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What The Cast Of Unforgiven Looks Like Today

Besides being a masterpiece Western, "Unforgiven" seemed to announce two things about Clint Eastwood's career: that he was winding down his time as an action lead while also confirming that his secondary career as a master director was just getting started. The film felt like a grand farewell to both the genre and the type of character that made him famous, and it's hard to imagine a more flawless sendoff. Not only did it give Eastwood his first Best Director Oscar, but Gene Hackman earned his long-overdue second (and likely final) acting Oscar for his work in the film. It's also difficult to argue with "Unforgiven" taking home that year's Best Picture Oscar, but it was still something of a surprise to see it beat out a movie like "Howard's End." The latter is the exact type of sweeping romantic period drama that the Academy usually can't seem to resist giving the award to.

In addition to Eastwood and Hackman, the talented cast of "Unforgiven" also included Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Frances Fisher, Saul Rubinek, Anna Thomson, Beverley Elliott, and many others. Some — including Harris — have since passed away. But of the noteworthy cast members from "Unforgiven" who are still alive, here is what they all look like these days, or at least how they looked the last time they were in the public eye in any major way. 

Gene Hackman

After an acting career that lasted almost five decades, Gene Hackman finally confirmed in 2008 that he was retired from acting after not having appeared in anything for four years. He definitely leaves behind a legacy to be proud of, acting in almost every type of film imaginable and also appearing in various live theater roles between the '60s and the '90s. While it would be impossible to pick any one role as Hackman's most iconic, some of his most memorable films include "The French Connection," "Bonnie and Clyde," "Hoosiers," "The Royal Tenenbaums," and of course, his work as Lex Luthor in three of the Christopher Reeve "Superman" films.

In his Oscar-winning role in "Unforgiven," Hackman played Bill "Little Bill" Daggett, sheriff of the Wyoming town that serves as the primary setting for the film's story. It proved that the then 62-year-old Hackman was still at the top of his game, something he demonstrated with another near-decade of strong performances in what would be the home stretch of his acting career. Hackman rarely gives interviews or makes public appearances — the photo in this slide is from a random, unplanned 2008 appearance on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" — and is seemingly content to mostly let his acting career speak for itself. He did spend the first few years of his retirement continuing his previously-started career as a novelist, but it's now been nine years since his last book ("Pursuit") was published. Whatever he's doing these days, hopefully he's happy doing it. He's earned it.

Frances Fisher

Unfortunately, in the era of the American West, women who didn't find themselves with kids to raise and a farm to tend were left with very few options — and for many that ultimately meant a career in sex work. Ladies of the night have long rounded out the casts of Westerns, and "Unforgiven" was no exception. However, the woman known as Strawberry Alice — played by Frances Fisher — subverted some of the stereotypes often associated with the prostitute role, being willing to stand up to the sheriff and becoming a driving force in several key events in the film up through its climax.

FIsher was already a prolific movie and television performer by the time she appeared in "Unforgiven," and in fact had previously shared the screen with Clint Eastwood in 1989's "Pink Cadillac." She also doesn't seem to have a preference between film and TV, working steadily in both mediums from the beginning of her career to today. On the movie side, between the years 1987 and 2022, there are only three years in which she doesn't have at least one credit. In television, in addition to many single-episode appearances, she has been a recurring cast member or had extended stints on shows like "Watchmen," "The Sinner," "Masters of Sex," "The Shield," and "Becker," to name a few.

Liisa Repo-Martell

Another of the prostitutes in "Unforgiven" is Faith, whose role isn't as prominent, important, or convention-defying as that of Strawberry Alice. She also isn't the prostitute whose disfigurement sets the wheels of the movie's plot into motion — that was Delilah Fitzgerald. But the staff of the brothel as a whole is a key element of the movie, and therefore, Faith — played by Liisa Repo-Martell — has plenty of peripheral importance to the movie even if she isn't a main or even prominent secondary character.

