Who Is The UK's Favourite Cowboy?


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CLINT EASTWOOD is voted all time favourite Western actor in an independent poll commissioned by movie channel TCM (Turner Classic Movies).

To celebrate 100 Years of Westerns and its own Western Week 13th - 19th October,2003, TCM has commissioned an independent survey to find out exactly which screen cowboy is the UK public’s favourite.

Conducted by independent company (IPSOS) in September 2003, the poll reveals that Clint Eastwood is the most favourite western actor with 62% of the votes, followed closely by John Wayne in second with 53% and Steve McQueen third with 31%.  The others in the top ten include in order of preference are, James Stewart, Kevin Costner, Paul Newman, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Lee Marvin and Henry Fonda.

TCM’s Western Week takes place 13th -19th October and two out of three of the screen cowboys, Eastwood (Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales) and Wayne (The Searchers, Rio Bravo) star in some of the most memorable films from the Western genre as part of this special celebratory week of programming.  

Clint Eastwood burst on to the small screen as a cowboy in his debut acting appearance in the US TV series Rawhide.  His next work was with legendary Italian director Sergio Leone and it was his appearance as The Man With No Name in this series of Spaghetti Westerns,  A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For A Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) that made Eastwood famous as a poncho wearing, existentialist cowboy.

He made his directorial Western debut with, High Plains Drifter (1973), soon followed by The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), which like his later OSCAR® winning, Unforgiven (1992), is concerned with the subversion of the familiar stereotypes he played on a regular basis in previous Westerns.  The myth of the nameless man roaming the Wild West ready to eliminate anyone who crossed his path without any real motive is turned upside down by the actor/director.  Eastwood was keen to show his central character, in this film and Unforgiven, as a wronged man who has a motive for revenge.

IPSOS carried out the survey with adults 15+ and a sample size of 2,200 equally split between men and women.  Interviews were conducted face-to-face and interviewees were asked to list their favourites from names provided from most favourite to least favourite.

Survey Results:

1. Clint Eastwood  62%
2. John Wayne  53%
3. Steve McQueen  31%
4. James Stewart  27%
5. Kevin Costner  24%
6. Paul Newman  24%
7. Gary Cooper  19%
8. Gregory Peck  18%
9. Lee Marvin  18%
10. Henry Fonda  16%

TCM (Turner Classic Movies), an AOL Time Warner Company draws from an extensive library of timeless movies presenting them in a contemporary style reinterpreting their place in history and their relevance to people’s lives today. In the UK, an average of 5.1 M viewers tune in to TCM each month, making TCM the 2nd highest rating movie channel (behind Sky Premiere). TCM is available via cable and satellite and reaches 9.04 million households in the UK.
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Material Copyright © 2003 Nigel Watson