It would be too little to say that “Yellowstone” has become something of a legend. As the popularity of the main Paramount show has grown, the show’s author, Taylor Sheridan, has made more spin-offs of high-quality shows than we can count. So far, Sheridan has been in charge of two “Yellowstone” prequels, “1883” and “1923,” and he is currently working on a third. He is also making “6666,” a “Yellowstone” spinoff that will come out soon.
Kevin Costner is the main star of the “Yellowstone” franchise, which has drawn a wide range of stars, such as Gil Birmingham, Sam Elliott, Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Neal McDonough, LaMonica Garrett, and Timothy Dalton. As the brand continues to grow, it will probably bring in even more big names. This has been shown to be true by other Sheridan-produced stories that take place outside of the “Yellowstone” world, such as “Tulsa King” and “Mayor of Kingstown,” which are led by Sylvester Stallone and Jeremy Renner, respectively.
There’s no question that Sheridan has done a great job building the “Yellowstone” series, bringing in a lot of well-known actors along the way. We can’t talk about every important guest appearance, but we can talk about some of the best ones. Here are the best moments from the world of “Yellowstone.”
Everyone was pleased to see Academy Award winner Tom Hanks in “1883,” a prequel to “Yellowstone.” Hanks plays General George Meade, who is known for defeating General Robert E. Lee in the Battle of Gettysburg at the end of the American Civil War.
Hanks shows up in a memory to the Battle of Antietam in Episode 2, “Behind Us, a Cliff.” The scene is brutal, and while Elsa Dutton (Isabel May) is telling the Union general that her father never talked about the war, a young James Dutton (Tim McGraw) comes over and makes friends with the Union general. It says that James spent the next three years in a Union prisoner-of-war camp. We never see or hear from or about General Meade again after that.
Hanks was a surprise addition to the “Yellowstone” world, and McGraw said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the only reason he was there was because they are friends.McGraw said, “I knew there was this part, so I called him and asked, ‘Hey, would you be interested in doing a cameo in this show we’re doing?’ He said, ‘Tell me when to be there,’ and he just showed up.’ We’re so happy he did.
1883: Billy Bob Thornton was born
At first view, Billy Bob Thornton doesn’t look like a Western star, but he’s perfect as the tough-as-nails sheriff in Episode 2 of “1883.” Thornton’s Marshal Jim Courtright doesn’t seem like the kind of guy you’d want to mess with. His strategy of “no killing” doesn’t really apply to him, since he shoots anyone who kills anyone else. After an attack on their wagon train kills many of their friends, James Dutton, Shea Brennan (Sam Elliott), and Courtright work together to find the people who did it.
Thornton also plays a historical person, just like Tom Hanks. The real Marshal Jim Courtright had a scary image because he cut the number of murders in his home state of Texas by about half. Unfortunately, Courtright was a bit of a criminal himself. While on duty, he took money for “protection.” Courtright only lived to be 39, while Thornton is getting close to 70. He was shot down in the middle of town, while Thornton is getting close to 70. The deal seems to be better in the “1883” form.
Thornton has only been in “1883,” but that doesn’t mean he won’t work with Taylor Sheridan again. Sheridan and Thornton have been working on a show called “Land Man” for a while now. It will be about the oil boom in West Texas. We don’t know much about the show, but we hope to see these two get back together soon.
Graham Greene was born in 1883.
So far, Graham Greene has only been in one episode of the “Yellowstone” saga. He appears in the final episode of “1883,” which has the ominous title “This Is Not Your Heaven.” As always, Greene, who is known for his work in “The Green Mile” and Westerns like “Dances with Wolves,” “Longmire,” and even the video game “Red Dead Redemption I,” doesn’t disappoint. Spotted Eagle is an old Crow man who helps the traveling Dutton family find their way to what will become Paradise Valley, Montana. The experienced actor plays Spotted Eagle.
Spotted Eagle tells the Dutton father that his people will one day take back the stolen land. It’s not clear how “Yellowstone” will end, but this prediction could be a clue.
This is not the first time Greene and Taylor Sheridan have worked together. In the Western writer Graham Greene’s 2017 movie “Wind River,” Greene plays an Indian police chief who helps Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen’s main characters catch a group of killers. Even though it would have been nice to see Greene on screen for a little longer, there is still a chance that he will return to “Yellowstone” in the future.
Rita Wilson was born in 1883
In “1883,” Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, along with their married friends Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, all make appearances. In Episode 6, “Boring the Devil,” Wilson plays Carolyn, a storekeeper who lives on the border between Texas and Oklahoma. She quickly makes friends with Hill’s character, Margaret Dutton, and their scenes together show that they are friends in real life.
The pioneer women bond over their shared experiences and the difficulties of having daughters in a violent and chaotic world. This gives a break from the harshness of the main story. Since most of the conversations between characters in “1883” are romantic, the times when Carolyn and Margaret talk to each other are a welcome break.
