Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are some memorable movie stars of westerns. These actors starred in a wide variety of westerns and helped define specific character types in the western genre of Hollywood that was one of the most popular movie types from the 1930s through the 1960s.
Gary Cooper was the first major western star. His breakout western role was in 1929 when he was the star of the first western with sound, "The Virginian." The actor was famous for many roles in his career, but none were more popular than his portrayal of sheriff Will Kane, the man that stood alone in High Noon.
Marion Robert Morrison became the symbol of American western heroes through his Hollywood persona, John Wayne. He became an American icon for his roles in many classic westerns.
Clint Eastwood launched into western fame as cowboy Rowdy Yates in the 1950s on the hit television series "Rawhide." He catapulted to international stardom as the man with no name in the western movie trilogy of Italian director Sergio Leone that included "A Fist Full of Dollars."