Then and Now: "The Cowboys" (1972)- With John Wayne

So, what happened to the cast of The Cowboys from 1972? Join us as we update the cast for you in 2024.

Then and Now: "The Cowboys" (1972)- With John Wayne
The Cowboys of 1972

Welcome to our journey to the Wild West of 1972, where John Wayne and his ensemble cast brought the iconic film "The Cowboys" to life. Let's dive straight in!

Actors in The Cowboys (1972)

Actor Age in 1972
John Wayne 65
Roscoe Lee Browne 47
Bruce Dern 36
Colleen Dewhurst 48
Robert Carradine 18
A Martinez 24
Alfred Barker Jr. 15
Nicolas Beauvy 14
Slim Pickens 53
Richard Farnsworth 52

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1. John Wayne

Age in 1972: 65

Deceased June 11, 1979 (respiratory arrest and gastric cancer) at the Age of 72

John Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison in 1907, portrayed the stoic rancher Wil Andersen in "Cowboys." Known for his distinct voice and commanding presence, Wayne became a symbol of American masculinity in Hollywood. In 1972, he was already an esteemed figure, having appeared in numerous Western classics.

Despite his passing, Wayne's legacy remains unparalleled. He continued to act until his final years, leaving behind a remarkable filmography that spanned over six decades. His contributions to the Western genre made him an enduring icon, solidifying his place in cinematic history.

John Wayne

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2. Roscoe Lee Browne

Age in 1972: 47

Deceased: April 11, 2007 (Cause of Death: Cancer )

Age at Death: 81

Roscoe Lee Browne, a highly respected actor and renowned voice artist, mesmerised audiences with his portrayal of Jebediah Nightlinger in "The Cowboys." Browne's distinctive voice and eloquent delivery brought depth and charm to his characters. Throughout his career, he showcased his versatility by performing on stage, television, and in film.

Browne's contributions extended far beyond his on-screen presence. He was celebrated for his powerful performances in acclaimed plays and earned a Tony Award nomination for his role in "The Cool World." His remarkable talent and passion for the arts left an indelible mark on the industry.

Roscoe Lee Browne


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3. Bruce Dern

Age in 1972: 36

Current age: 87

Bruce Dern's portrayal of Long Hair/Asa Watts in "The Cowboys" showcased his ability to embody complex and often enigmatic characters. Dern, born in 1936, embarked on a diverse career that encompassed both independent and mainstream films.

Renowned for his intense performances, Dern's filmography includes iconic roles in movies like "Coming Home" and "Nebraska," the latter earning him an Academy Award nomination. With his unconventional charm and unwavering dedication, Dern has solidified himself as a prolific and respected actor.

Bruce Dern

4. Colleen Dewhurst

Age in 1972: 48

Deceased: August 22, 1991

Cause of Death: Cervical Cancer

Age at Death: 67

Colleen Dewhurst's portrayal of Kate in "The Cowboys" demonstrated her remarkable talent and emotional depth. Born in 1924, Dewhurst left an indelible mark on the stage and screen, captivating audiences with her compelling performances.

Dewhurst received critical acclaim for her work in theatre, winning two Tony Awards for her roles in "A Moon for the Misbegotten" and "The Queen and the Rebels." She also earned praise for her television roles, including Marilla Cuthbert in the beloved adaptation of "Anne of Green Gables." Her contributions to the arts are cherished and remembered.

Colleen Dewhurst

8. Robert Carradine

Age in 1972: 18

Current Age: 69

Robert Carradine, who played Slim Honeycutt, Cowboy, embarked on a successful acting career after his debut in "Cowboys." Born in 1954, Carradine's youthful portrayal of Slim demonstrated his potential as a rising star.

Carradine went on to achieve widespread recognition for his role as Lewis Skolnick in the beloved "Revenge of the Nerds" franchise. His talent and versatility allowed him to explore various genres and mediums, making him a versatile presence in the entertainment industry.

