Most (and Least) Convincing Hollywood Ranchers

Posted on January 3, 2013


It's no surprise that the Duke tops ranchers' lists as the most believable Hollywood cowboy.

It’s no surprise that the Duke tops ranchers’ lists as the most believable Hollywood cowboy.

Readers of Farm & Ranch Living Magazine recently voted on which Hollywood actors were the most (and least) believable in their portrayals of farmers and ranchers.

Barbara Stanwyck in The Big Valley and John Wayne (in anything!) topped the list in the male and female ranching categories, while John Travolta in Urban Cowboy and Jane Fonda in Cat Ballou received the most rotten tomatoes from rural film buffs.

Other believable cowboys and cowgirls include Clint Eastwood and Dale Evans, voters decided. On the other hand, voters thought Drew Barrymore, Charlie Sheen and Billy Crystal should stay in Hollywood.

As for actors portraying farmers, viewers most identified with Sally Field in Places in the Heart and Michael Landon in Little House on the Prairie. Not surprisingly, Paris Hilton in The Simple Life and Eddie Albert in Green Acres brought up the rear.

Notably, Gregory Peck, Sissy Spacek, Vivien Leigh and Henry Fonda received votes for their accurate depictions of farmers in films from Gone With the Wind to Grapes of Wrath. Farming audiences were less sold on Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Garbor.

For the full list, visit the Farm & Ranch Living website.

Or, if you really want to be inspired, check out real-life stories like that of Floydena Garrison, recently named “Ranching Woman of the Year” by the Montana Stockgrowers Association.

Art may imitate life, but Hollywood filmmakers have a tall order in doing justice to the true spirit of Western America.