Martell's film career has been relatively subdued: "Unforgiven" was her second film and she appeared in just nine subsequent full-length movies after that. But her limited film resume might suggest a pickiness on her part, as the roles she chooses tend to be in interesting and noteworthy films like "The English Patient" and "Lars and the Real Girl." The actor has been far more prolific on television, appearing in many more small screen roles over the years in both series and made-for-TV movies. In recent years, Martell has shown up in "The Umbrella Academy," "Saving Hope," and "Anne With An E." Martell has also been very active in live theater over the past 10 years, particularly in Toronto, where she is part of the city's Company Theatre in addition to being considered part of a "Toronto theatre power couple" with husband Chris Abraham.

Jaimz Woolvett

In a story full of aging outlaws and lawmen, the Schofield Kid is one of the few younger men in the cast of "Unforgiven," at least in terms of characters who aren't completely despicable. He enters the movie looking to claim the bounty on the men who attacked Delilah Fitzgerald, and ends up enlisting the aid of William Munny and Ned Logan for the job. Arguably the biggest part in the movie that isn't played by an existing Hollywood veteran, the Schofield Kid was definitely a breakthrough role for a previously unknown young actor named Jaimz Woolvett.

Indeed, "Unforgiven" accelerated Woolvett's career and he remained busy throughout the '90s in film, on television, and even branching out into voicework for several video games. But his screen credits stop after a small role in the 2008 film "Winged Creatures" (sometimes known as "Fragments"), due in part to medical issues that included having a brain tumor removed and being diagnosed with a chronic bone disease. In a 2007 interview where he opened up about his health struggles, he claimed to be recovering and planned to return to acting, but as of yet that doesn't seem to have happened. The picture for this entry comes from his 2003 appearance in "Charmed," one of his last big roles.

Saul Rubinek

One interesting thing about the American West is the way some of its heroes (as well as villains) became celebrities of a sort, perhaps some of the earliest examples of such a thing. Even while many of them were still living, stories would be written and published about them — often exaggerated, of course — turning them into living folk heroes for the people of the time. "Unforgiven" represented this aspect of that time period through W.W. Beauchamp (Saul Rubinek), who is initially tasked with turning English Bob (the late Richard Harris) into such a hero. However, over the course of the film, Beauchamp gets a grittier and more accurate picture of what the so-called adventures of these people really entail, thanks in part to being set straight by Little Bill.

Rubinek is something of a "that guy" who has been in a million things, but it can be difficult to place which thing(s) you best know him from. TV viewers might recognize him from his recurring roles on "Frasier," "Warehouse 13," or Amazon's "Hunters." On the movie side, it could be anything from "Wall Street" to "True Romance" to "Nixon," or the 2018 Coen Brothers Western anthology film "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," that he is recognized for. Either way, he is a prolific actor who has worked in a variety of genres and played many different roles across nearly 50 years in the field.

Anna Thomson

While "Unforgiven" is about a lot of things and a lot of characters, much of it is wrapped around the terrible attack on Delilah Fitzgerald — played by Anna Thomson — the reaction to that attack, and the vengeance that is put into action because of that attack. One of the most enduring and powerful images from the film is Delilah's scarred face. And the actor behind that face delivered what was arguably one of the most underappreciated performances in the movie, often lost behind all the much bigger and more iconic names in the cast.

Thomson's career was red hot around the time of and especially following "Unforgiven," with the next few years seeing her appear in "True Romance," "The Crow," and "Bad Boys." She worked steadily until the early 2000s, with only two more credits in 2007 and 2012 before she seemingly gave up acting and public life in general. 

Beverley Elliot

"Unforgiven" is a movie full of unusual character names. Sometimes it is obvious that we are dealing with a nickname — Little Bill, English Bob, Quick Mike, Strawberry Alice — while other times it's not as clear. The latter is especially true with some of the other prostitutes, particularly Faith and Silky. Silky definitely seems like it could go either way, especially for the time period, but it's a memorable character name nonetheless. Portraying Silky in "Unforgiven" is the much more commonly named Beverley Elliott, even if her first name does have one more E than is typical of the name.