Robert Carradine

12. A Martinez

Age in 1972: 24

Current Age: 75

A Martinez, born Adolph Larrue Martinez III, played Cimarron - Cowboy in "The Cowboys." His youthful energy and charisma caught the audience's attention, foreshadowing a promising career ahead.

Martinez went on to achieve notable success in both film and television, starring in popular soap operas like "Santa Barbara" and "General Hospital." With his versatile acting skills, Martinez continues to captivate audiences with his performances.

A (Adolfo) Martinez

The Boys (Cowboys)

Unfortunately not much is known about the boys who made up the "Cowboys" - I'll show you an image with all of their images now and if you scroll down you can see an image taken of them at their 50th Reunion gathering.
Edit 30/06/2023 - Came across this video thought I'd link to it. It answers the above statement. (Not my content)
The "Cowboys"

5. Alfred Barker Jr.

Age in 1972: 15

Current Age: 66

Alfred Barker Jr., who portrayed Fats - Cowboy in "Cowboys," brought his cowboy spirit to the big screen. He continued with rodeo and would serve with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for 35 years. He’s now a member of the National Police Rodeo Association.

6. Nicolas Beauvy

Age in 1972: 14

Current Age: 65

Nicolas Beauvy portrayed Dan - Cowboy in "Cowboys," leaving an impression with his portrayal of a rugged cowboy. Nicolas played his last film role in 1979’s Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker and is now a successful realtor.

7. Steve Benedict

Age in 1972: Unknown

Current Age: Unknown

Steve Benedict brought his cowboy charm to the role of Steve - Cowboy in "Cowboys." Although details about his life and career are limited, his participation in the film contributed to the authentic portrayal of the Wild West.

9. Norman Howell (as Norman Howell Jr.)

Age in 1972: Unknown

Current Age: Unknown

Norman Howell, credited as Norman Howell Jr., portrayed Weedy - Cowboy in "Cowboys." While details about his life and career are limited, his contribution to the ensemble cast added depth and authenticity to the film.

10. Stephen R. Hudis (as Stephen Hudis)

Age in 1972: 15

Current Age: 66

Stephen R. Hudis, credited as Stephen Hudis, portrayed Charlie Schwartz - Cowboy in "Cowboys." Although information about his life and career is scarce, his participation in the film contributed to the camaraderie of the ensemble cast.

11. Sean Kelly

Age in 1972: Unknown

Current Age: Unknown

Sean Kelly's portrayal of Stuttering Bob - Cowboy added a memorable touch to the ensemble cast of "Cowboys." He continued to act on television; his last guest role was on a 1983 episode of Quincy. Currently, he is an intuitive and trance-channeling consultant.

The "Cowboys" at their 50th Anniversary Reunion
Please if anyone knows who is who please share in the comments below ( Carradine bottom left and Martinez next to him)


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13. Slim Pickens

Age in 1972: 53

Deceased: December 8, 1983

Cause of Death: Brain Tumour

Age at Death: 64

Slim Pickens

13. Richard Farnsworth

Age in 1972: 52

Deceased: October 6, 2000

Cause of Death: Suicide by Gunshot

Age at Death: 80

Richard Farnsworth

Conclusion: A Timeless Legacy

As we reflect on the ensemble cast of "The Cowboys" and their journeys through time, it becomes clear that their contributions to the film industry were significant. From the legendary John Wayne to the rising talents of Robert Carradine and A Martinez, each actor left an indelible mark on Western cinema.

Whether it be their unforgettable performances or their continued success in the industry, the legacy of these actors lives on. "The Cowboys" stands as a testament to their talents and the enduring allure of the Wild West.

Disclaimer: The ages, current statuses, and additional details provided are accurate as of the time of writing (2023). Please note that information may have changed since then.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read. Please leave a comment on your thoughts , we'd love to hear from you!

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Source:, IMDB, Wiki