open Range, the hired hand and "sidekick" of Boss Spearman, an open range cattleman.
Tex Harding (1918 - 1981) was an American actor who throughout the 1940s played a number of roles in Western films, the most popular of which was as Tex Harding, alongside other actors in more than 5 films.
Maxwell Emmett “Pat” Buttram (1915 – 1994) was an American actor who is best remembered for playing Gene Autry’s sidekick in numerous Western films and for playing the role of Mr. Haney in the series “Green Acres.
Matt Damon (1970 – ) is an American actor who has starred in a number of big screen movies earning almost every major movie award. In 2010, he starred in "True Grit," as Texas Ranger LaBeouf, alongside Jeffrey Bridges as Rooster Cogburn in the search for the outlaw Tom Chaney.
Ken Curtis (1916 – 1991) was an American singer and actor who was best known for the role of the illiterate and cantankerous deputy, Festus Haggen in the Western television series, "Gunsmoke." He also starred in another Western series, "Death Valley Days."
Pat Brady (1914 – 1972) was an American actor who is best known for starring as the comical sidekick, Roy Rogers, in different Western films and television series including "The Golden Stallion" and "Man from Cheyenne."
Jack Palance (1919 – 2006) was an American actor and Academy Award nominee who has starred in a string of western films, one of which includes "Monte Walsh" (1970) where he played the role of Chet Rollins the friend and worker of Monte Walsh.
Andrew Vabre “Andy” Devine (1905 – 1977) was an American actor who was best known for his raspy and crackly voice which was heard in a number of Western films. One of his most successful roles was that of Cookie, the sidekick of Roy Rogers in over 10 films.
Louis Burton Lindley Jr. (1919 – 1983), better known as Slim Pickens, was an American actor who was known for starring in the Western series, "Blazing Saddles." He also starred in "Rocky Mountain", "One-Eyed Jacks," and "The Cowboys."
Marion Mitchell Morrison, (1907 – 1979), better known as John Wayne, was an American actor and filmmaker who is best known for winning an Academy Award for his role in "True Grit." He is also known for the other roles as cowboys in over 80 films.
Eduardo Noriega (1973 – ) is a Spanish actor who has starred in a series of films both Spanish and English. In the 2011 movie "Blackthorn," he played the role of the Spaniard Eduardo Apodaca, who after being saved by lead character Blackthorn, sets off on a journey with him.
Jackie Chan (1954 - ) is an American-Chinese martial artist and actor who has starred in over 150 films since the 1960s. Among many of his films is "Shanghai Noon," where he plays the role of Chon Wang who teams up with a train robber to take down a corrupt boss and to rescue a kidnapped princess.
Lochlyn Munro (1966 - ) is a Canadian actor who has starred in many films including "Scary Movie," "White Chicks" and the western film, "Dawn Rider." In the movie, he plays the role of Rudd Gordon, the friend (and sometimes helper) of the lead character, John Mason.
William Dennis Weaver (1924 – 2006) was an American actor who is best known for playing the role of Chester Good (the sidekick of Marshall Matt Dillon) on the series "Gunsmoke." He also appeared in "The Lawless Breed" and "War Arrows."
Raymond William Hatton (1887 – 1971) was an American actor who, throughout his career, has appeared in almost 500 films. One of his most popular roles was as the supporting character Rusty Joslin in the western film "The Three Mesquiteers" and also in the TV series, "Adventures of Superman."
Ben “Son” Johnson, Jr. (1918 – 1996) was an American rodeo cowboy and actor who has starred in a number of Western drama films and television series, most of which were as sidekicks. One of his roles won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Viggo Mortensen (1958 -) is an America actor who is known for playing numerous roles in western movies. Best known for playing the role of Aragorn in "The Lord of the Rings" movie series, Viggo also played the role of Deputy Everett Hitch, the accomplice of peacekeeper Virgil Cole in the movie "Appaloosa."