Can You Identify the Lead Actors in These Classic Westerns?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is a classic western film that was directed by Sergio Leone and was released in 1966. It notably stars Clint Eastwood alongside Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach.

Directed by John Ford, “Fort Apache” is notable for being one of the most recognizable classic westerns. John Wayne plays a leading role in the film, along with Henry Fonda.

“Broken Arrow” is a classic western film that was directed by Delmer Daves and was released in 1950. It notably stars Jeff Chandler alongside Debra Paget and James Stewart.

Directed by Anthony Mann, “Winchester '73” is one of the most recognizable classic westerns. Shelley Winters plays a leading role in the film, along with James Stewart, Dan Duryea, and Stephen McNally.

“The Magnificent Seven” is a classic western film that was directed by John Sturges and was released in 1960. It notably stars Yul Brynner alongside Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and Robert Vaughn.

Directed by Robert Aldrich, “Ulzana's Raid” is a recognizable classic western. Burt Lancaster plays a leading role in the film, along with Richard Jaeckel, Bruce Davison and Joaquin Martinez.

“Rancho Notorious” is a classic western film that was directed by Fritz Lang and was released in 1952. It notably stars Marlene Dietrich alongside Arthur Kennedy and Mel Ferrer.

“Unforgiven” is notable for being one of the most recognizable classic westerns. Clint Eastwood plays a leading role in the film (while also serving as the director and producer), along with Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman.

“Bad Day at Black Rock” is a classic western film that was directed by John Sturges and was released in 1955. It notably stars Spencer Tracy alongside Robert Ryan and Anne Francis.

Directed by Sergio Leone, “Once Upon a Time in the West” stars Henry Fonda, who plays a leading role in the film, along with Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, and Jason Robards.

Directed by Sam Peckinpah, “The Wild Bunch” is notable for being one of the most recognizable classic westerns. William Holden plays a leading role in the film, along with Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, and Edmond O'Brien.

“The Ox-Bow Incident” is a classic western film that was directed by William A. Wellman and was released in 1943. It notably stars Dana Andrews alongside Henry Fonda and Mary Beth Hughes.

Directed by George Stevens, “Shane” is notable for being one of the most recognizable classic westerns. Alan Ladd plays a leading role in the film, along with Jean Arthur and Van Heflin.

“Lonely Are the Brave” is a classic western film that was directed by David Miller and was released in 1962. It notably stars Kirk Douglas alongside Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau.

Directed by Anthony Mann, “The Man from Laramie” is one of the most r . . ecognizable classic westerns. Arthur Kennedy plays a leading role in the film, along with James Stewart, Donald Crisp, and Cathy O'Donnell.

“Rio Bravo” is a classic western film that was directed by Howard Hawks and was released in 1959. It notably stars Dean Martin alongside John Wayne, Ricky Nelson and Angie Dickinson.

Directed by John Ford, “The Searchers” is notable for being one of the most recognizable classic westerns. John Wayne plays a leading role in the film, along with Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles and Natalie Wood.

“Blood on the Moon” is a classic western film that was directed by Robert Wise and was released in 1948. It notably stars Robert Mitchum alongside Barbara Bel Geddes, and Robert Preston.

Directed by Tom Gries, “Will Penny” is one of the most recognizable classic westerns. Charlton Heston plays a leading role in the film, along with Joan Hackett and Donald Pleasence.

“McCabe & Mrs. Miller” is a classic western film that was directed by Robert Altman and was released in 1971. It notably stars Warren Beatty alongside Julie Christie and René Auberjonois.

Directed by Fred Zinnemann, “High Noon” is one of the most recognizable classic westerns. Gary Cooper plays a leading role in the film, along with Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, and Katy Jurado.

Directed by Howard Hawks, “Red River” is one of the most recognizable classic westerns. Montgomery Clift plays a leading role in the film, along with John Wayne and Walter Brennan.

“She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” is a classic western film that was directed by John Ford and was released in 1949. It notably stars Joanne Dru alongside John Wayne and John Agar.

Directed by Henry King, “The Gunfighter” is a famous classic western. Gregory Peck plays a leading role in the film, along with Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell, and Karl Malden.

“Stagecoach” is a classic western film that was directed by John Ford and was released in 1939. It notably stars Claire Trevor alongside John Wayne in his breakthrough role.

Directed by Sergio Leone, “For a Few Dollars More” is a classic western. Lee Van Cleef plays a leading role in the film, along with Clint Eastwood and Gian Maria Volontè.

Directed by King Baggot, “Tumbleweeds” is a highly popular classic western. William S. Hart plays a leading role in the film (and also serves as the producer), along with Barbara Bedford and Lucien Littlefield.

“Johnny Guitar” is a classic western film that was directed by Nicholas Ray and was released in 1954. It notably stars Joan Crawford alongside Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, and Scott Brady.

“My Darling Clementine” is a classic western film that was directed by John Ford and was released in 1946. It notably stars Linda Darnell alongside Henry Fonda and Victor Mature.

Directed by Anthony Mann, “Bend of the River” is a classic western. James Stewart plays a leading role in the film, along with Arthur Kennedy, Julie Adams, and Rock Hudson.

“Rio Grande” is a classic western film that was directed by John Ford and was released in 1950. It notably stars Maureen O’Hara alongside John Wayne and Ben Johnson.

Directed by John Farrow, “Hondo" stars Geraldine Page, whoo plays a leading role in the film, along with John Wayne and Ward Bond.

Directed by John Huston, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” is a classic western that has become a favorite for fans of the genre. Humphrey Bogart plays a leading role in the film, along with Walter Huston, Tim Holt and Bruce Bennett.

“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” is a classic western film that was directed by John Ford and was released in 1962. It stars James Stewart alongside John Wayne, Vera Miles, and Lee Marvin.

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is a classic western film that was directed by George Roy Hill and was released in 1969. It notably stars Paul Newman alongside Robert Redford and Katharine Ross.

Directed by William A. Fraker, “Monte Walsh” is a highly recognizable classic western. Lee Marvin plays a leading role in the film, along with Jeanne Moreau and Jack Palance.

“Hombre” is a classic western film that was directed by Martin Ritt and was released in 1967. It notably stars Paul Newman alongside Fredric March, Richard Boone and Martin Balsam.

Directed by Sergio Leone, “A Fistful of Dollars” stars Clint Eastwood who plays a leading role in the film, along with Gian Maria Volontè, Marianne Koch and Wolfgang Lukschy.

“The Naked Spur” is a classic western film that was directed by Anthony Mann and was released in 1953. It notably stars Janet Leigh alongside James Stewart and Robert Ryan.

“Major Dundee” is a classic western film that was directed by Sam Peckinpah and was released in 1965. It notably stars Charlton Heston alongside Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, and James Coburn.

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Image: Paramount Pictures

About This Quiz

Are you quick on the draw?

When we think of classic westerns, what are the names of the actors that everyone's minds usually go to first? Many people would probably first mention John Wayne, while an almost equal amount of people would probably first think of Clint Eastwood. However, during the era of classic westerns, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne were not the only two actors who were making a name for themselves as gunslingers, cowboys, saloon goers, and hardworking folk.

Throughout the entirety of the 20th century, there was a consistent demand for tales of heroic sheriffs or stories of unlawful outlaws. As a result of this, there are hundreds upon hundreds of classic westerns to search through. Although admittedly, names like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood may come up dozens of times during this era, this quiz shines a light on some of the other iconic actors that have played leading roles in some of our favorite classic westerns! Let's see if you have what it takes to go head to head against this quiz!

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