It's been called one of the best "guy movies" of all time. It doesn't get much more macho than Clint Eastwood playing an outlaw out for revenge in the old west. However, did you know that one of his most famous characters was based on a real life Missouri man?

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The Outlaw Josey Wales is a classic that first hit movie screens in 1976. The synopsis features Clint Eastwood playing a Missouri farmer who's family is killed by Union soldiers. He responds by doing the most Clint Eastwood thing ever and donning a cool looking hat and seeking revenge for the evil that's been done to him. (*Cue the spaghetti western music*)

Let's be clear. There was no real Josey Wales, but many believed the character was very much inspired by a real person (or persons).

I found a fascinating article on MSN which talks about Missouri facts involving the Civil War and one of them is the mention that Clint Eastwood's Josey Wales character was based on real life Missourian Thomas Atticus Hawkins. Bulletproof Action agrees that Hawkins is the most likely inspiration for the Josey Wales character.

Notes from the Frontier agrees that Josey Wales was based on a real Missourian, but believes it's a different man named Bill Wilson who lived in Missouri after the Civil War.

Will the real Josey Wales in Missouri please stand up?

I think that it's safe to say that Thomas Atticus Hawkins is the most likely real life Missouri guy that inspired Josey Wales as that's what the definitive internet movie site iMDB says.

No matter what really inspired this telling of the Josey Wales tale, there's no doubt the truth resides in a life lived by a real Missouri man who's now been immortalized on the big screen.

Yes, You Can Stay in a Real 1930's Missouri Bunkhouse, Cowboy

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