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10 Favorite Book and Movie Heroes of the West

MK here, dreaming of heroes. Sometimes a book or movie hero comes along who sparks an interest and remains with you long after you’ve closed the page. It’s tough to choose only a few because I have many favorites, and every time I read (or write) a new book, I risk finding another to add to my list. Rather than giving you my only “favorites,” here are the ones who readily come to mind from western books and movies.

Five Favorite Heroes from Books

Ethan Gallagher: Of course it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’d start with one of my own characters. I love all of the heroes in my book so very much, but Ethan from the Montana Gallagher series was my first hero which makes him extra special. For all of his faults and stubbornness, he is as close to my ideal hero as I can imagine. Chivalry, love of family, strength, and good looks only scratch the surface.

Morgan Longstreet: The hero in Jo Goodman’s novel In Want of a Wife, is like most of her other heroes—flawed, likeable, and kind of makes a girl want to time-travel to the 1800s just so she can be a mail-order bride for a man like this.

Chandos: The surly hero in Johanna Lindsey’s A Heart So Wild isn’t the usual dashing hero one might swoon over, and while I don’t swoon, I do happen to like everything about him from his sense of justice to his multitude of flaws.

Thomas Redstone: Kaki Warner’s hero in Home by Morning isn’t my typical choice of a favorite hero, but something about him stuck with me. Kind, wounded, strong, and a heart filled with love for one woman.

Charley Collins: This guy is from Jodi Thomas’s Lone Heart Pass. I rarely add a contemporary hero to my list of favorites, but gosh darn it, I liked Charley. Another wounded “warrior” (sense a theme here) and all-around good guy who’s just trying to do what’s best for his family.

Of course, these are only a few "favorites" I've come across. There will be new ones soon enough!

Five Favorite Heroes (actors) from Western Movies

Tom Selleck: I like just about any western movie he’s been in which means pick a character and he’s on my list. Even Quigley Down Under (which isn’t an American Western) counts in my book. Come on, it’s Tom Selleck.

Sam Elliott: Ditto what I wrote about Tom Selleck, although I must say that his character Conn Conagher in the movie Conagher tops my list. Haven’t seen it? Watch it and you’ll know what I mean.

Val Kilmer: Doc Holiday isn’t what you’d call a mainstream hero, but Val Kilmer plays the role so well in Tombstone. Humor, more flaws than any one person needs, and loyal as the day is long.

John Wayne: I’m not sure you could have a favorite list without JW on it. I’m partial to True Grit and Cowboys.

Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall: They get to share a spot because they both did a fantastic job in Open Range. If you want to give them more bonus points for individual movies, remember Dances with Wolves, Broken Trail, Lonesome Dove, and Silverado. Seriously, if you haven't seen Kevin Costner in Silverado, you've missed something special.

Do you have a favorite book or movie hero from the western genre?

Meet the Author

Book Spotlight

She was on a quest of discovery. He was on a quest for revenge. Together they would discover a second chance.

Gallagher's Pride by MK McClintock

Genre: Historical Romantic Western

Type: Novel

Heat Level: 2

Language Level: 2

Violence Level: 2

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