Who play Tom Hanks and Billy Bob Thornton in “1883”? Real characters revealed

Yellowstone prequel 1883 is available to watch on Paramount + now and the first two episodes gave viewers something to unbox in this new period drama.

As Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Sam Elliott helm the cast of this new show, two Oscar-winning actors appear as actual historical figures to bring a touch of grainy realism to 1883. Billy Bob Thornton stars in episode 1 “1883”, while Tom Hanks makes a surprise appearance in episode 2 “Behind us, a cliff”.

Taylor Sheridan, the creator of the increasingly popular game Yellowstone, bring 1883 to Paramount + as a streaming original. The first two episodes of this new show are available online now.

Who does Tom Hanks play in? 1883?

It was announced earlier in December that two-time Oscar winner Hanks would star in the Yellowstone spin off 1883. In Episode 2 of the new season, we took a closer look at who he plays.

“Behind Us, a Cliff” opens with a flashback to the Civil War. Bodies are seen lying on the ground in front of Dunker Church after the Battle of Antietam in 1862, a real location that was used during the war. This flashback allows us to meet General George Meade, played by Hanks.

Tom Hanks makes a cameo appearance as General George Meade in the “Yellowstone” spin-off “1883”.
WireImage / Steve Granitz

He approaches a young James Dutton (Tim McGraw) and sits with him after surviving a battle. General Meade puts an arm around the soldier as he cries. It is implied that he then arrested him while James then spent three years in a Union prison.

It’s an incredibly short role but the importance of the character is emphasized by Hanks. In real life, General George Meade was a Spanish Civil War general who led the Union to victory after Confederate General Robert E. Lee was defeated at the Battle of Gettysburg.

He died in 1872 at the age of 56 and is buried in Lauren Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. There are several memorials and statues of General Meade placed around the United States in honor of his service to the country.

Who does Billy Bob Thornton play in? 1883?

Thornton’s appearance is less surprising as we saw him in the trailers for 1883.

Like Hanks, he also had the honor of playing an actual character that we meet in Episode 2. As Field Marshal Jim Courtright, Thornton shows his fellow cowboys and the audience the cruelty of his character by shooting from coolness over a number of criminals. a crowded bar.

Billy Bob Thornton Jim Courtright
Billy Bob Thornton plays Field Marshal Jim Courtright in “1883” on Paramount +.
Getty Images / Ethan Miller

Courtright was a prominent lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas, where he allegedly cut the city’s murder rate by more than half. He is also said to have asked for protection money from local business owners.

He was known to have killed many people and became a dreaded Marshal in Texas. He ultimately died in a shooting in 1887 at the age of 39. He was killed in a shootout with famous player and shooter Luke Short. Courtright had apparently called Short, and after a conversation, Short fired several shots at Courtright, killing him in the street.

While Thornton and Hanks both play actual characters, it’s not yet clear whether there will be many more non-fiction characters appearing in the fictional series. 1883.

1883 continues on Paramount + with Episode 3 “River” on Sunday December 26th.


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