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I was thinking of the TV westerns I grew up watching and I was trying to figure out who was the greatest TV western actor of all time. I know John Wayne was the best movie actor but of the shows on weekly I think James Arness was the best, who do you think deserves the title?


 

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Beartooth Regular
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Clint Eastwood, Rawhide!
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Don't know if he was the best "cowboy" on TV, but Maverick appears to have been the smartest.....not to mention the prettiest!

Dan
 

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I will throw my 2BITS atcha! My vote goes to William H. Boyd, none other than "Hoppalong Cassidy" He was a big screen star as well as having his movies played on TV and there still going today folks. Most important true fact about Hoppy, was that he was the greatest of all as a humanitarian and could have been elected president of the USA, if he had wanted to run for public office.
 

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Well, I watched all of what has been posted. Awful lot of westerns in the 60's. Some others I watched were Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Chuck Connors as the Rifleman, Steve McQueen in Wanted Dead or Alive and Nick Adams as The Rebel. Then you had Richard Boone in Paladine and Hugh O'Brien as Wyatt Earp. Who was the best? I liked Steve McQueen with his sawed-off shotgun.
 

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I gotta go with Chuck Conners as the rifleman or Nick Adams as The Rebel. If my poor old memory is still functioning Steve McQueen carried a chopped down modle 92 winchester and Nick Adams had the sawed off shotgun.
How many of the GREATS caried some kind of trick weapon. Don't forget Jock Mahoney as Yancy Derringer.

Palidin had a derringer, Johny Yuma had the Greener, Josh Randall had the cut down rifle, Johny Ringo carried a Lematte revolver, Yancy's sidekick Wolf Stands in Water had the knife in a neck sheath, Chuck Conners had the lever impact trigger on his 44-40.

Some of you older ones help me out here I was just a kid back then.
 

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John Russell as "The Lawman", from Laramie, WY. Peter Brown was his deputy and they always wore big heavy coats. My mother used to call them "mackinaws". :)
 

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I tend to think that Lucas McCain, The Rifleman, is my favorite t.v. westerns actor of all-time, with the "Bonanza Boys" following close behind.

Thanks,
Timberwolf
 

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Go with the Duke as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, just something about a guys with the reins in his teeth a winchester in his hand saying "fill your fists you S.O.Bs. Take care and have fun. Swany
 

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Nick Barkley was cool on Big Valley. He was like the Fonz in Western Garb. Not a whole lot of authenticism in dress or firearms though. There is no equal to the character's played by Gus McRae(Robert Duvall) and Capt. Woodrow F. Call(Tommy Lee Jones) in Lonsome Dove. I doubt the movie/characters will ever be surpassed in my lifetime. John Wayne is at the top, especially as Rooster Cogburn. My favorite line from True Grit is...."Not bad for a one eyed fat man". I AM a one eyed fat man so I always liked that one and have taken comfort in it.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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One of the stories I heard about Mr. Murphy was that when Hugh O'Brian challenged him to a fast draw contest, Audie suggested instead that they take real bullets and each one start at the opposite ends of town. I also understand that inspite of his boyish looks, the shy, quiet, never push back that you might expect, rather would challenge the stunt men to real fist fights. And that a number of the stunt men didn't want to do stunts with him because he didn't always pull his punches. It's interesting that the number one (Murphy) and number two (Neville Brand) most decorated WWII soldiers became actors.

Dan
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Chris,

If you like Duvall in "Lonesome Dove", suggest you will want to see the newly released movie, "Open Range". Very similiar character and the movie has one of the better shoot-outs I've seen. And yes, "Lonesome Dove" is also my favorite, but was not as enamored with the follow-up movies about the earlier and later careers.

Dan
 

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Thanks Dan...have been trying to see Open Range since it came out. I agree...the other Lonesome Dove prequels/sequels were no comparison to the original masterpiece. The actors did a wonderful job in most of those, but the stories weren't as powerful as the original. I just bought "The Long Riders" on DVD......hadn't seen it in a while...another good flick. It was the "Family Movie" for my family, enough so that my brothers named their country Western band after it. I always love to see David Carradine toting that Savage Single Shot Shotgun(makes you go huh, what's that doing there?), the one with the finger barrel release. I have a soft spot for single shot shotguns and they comprise much of my gun collection. For anyone who loves Civil War era flicks...."Ride with the Devil" is a good one. Toby Macquire does impress. Very period correct it looks like to me. You might laugh, but a Western that I always thought was the best growing up was "The Shadow Riders" with Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot. You get some Sharps Buffalo Gun action on that one and Sam Elliot is just the Best...even better in Connager. Didn't mean to divert from the question...the Greatest of All time. There are so many great ones out there, for different reasons :) .
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot both fit the "speak softly and carry a big stick" mold. And the Shadow Riders was excellent. But while I undertand that the Western hero is supposed to be bigger than life, I'll admit that for me, Mr. Elliot's roles are sometimes almost over the top. "Quiggly (spelling?) Down Under is another one where Mr. Selleck excels....they're always better when the bad guys are really, really bad and the good guy(s) are really, really good. I'll be that movie helped sell a lot of single shot rifles.

Dan
 
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