Elliott's most recent role of note was in ABC's fantasy drama "Once Upon A Time," where she played the role of Granny in all seven seasons of the show. She also did extended stints on the shows "Kingdom Hospital" and — before "Unforgiven" — "Bordertown." Elliott was just ramping up her movie career when she landed the role in "Unforgiven" and has been busy on the big screen since, with credits that include "Little Women" (1994), "The Santa Clause 2," "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants," and "2012." She's also been a mainstay of made-for-TV films, frequently of the Christmas or romantic variety, most recently showing up in the 2022 cable movie "The Wedding Fix." 

Rob Campbell

What ultimately puts the events of "Unforgiven" in motion is the mutilation of Delilah Fitzgerald by two men that she insulted. Things are further exacerbated by the men facing the rather meager punishment of having to give up their horses to compensate Delilah's employer for the revenue he will lose from her facial disfigurement. Having those two men — Davey Bunting and Quick Mike — face much more severe punishment for their cruel actions becomes a driving force for several characters in the film.

Davey Bunting was played by actor Rob Campbell, with "Unforgiven" being his first credited screen role. Campbell stayed in a similar time period for his next movie, "Ethan Frome," and would also revisit Westerns a few more times throughout his career. He did plenty of branching out too, however, appearing in movies as varied as the rock musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and the Tina Fey/Paul Rudd rom-com "Admission." On television, Campbell showed up on series like "Law and Order" and "Sex and the City," and was most recently part of the cast of ABC's "The Crossing" for its one and only season in 2018. In addition, Campbell has dabbled in live theater, being in the original casts of three different productions between 1995 and 2014.

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman was already in his 50s by the time he finally started to receive steady mainstream attention for his acting, meaning he's been playing some sort of "aging" character for as long as most audiences have been aware of him. It's remarkable to think about him already playing such roles in movies like "Unforgiven," with the hindsight of knowing he'd still have 30-plus years of stardom and consistent acting work ahead of him. In "Unforgiven," Freeman plays Ned Logan, one of the movie's several retired outlaws who is drawn back into that line of work via the time honored "one last job" trope. It would be the first of two films Freeman and Clint Eastwood starred in together — the second being "Million Dollar Baby" — with Eastwood eventually directing him a third time when he played Nelson Mandela in "Invictus." 

Freeman's powerful presence and distinctive voice have been seen and heard on the big screen since the 1960s, in a career that has now spanned a remarkable seven decades. In that time, he has been extremely prolific in movies, on television, on the live stage, and even in several video games where he reprised a couple of his movie roles. Because of his signature pipes, Freeman has also had a busy career just as a narrator in many different projects on both the big and small screen. In 2022, he even expanded his resume to music videos, doing narration for country singer Steve Azar's "Waitin' on Joe" video

Clint Eastwood

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Clint Eastwood seemed to be closing the door on one phase of his career with "Unforgiven" while opening the door on another. It served as a beautiful farewell to his literal decades of playing gruff cowboys on the big screen, as well as a winding down of playing big action leads in general, something he'd only do a few more times after this. But as a director, "Unforgiven" saw Eastwood still very much on the ascent, continuing to hone his craft and solidify himself as one of Hollywood's most prolific and acclaimed directors for basically the next 30 years and counting.

Even at 91, Eastwood seems to show no signs of slowing down. He directed four movies in the last four years, even starring in two of them. With 2021's "Cry Macho," he even returned to the Western genre, something he has rarely done since "Unforgiven" as either a director or an actor. Granted, the movie got a much more divisive response then Eastwood's films typically got in the '90s and 2000s — which has been true of a lot of his work of the last decade or so — but he still deserves respect for continuing to steadily act in, direct, and produce interesting and challenging films even as his career approaches its 70th anniversary.