The Houston-born star will ride alongside David Oyelowo in the forthcoming 1883: Bass Reeves series.
Online entertainment websites buzzed with good news Friday: Dennis Quaid, the Houston-born film and television actor whose credits include The Right Stuff, Wyatt Earp, Great Balls of Fire and TV’s Vegas, will be joining producer Taylor Sheridan’s ever-expanding Yellowstone universe as a co-star of 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, the upcoming Western series featuring David Oyelowo in the title role as the legendary lawman.
Quaid shared on Instagram Friday that he has been cast as a deputy U.S. marshal named Sherrill Lynn in the Paramount+ production, which currently is filming on location in Fort Worth. The six-episode drama is described as an offshoot of Sheridan’s limited-run series 1883, which in turn was a prequel to his phenomenally popular Yellowstone.
For the benefit of those who tuned in late: Many historians and other observers — including Bill O’Reilly, in his 2015 Legends and Lies TV series — have claimed slave-turned-lawman Bass Reeves very likely was the real-life model for the fictional Lone Ranger. Indeed, it has been widely noted that Reeves — who was credited with capturing more than 3,000 outlaws while working during the post-Reconstruction era as a U.S. deputy marshal in the Indian Territory — often gave out silver coins (not bullets) as his version of a calling card. His steed of choice was a white stallion. And very much like the masked man who used to hang out with Tonto, Reeves was known to be a straight shooter and a fair fighter. Although he killed at least 14 men during gun battles, he steadfastly maintained he never shot a man when it was not necessary for him to do so to save his own life.
Reeves has been depicted in a handful of movies, TV series and documentaries, most recently in the 2022 indie feature Corsicana starring Isaiah Washington and the 2021 Netflix western The Harder They Fall (where the marshal was portrayed by Delroy Lindo). But despite past efforts by Morgan Freeman, director Chloé Zhao and other notables to dramatize Reeve’s life and exploits, 1883: The Bass Reeves will mark the first time the lawman has been the protagonist of a scripted TV series.
Quaid recently played President Ronald Reagan in the forthcoming biopic Reagan, which he discussed in a cover-story interview for our July 2022 issue. Later this year, he also will be seen in The Hill, a biographical sports drama about MLB player Rickey Hill, and On a Wing and a Prayer, a faith-based drama that will reunite him with Soul Surfer and Reagan director Sean McNamara.