Wilson’s showing is another one-and-done, which is a shame. Carolyn isn’t seen again after the Duttons keep going north toward Montana and leave her behind. Carolyn is pushed to the background, like many of the standout characters in the limited series, by the difficulties and atrocities seen during the Duttons’ move to the Northwest. But “1883” fans can take comfort in the fact that, unlike many other characters, she doesn’t die along the way.
Yellowstone by Gretchen Mol
Most Important Network
Gretchen Mol may be best known for her roles in “3:10 to Yuma,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “American Gigolo,” which comes out in 2022, but her work in “Yellowstone” is some of her most powerful. She plays Evelyn Dutton, who is John Dutton’s (Josh Lucas) wife and one of the show’s more difficult characters. Let’s just say that there’s no question about why Beth Dutton (Kelly Riley) turned out the way she did.
In two episodes of Season 1, Evelyn shows up in flashbacks and tells Beth that life will be hard for her as a woman. She says she’s going to be hard on her to make her “the man most men will never be.” Evelyn’s goals are good, but it’s clear that her daughter isn’t getting what she needs from them. Things go from bad to worse when Evelyn falls off her horse and dies. Instead of comforting her daughter in her last moments, Evelyn blames Beth for her death. This adds to the stress her daughter is already going through.
Even though Evelyn does some horrible things, Mol’s acting is amazing. Even though we don’t see much of her relationship with her husband, which is a shame since John has struggled with sadness over the years, her time with Beth is pretty intense and hard to forget.
Robert Patrick was born in 1923
Robert Patrick shows up a few times in “1923,” but he’s not a very important figure, so he’s worth mentioning here. The actor who was in “Terminator 2,” “The X-Files,” and “Peacemaker” plays Sheriff William McDowell, who is in charge of all of Gallatin County, Montana.
Throughout “1923,” Sheriff McDowell is shown to be a good friend and backer of the Dutton family, often taking Jacob Dutton’s (Harrison Ford) or Cara Dutton’s (Helen Mirren) side in local disputes and meetings. McDowell is not based on any real-life Montana sheriff. According to Montana State University, the actual elected official at the time would have been either Charles C. Esgar or James Smith, depending on which part of the year the series takes place.
Even though Robert Patrick isn’t known for his Westerns, he plays a good Montana sheriff because of how serious he is. The actor has had a long and successful career that includes both movies and TV shows, which makes his role in “1923” something to write home about. Even though we wish Patrick was given a little more attention, he still plays an important part in the Duttons’ rocky (and controversial) beginnings.
Yellowstone by Dave Annable
Most Important Network
Lee Dutton, played by Dave Annable, has the saddest ending of any character in “Yellowstone.” Lee Dutton is not only John Dutton’s firstborn son and the true heir to his business empire, but he also wants the job. Sad to say, he dies in the very first episode of the show, at the hands of his brother Kayce’s own brother-in-law.After he died, Lee only showed up once, in a short dream scene in Season 2.
In fact, Lee isn’t in many family pictures of the Duttons, and the character is pretty much forgotten until the Season 4 finale, when Kayce goes on a vision quest and meets his brother’s spirit. This ghost of Lee is angry that he has been ignored, and he has a right to be. It’s understandable that the Dutton family doesn’t talk much about their dead brother and son, but it’s not okay that Lee goes years without even a passing mention.
Annable wasn’t on “Yellowstone” anymore, but he didn’t stop farming. On the CW’s “Walker,” a modern Western show starring former “Supernatural” star Jared Padalecki, Annable plays Dan Miller, whose family gets some land outside of Austin. Even though things didn’t work out for him in Montana, Annable has found success as a regular character on the Texas-based show, which shows how good he is as a cowboy.
Bruce Davison was born in 1923
In the episode “Nature’s Empty Throne” of “1923,” experienced actor Bruce Davison plays Arthur, who seems to be the father of Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer), a young British woman who is going to be forced to get married. While Alexandra is in Africa to celebrate her upcoming wedding, she meets Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar), a young WWI soldier and adventurer who is hunting wild game. Even though Arthur only shows on screen for a short time to give a toast to Alexandra and her fiance, the speech he gives has an effect on the young woman.
Bruce Davison has been working in Hollywood for a long time. He played Senator Robert Kelly in “X-Men,” Senator Randall Schafer on “Ozark,” and David in “Longtime Companion,” for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Davison may not be the most well-known actor on this list, but his long list of credits and talent make him one of the best, if brief, cameos in the “Yellowstone” saga.
Davison probably won’t come back as Arthur in “1923,” but it’s possible that, like Dawn Olivieri in “1883,” he could be cast in a new, recurring part on the flagship show in the future. It wouldn’t be the first time a well-known character from “Yellowstone” was used more than once.
Yellowstone by Buck Taylor
Most Important Network
Is it still a cameo if you show up in eight episodes of a series? Well, if Stan Lee is any indication, we’ll still count it, especially since Buck Taylor has a long past with Westerns. Emmett Walsh is introduced in the first episode of “Yellowstone” as John Dutton’s best friend and confidant. He is also the former head of both the Stockgrowers Association and Montana Fish and Game. He is, of course, a very influential friend who has helped Dutton make better decisions more than once.
