Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Who Is The Actor That Plays Walker On Yellowstone?

Over the course of its time on the air, Paramount Network's smash-hit Western original, "Yellowstone," has conjured up some of the most memorable characters to populate the cable television landscape in recent memory. Of course, not all of those characters have lived long enough to ride off into the proverbial Big Sky sunset. Indeed, the list of dearly — or not so dearly — departed "Yellowstone" characters includes quite a few faces from the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch bunkhouse, some of whom have found their way "to the train station" while others have merely left to pursue different opportunities.

One of the bunkhouse's mainstays ever since the early days of "Yellowstone" has been the crooning cowboy fans know and love simply as Walker. After being recruited to the Dutton Ranch fresh out of a prison stint by Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), Walker promptly took the infamous Dutton Ranch brand and has so far proven himself truly worthy of it. As for the actor who portrays Walker on "Yellowstone," he does so with a wit and sad-eyed, world-weary wisdom that perfectly conveys the fact that the character has likely lived through more hard times than easy. The same goes for the songs he sings.

If you're wondering why Walker's songs in "Yellowstone" are so good too, it's because the performer who sings them isn't just an actor. 

Ryan Bingham wasn't originally supposed to act in Yellowstone

The performer in question is Ryan Bingham, and when he's not playing Walker on "Yellowstone," he's working as an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter (via IMDb). Those awards, notably, were not given for any of the six albums of gravel-voiced Americana music that Bingham has released over the years. Instead, Bingham earned them for co-writing the hit song "The Weary Kind" for the acclaimed, Jeff Bridges-led 2009 drama "Crazy Heart." Bingham also made an appearance in "Crazy Heart," which became his first credited acting gig. 

If you're wondering how he ended up on "Yellowstone," Bingham revealed in a 2019 interview with Wide Open Country that he was actually approached by series co-creator Taylor Sheridan to write songs for the show. "He initially contacted me about working on the project and maybe just writing some songs for the show," Bingham said.

When Sheridan learned of Bingham's cowboy past, however, those plans quickly changed. "Once we met and started hanging out, he found out I grew up riding horses ... I grew up doing a lot of that kind of cowboy stuff. So he said, 'Well, I oughta just write you a part in the show.' He said, 'I'll just write something small' (and said) 'If you do good, I'll keep you in there and if you suck we'll just kill you off,'" Bingham recalled.

As "Yellowstone" fans now know, Bingham did not "suck" as Walker and as a result, he has even emerged as one of its many recurring characters. In fact, given his fan-favorite status, it seems likely that Walker could very well continue to appear in "Yellowstone" right up until the moment when it comes to an end.