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Pierce Brosnan: From 007 to Sexy Cowboy

He joins the posse of classic 50+ Hollywood cowpokes

  • Pierce Brosnan in ‘The Son’
    James Minchin III/AMC

    Pierce Brosnan

    Urbane Cowboy “I was brought up on a steady diet of cowboys and Indians,” says Pierce Brosnan. Now he’s serving up his own Western adventure, starring in a sweeping new 10-part AMC series, The Son. beginning April 8. Brosnan, 63, who also appeared in the rough-and-tumble 2006 Western Seraphim Falls, still looks mighty dapper in a cowboy hat — and he’s just the latest 50-plus actor to saddle up for a memorable role. 

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  • John Wayne, McClintock! (1963)
    Getty Images

    John Wayne

    McClintock! (1963) The Duke was 56 when he starred in this raucous Western comedy. He brawled; he boozed; he even got the girl (Maureen O’Hara).

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  • Clint Eastwood, Pale Rider (1985)
    Warner Bros. Pictures/Getty Images

    Clint Eastwood

    Pale Rider (1985) Nearly 30 years after he first donned a cowboy hat on TV’s Death Valley Days, 55-year-old Clint continued to strike an imposing figure on a horse, bringing old-school justice to the Wild West.

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  • Robert Redford, The Horse Whisperer (1998)
    AF Archive/Alamy

    Robert Redford

    The Horse Whisperer (1998) Without really trying, 62-year-old Redford’s handsome horseman wins the heart of a concerned mother (Kristin Scott Thomas, 38); she must choose between him and her distant husband, played by Sam Neill.

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  • Jeff Bridges, True Grit (2010)
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    Jeff Bridges

    True Grit (2010) Growling and griping from start to finish, the 61-year-old Oscar winner has an undeniably rough-edged charm in this tale of a hard-drinking lawman who helps a teenage girl avenge her father’s death.

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  • Sam Elliot, The Ranch   (Now on Netflix)
    Greg Gayne/Netflix

    Sam Elliott

    The Ranch (now on Netflix) He’s been the craggy face and grizzled voice of Westerns ever since playing an unnamed cardsharp in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). Elliott, now 72, exudes that “man’s man” vibe in his current TV series, as well, where he channels a no-nonsense Colorado rancher.

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  • James Garner,  Maverick 1994
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    James Garner

    Maverick (1994) Almost four decades after playing smart-guy gambler Bret Maverick on TV, 66-year-old Garner saddled up as double-dealing Marshal Zane Cooper opposite Mel Gibson — who tackled the role that Garner had originated in 1957.

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  • Larry Hagman, Dallas
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    Larry Hagman

    Dallas (1978-91, 2012-13) His scheming Dallas oilman preferred limos to stallions, but the Texas-born Hagman wore a Stetson better than just about anyone. His 2012 death at age 79 came while Hagman was starring in the Dallas reboot. 

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  • Robert Duvall, Open Range (2003)
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    Robert Duvall

    Open Range (2003) Resplendent in a duster coat and cowboy hat, 72-year-old Duvall joins forces with Kevin Costner (who also directed) to avenge a friend’s death — and free a Western town from the clutches of some vile crooks.

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  • Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys  (2012)
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    Kevin Costner

    Hatfields and McCoys (2012) He donned Jimmy Stewart’s mantle of “America’s Favorite Conflicted Western Hero” in films like Silverado and Dances With Wolves, but the 57-year-old Costner hesitates not a moment here: Playing wilderness patriarch Anse “Devil” Hatfield, he exacts bloody revenge on the rival McCoys.

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  • Sam Shepard, Blackthorn (2011)

    Sam Shepard

    Blackthorn (2011) Turns out Butch Cassidy didn’t die alongside the Sundance Kid in that Bolivian shootout; in this moody sequel, he lives to fight another day. Shepard, 68, rides like the wind and battles like a banshee in Butch’s ultimate escapade in the South American desert.

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  • Paul Newman, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, Or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976)
    Dino De Laurentiis/United Artists/Getty Images

    Paul Newman

    Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976) Think felt cowboy hat and flowing silver wig — and 51-year-old Newman having a ball as legendary showman Buffalo Bill. After hiring Sitting Bull as an attraction, however, our hero comes to an uneasy realization about a truth of the Old West.

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  • Robert Taylor, Longmire (TV series 2012-Present)
    Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Robert Taylor

    Longmire (2012-2017) Australian actor Taylor was a babe of 49 when he first tugged at the brim of his character’s ever-present brown felt cowboy hat with the horsehair band. But just as the series has deepened in story and scope, so has the 53-year-old star’s performance as a modern-day Wyoming sheriff pouring himself into work while grieving the death of his wife.

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