Taylor makes a total of eight scenes on “Yellowstone,” from Season 1’s “Daybreak” to Season 5’s “Cigarettes, Whiskey, a Meadow, and You.” He isn’t a main character or even a driving force throughout the series, but he still has an effect on it. Walsh dies doing what he loves in the open fields of Montana in the last episode of Season 5. A cowboy for life couldn’t ask for much more.
Taylor is a Western legend. He played Newly O’Brien on “Gunsmoke” for eight seasons and 173 episodes, and he played the same character again in the 1987 TV movie “Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge.” Outside of TV, Taylor has appeared in “Tombstone,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” and the Taylor Sheridan-written film “Hell or High Water.”
Yellowstone by Shane Smith and the Saints
Most Important Network
Shane Smith and the Saints were briefly mentioned in Season 4, and their most famous song, “All I See Is You,” was played twice that season, including in an episode with the same name. In the Season 5 premiere, “One Hundred Years is Nothing,” the band finally made it to “Yellowstone,” where they played their song “Fire in the Ocean” to get the crowd going at the Dutton Ranch party after John was elected Governor of Montana.
This band from Austin, Texas, is a favorite of “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan, whose character Travis Wheatley is the one who presents them. This group has become even more famous with fans of rock, country, and folk music since their song debuted on “Yellowstone” and they appeared on the Montana-based show with their most recent single.
Shane Smith and the Saints aren’t the first band to go to Yellowstone, which is interesting. Ryan Bingham, who is known for playing the Dutton ranch hand Walker, first appeared as a regular character. In Season 4, he joined the main cast. Who knows if we’ll ever see Shane Smith and the Saints again, but “Yellowstone” will keep on making music for years to come.
1883: David Midthunder was born
David Midthunder plays Two Feathers in the “1883” episodes “Lightning Yellow Hair” and “The Weep of Surrender.” Two Feathers is a friend and companion of Sam (Martin Sensmeier), the Comanche warrior who eventually marries Elsa Dutton. Two Feathers helps judge the race between Elsa and Sam and travels with Sam when they leave the Dutton clan. Midthunder’s addition to the “Yellowstone” world was long overdue, even though he doesn’t have much of a role in the show.
Like Graham Greene, Midthunder had a recurring part on “Longmire” and is well-known in the Western genre because of it. Midthunder has also worked on the movies “Hostiles” and Disney’s remake of “The Lone Ranger,” as well as the TV shows “Westworld” and “Dark Winds.” He is also the father of the actress Amber Midthunder, who is best known for acting in the “Predator” prequel “Prey.”
Like some of the other actors in the “Yellowstone” universe, it’s possible that Midthunder will play a different part in the main show. Two Feathers might even come back in the “Bass Reeves” spinoff series, which takes place around the time of “1883.”
Yellowstone by Buster Welch
Most Important Network
Most of the cameos in “Yellowstone” are actors playing original or real characters, but there is one big cameo that has nothing to do with acting at all. In the Season 4 episode “Under a Blanket of Red,” Jimmy Hurdstrom meets an old cowboy at the Four Sixes Ranch in Texas. Buster Welch, one of the most famous horse trainers in history and something of a cowboy legend, is this man.
Most historical people in the “Yellowstone” universe are played by actors, but the person who comes to help Jimmy is the real Buster Welch. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Famer is barely seen telling stories with a cowboy named Ross, who is played by “Northern Exposure” star Barry Corbin. Even though Jimmy doesn’t talk to the older guy, he hears that Welch is one of three gods in all of Texas, along with God Almighty and George Strait.
Welch’s appearance in “Under a Blanket of Red” aired in November 2021, just eight months before the famous horse trainer died at age 94, according to SNBC. Welch worked for a lot of farms over the years, including the Four Sixes Ranch from the TV show and King’s Ranch in South Texas, which is bigger than Rhode Island and was the real-life inspiration for the Dutton Ranch on “Yellowstone.”
Taylor Sheridan wrote Yellowstone in 1883.
Most Important Network
Taylor Sheridan has spent most of his time in the “Yellowstone” world behind the camera and in the writing room, but he also acted in Season 1 of the show. In the fifth episode of the show, “Coming Home,” Sheridan plays Travis Wheatley, a horse dealer who works with the Duttons a lot.
Travis comes back for two episodes in Season 2, and he has an even bigger part in Season 4. Travis helps Jimmy Hurdstrom (Jefferson White) move to Texas for a while while the up-and-comer gets his spurs on the famous Four Sixes Ranch, which Sheridan actually owns, according to Texas Monthly.
Sheridan also has a small role as the famous rancher Charles Goodnight in “1883.” In the second part of the limited series, the show’s creator grows a scruffy beard for a two-episode arc in which he meets the Dutton family on their way to what would become Paradise Valley, Montana. Sheridan will probably be back on screen soon.