• March 21, 1880
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Male
  • American

Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson


Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson was an American actor, director, and producer who was born on March 21, 1880, in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. He is often credited with being the first cowboy movie star and is considered to be one of the pioneers of the Western film genre. Anderson began his career in vaudeville and later moved on to the theater before venturing into the film industry. He became known for his role as "Broncho Billy," a cowboy character he played in many silent films in the early 1900s. He also directed and produced many of his films, making him one of the first independent filmmakers in Hollywood. One of Anderson's most famous roles was in the 1903 film "The Great Train Robbery," which is considered to be one of the first narrative films ever made. Anderson played multiple roles in the film, including that of a bandit, and it was a huge success, helping to popularize the Western genre in the United States. In addition to his work in film, Anderson was also a writer and a businessman. He co-founded Essanay Studios, a production company that was based in Chicago and later moved to California. Anderson retired from acting in the 1920s and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area until his death on January 20, 1971.


Movie NameRelease Date
The Great Train Robbery December 7, 1903