The movie "Tombstone" is packed full of mid-level to high-level movie stars. Some of them weren't that famous at the time but have since risen up the ladder of movie stardom.
Ty Rushing, Charlie Hildebrand and I all watched "Tombstone" for Action Movie Saturday, which if you don't know about it check it out on Twitter for more. I own the movie, so I have seen it probably 20 times. Charlie had only seen it once and for Ty, it was his first time seeing it.
Both were surprised how many movie stars were in it besides Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, who played Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, respectively.
"Tombstone" is a great movie and if you are into Westerners, definitely watch it if you haven't already. It came out in 1993.
Besides Russell and Kilmer, Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton play Earp's brothers. The late Powers Boothe played Curly Bill Brocius and Michael Biehn, of Kyle Reese "Terminator" fame, portrayed Johnny Ringo. Both were villains. Dana Delany played Earp's love interest, Josephine.
Those are who I would consider the main cast, so the rest would be supporting characters.
So below are my top five actors who played supporting characters in "Tombstone:"
Yep, there are so many well-known actors in this movie that I had to do an honorable mention besides a top-five.
- Jason Priestley, of "90210" fame, played sophisticated cowboy Billy Breckinridge.
- John Corbett played one of the minor cowboys.
- Terry O'Quinn, of "Lost" fame, played mayor John Clum.
- The late Charles Heston played famous rancher Henry Hooker.
- Paul Ben-Victor, a bit actor who if you look him up you would know him, had a short cameo.
- Frank Stallone makes an early appearance as Ed Bailey.
- Harry Carey Jr., a long-time character actor, played Marshal Fred White.
- Robert Mitchum, who an underrated actor in the 1960s-80s, is the narrator.
5. Michael Rooker
Look, I really enjoy Michael Rooker's work. His biggest role is that of Yondu in both "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies.
He's had a number of supporting roles since the 1990s. He will be in the upcoming "The Suicide Squad" as Savant and was recently in "Love and Monsters."
While I enjoy his work, he wasn't given much to do even though he was coming off his run as Rowdy in "Days of Thunder."
Rooker portrays Sherman McMasters, a cowboy who turns on his squad after their villainous acts and joins Wyatt Earp and "his immortals" as Doc says later in the movie.
Rooker has like five lines and his costume is pretty bad. His character was really just there to be part of the group.
4. Thomas Haden Church
This is before Thomas Haden Church became a well-known name. "Tombstone" came out two years before the "Wings" where he played Lowell Mather, the not-so-smart mechanic at the airport. He played that role really well and he went on to have major roles in "Sideways" and as the villain Sandman in "Spider-Man 3" even though that movie was bad.
Thomas Haden Church played Billy Clanton. He has a memorable moment threatening Doc and a little later, he pulls his gun first in the shootout at the OK Corral.
That's why he's on the list, that's a significant gunfight so that separates him from the honorable mentions.
3. Billy Zane
I'm always surprised Billy Zane isn't in more. While I am not a fan of the "Titanic" he was great as the villain. Even though "The Phantom" was really bad, Zane was great as the Phantom/Kit Walker. I am convinced he would make a great Bruce Wayne but maybe not Batman.
Zane played Mr. Fabian, a thespian who was part of Josephine's theatre group that traveled to Tombstone.
We don't see much of Zane, but when we do, he is great at chewing scenery and delivering lines in an exquisite way. Of course, not as well as Kilmer, who steals every scene he appears in for this movie.
Maybe Zane shouldn't have been on this list, but his charisma lands him on here.
2. Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton was still an unknown at this time, really, with bit roles mostly. Three years later, he played Karl in "Slingblade" and started his rise to stardom.
Still, he has a great role, albeit small, in "Tombstone." He plays Johnny Tyler, a big-mouthed card dealer who draws the ire of Wyatt Earp and later gets slapped around and thrown out of the casino. He tries to return with a shotgun and Doc later has a few choice words for Johnny.
That's the last we see of Billy Bob Thornton, but his character helped give us the great line of "Are you just gonna stand there and bleed?" from Wyatt Earp.
1. Stephen Lang
I absolutely love Stephen Lang's character Ike Clanton, the cowardly cowboy who talks a big game.
It's amazing Ike survives at the end of the movie (yes, I've been giving spoilers from a film that came out in 1993) because his big mouth almost gets him killed three to four times before he finally surrenders at the end. Granted, we find out from the narrator that Ike later dies in a robbery.
Lang does a great job making Ike a drunken, careless, dumb cowboy. You just have to dislike Ike because of the way Lang portrays him.
Lang was relatively unknown at the time and still might be unless you think a bit about him.
Lang's breakout role came in "Avatar" as Col. Miles Quaritch. Say what you want about "Avatar," I have, but Lang was great in the villainous role. He's scheduled to reprise his role in the next four "Avatar" movies, whenever of if they ever come out.
He also played the blind man in "Don't Breathe." Lang has had a lot of bit roles, 132 credits according to IMDB, and when he is given his time to shine, he does.