For the most part, they don’t really make Westerns anymore. For one, they have to actually build the small towns, plus the audience temporarily abandoned the genre. But, the spirit of the Western lives strong in two shows: The Walking Dead and Justified. Ironically, both of these shows use a handful of the same actors on each.
Since most of these characters have been killed off of The Walking Dead, it’s good to know viewers can still see their favorite heroes and villains on another drama. Like The Walking Dead, Justified is also about a gun-toting Sheriff who generally prefers bloodshed to any sort of peaceful negotiation.
On The Walking Dead, of course, this is Sheriff Rick Grimes. On the FX hit series, Justified, old-school U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens is the quick-draw. Some of these actors have had the privilege of being shot by both television heroes.
Pruitt Taylor Vince, Justified/The Walking Dead
Pruitt Taylor Vince is best known for Identity, Constantine, and The Legend of 1900, but TV fans will recognize him on both The Walking Dead and Justified. Back in 2011, Vince starred as Otis on the zombie series. Basically, he was a good guy, but he’s also the imbecile who accidentally shot Carl Grimes.
Vince was only in two episodes, “Save the Last One” and “Bloodletting,” before Shane Walsh took him out. This is the man Shane killed to save himself. One year later, the actor guest starred on Justified in an episode called “Harlan Roulette.” In the episode, he played a sadistic pawn shop owner who got shot for being a traitor.
Alicia Witt (Paula/Wendy Crowe)
The beautiful Alicia Witt is best known for her roles in 88 Minutes, Urban Legend, and the Tom Cruise-film Vanilla Sky. However, she was also on ten episodes of the FX Western in 2010. Her character, Wendy Crowe, got in some major trouble with her brother, who she had to kill, played by Michael Rapaport.
Then, Witt landed a role on the zombie drama for AMC. There, she played the unforgettable Paula in “The Same Boat” and “Not Tomorrow Yet.” Between these two episodes, Paula-the-Savior tied up Maggie and Carol. She even locked them up in the room where they shot Saw. But, Carol got the best of her in the end.
Xander Berkeley (Gregory/Charles Monroe)
Actor Xander Berkeley has been around for a while. He gained some recognition in movies like Terminator 2 and Air Force One, but he always plays a great bad guy. We all know Berkeley’s ongoing role as semi-bad-guy Gregory on The Walking Dead, but he’s somewhat less recognizable on Justified.
As Charles Monroe, Berkeley played a small-time villain with a big-time temper. In the cold open, Raylen and his co-deputy located the criminal and seized his property, along with his house. Like many people who cross Raylen, Monroe didn’t last too long on the series.
Andrew J. West (Gareth/Hipster Waiter)
Actor Andrew J. West is still a relatively new actor, but he’s landed on some top notch shows like Once Upon A Time and Under the Dome. And, West has a relatively small role on Justified, only landing a position known as “Waiter.” But, his hipster coffee shop worker doesn’t hide the fact he’s also the cannibal known as Gareth.
West landed the role of Gareth and forever blazed himself in the world of the undead. During the episodes “Four Walls and a Roof,” “Strangers,” “No Sanctuary,” and “A,” West played the eccentric and organized cannibal leader. He casually made notes in his notebook while his assistant bashed heads.
Luckily, Carol wasn’t having any of this nonsense. Thanks to her quick thinking, she was able to free the guys and saved Bob, Daryl, Glenn, and Rick Grimes. In the end, Rick killed Gareth with the red machete just like he promised.
Scott Wilson (Hershel/Frank Reasoner)
As Hershel Greene, Scott Wilson is the type of character that has a legacy on The Walking Dead. Not only did he run the first safe haven for Rick Grimes and company, but he was also a moral center for the show. Despite some weaknesses, he was the type of man that showed his daughter and son-in-law right from wrong.
On Justified, the story was a little different. Scott Wilson landed the role of Frank Reasoner. Honestly, the 2011 episode “Blaze of Glory” was one of the best episodes of the entire series. The episode involved a bank robbery led by an old man on an oxygen tank.
This portion of the story focused on Reasoner and Police Chief Art Mullen rather than Raylen. The cat-and-mouse chase was more of a battle of wits than most other shows. Not only did a man with an oxygen tank get away, but he had some comical moments of losing his oxygen tank during the chase.
Garret Dillahunt (John/Ty Walker)
As far as The Walking Dead, Garret Dillahunt’s official role has been promised for Fear the Walking Dead, but there’s a chance he could be on both shows. Since we know Morgan is making the jump to Fear, it’s possible that some of the new Fear cast members will show up on the original series to escort him to the sister series.
As for Justified, Garret Dillahunt had a major role in the final season. Basically, Ty Walker was the right-hand man to the new boss Avery Markam, played by the iconic Sam Elliot (there are also posters of Tombstone throughout the series). In the final season, Dillahunt’s character arrives to buy up properties.
Without giving too much information, the final season involves legal marijuana, a bank vault, explosives, and lots and lots of bullets. Just like The Walking Dead, the bulk of the episodes end in dramatic fashion, like a true tragedy. But, Dillahunt’s character is as likable as ever, despite how awful he can often be.
In the end, he didn’t make it too long on Justified, but we’re hoping he can hang on for the long haul in the world of dead and undead on AMC.
Have you seen other characters from The Walking Dead on Justified?