Do You Remember These Famous Western Heroes and Villains?



By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: NBC

About This Quiz

The great western movies of all time, tend to stay great throughout the ages. Best of all, along with these timeless movies came legendary heroes and evildoers, as can be expected from the genre; "the man with no name" and Clint Eastwood comes to mind immediately. That's the power of creating a character so memorable that it is ranked in the Top 20 for the Best Movie Characters of All Time on (with Dirty Harry coming in as number 68). From Ben Cartright (Lorne Greene) on "Bonanza" to John Wayne in all his Western movie glory, the heroes stood for justice, honor and decency in an often lawless world. Then there were the evildoers, the ones that caused anguish, destruction, downright mischief and the loss of loved ones. 

If just the names of these Western movies puts a smile on your face and if you're a huge fan of the once popular genre, then this is definitely the quiz for you. So, kick off your boots and pull up a chair because it's time to recall the friends, foes, and heroes of all your favorite westerns. If you want to test your western goodies, baddies and all the men and women in between, go ahead and get started on this quiz. 

Who is the dark hero of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"?

Clint Eastwood reprises his role as The Man With No Name in "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." It's the third and final movie in the '60s "Dollars" trilogy.


"Little Joe" was a big character in which huge hit?

Actor Michael Landon was Joseph "Little Joe" Cartwright, of "Bonanza" fame. Joe was the youngest son of Ben Cartwright. He appeared in almost every single episode (400+) of the famous TV series.


The main character's name is also the name of this celebrated Western film. What is it?

"Shane" is a masterpiece Western released in 1953. It relates the story of a cowboy named Shane, who gets sucked into a violent conflict with a ruthless cattle kingpin.


TV series "Bonanza" starred which hero cowboy?

Hoss Cartwright was the stout cowboy named Hoss Cartwright. Each episode of the show featured a new adventure for the Cartwright family.


Famed actor Lorne Greene plays a cowboy hero who goes by which name?

Greene is Ben Cartwright in "Bonanza." He and his three sons work on a huge ranch in Nevada, doing their best to make a living in the Old West.


A cowboy named Lucas McCain was the star of which famous Western show?

Lucas McCain was the star character of "The Rifleman," which aired in the late '50s and early '60s. In contrast to the show's title, McCain didn't like to resort to physical violence.


Matt Dillon was the head honcho cowboy who starred in which long-running show?

Matt Dillion was the U.S. marshal stationed in Dodge City, Kansas, in "Gunsmoke." Dillon appeared in both the radio and TV versions of the popular show.


In "Red River," Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) takes up which mission?

Thomas Dunson is the lead character in "Red River," in which he leads a physically-demanding cattle drive to Texas. Along the way, he must deal with Old West dangers and interpersonal drama.


Which Hollywood actor gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of The Man With No Name?

In the '60s, Clint Eastwood's career was going nowhere fast. Then, he took on the role of The Man With No Name in "A Fistful of Dollars" and became a Western star for the ages.


In "True Grit," why is Mattie Ross angry with a man named Tom Chaney?

In 2010's "True Grit," Chaney murders little Mattie's father. So she does what any child of the West would do -- she sets out for revenge.


Lee Marvin was the primary antagonist in "The Man Who Shot _____."

Lee Marvin played the villain in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." In the movie, Valance is a local bad buy who menaces a small Western town.


A bad man named Calvera leads a pack of bandits in which legendary film?

Calvera, played by Eli Wallach, repeatedly plunders an impoverished border town in Mexico. The town finds gunfighters to help them beat back the invaders in "The Magnificent Seven."


What is the name of the famous cowboy who wears a black mask?

The Lone Ranger is a Texas Ranger with a penchant for mysteriousness. He wears a black mask over his eyes and looks a little like a big raccoon.


Kitty Russell was a strong-willed Western woman in which show?

Kitty was the saloon owner in "Gunsmoke." She was clearly into Matt Dillon, but the show's writers danced around the relationship between the two stars.


Actor Richard Boone played Cicero Grimes, an evildoer in which 1967 film?

Cicero Grimes is the crude and merciless man who will take innocent hostages to suit his needs in "Hombre." Fortunately, a character named John Russell (Paul Newman) counters him with courage and intelligence.


Which famous actor plays the violent killer named Frank in 1968's "Once Upon a Time in the West"?

Henry Fonda made a career out of playing the good guy. But in "Once Upon a Time in the West," he turns heel, playing a murderer named Frank. But Frank has a terrible round of karma coming his way.


Frank Miller is the dastardly convict who is out for revenge in which movie?

Miller is a man who spent years in prison thanks to the work of Sheriff Will Kane. In "High Noon," he's released from prison and decides that he wants revenge.


J.B. Books is the heroic character in _____.

Books is the lead character in "The Shootist," who must fight off wannabe gunfighters from every side. It was John Wayne's last film.


Ethan Edwards is the rugged cowboy looking for his lost niece in which movie?

"The Searchers" is regarded as one of the best Westerns ever made. It stars John Wayne as Ethan Edwards, who is searching for his abducted niece in the wilds of the Old West.


Ben Wade terrorizes the Southwest in which gritty Western?

Ben Wade is a killer who will stop at nothing to preserve his own freedom. But in the end, he's not as black-hearted as he first seems.


Linus Rawlings (James Stewart) is a brave character in which epic film?

Rawlings is a hardcore mountain man who helps save some of the Prescott family from death in "How the West Was Won," an epic Western from 1963.


In "Unforgiven," Gene Hackman plays a warped sheriff in Big Whiskey. What's his name?

Hackman is the sadistic Little Bill, who uses his power to intimidate the good people of Little Whiskey. But Clint Eastwood's heroic character will have a say in the proceedings.


Will Kane is the gutsy star of which legendary Western?

In 1952, the black-and-white Western "High Noon" became an iconic masterpiece. In the film, a marshal is retiring and getting married on the same day ... but things don't work out the way he'd planned.


Which famous cowboy hero had a noticeable limp?

Hopalong Cassidy had a wooden leg that was the source of his memorable nickname. He started his career in books but made it to the big screen in numerous movies starting in the 1930s.


He's the psychopathic murderer who guns down children as he chases treasure in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." What's his name?

In "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," Angel Eyes is the soulless killer who kills at will. It takes an equally hard-hearted man to stop him.


In "One-Eyed Jacks," what kind of guy is Dad Longworth?

In "One-Eyed Jacks," Dad Longworth robbed a bank and ditched one of the men who helped him commit the crime. He's been hiding out for years, pretending to be an upstanding lawman ... but not for long.


John T. Chance is a major character in "Rio Bravo." Is he a good guy or a bad guy?

Chance is the local sheriff, played by John Wayne. He's outgunned by the evil local ranch bigwig, but pulls on his boots and settles in for the fight of his life ... and wins.


Who is the main character in 1992's "Unforgiven"?

William Munny is a former gunfighter turned pig rancher in "Unforgiven." But he takes up one last mission ... and it turns into cold-hearted carnage.


What's the name of the lead gunslinger in "The Magnificent Seven"?

Chris Adams is the courageous gunslinger who tries to help a beleaguered village in "The Magnificent Seven." But before it's all over, Adams and his cohorts will be bloodied.


The Lone Ranger has a steadfast sidekick who helps him beat bad guys. What's the name of his friend?

Tonto is the Native American warrior who helps the Lone Ranger as he pursues evildoers. He rides around on a horse that's sometimes called "White Fella."


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!