Are there famous horse actors?

I recently watched Lonesome Dove for the first time and it featured a lot of horses. So I got to thinking, “directors are cheap and horses trained for camera work probably aren’t, so I bet there a lot of the same horses in many movies and shows”.

Then I thought there are probably “horse people” who keep track of these things, who might recognize a horse from one movie in other roles, and maybe even hardcore fans who go see a movie specifically because the amazing “Simpleton” is acting as the leading star’s trusty steed.

How close am I to reality with this train of thought?

Wikipedia has a list, on which is a quarter horse called “Hightower” with three film credits.

Among horse lovers there are particular horses which stand out in films, such as in the Lord of the Rings movies – the white horse which played the role of Gandalf’s horse, the bay horse which played the role of Brego, Aragorn’s horse, for example. But it’s not like they are famous outside of their little fan group. The horse that played Brego for example was a stallion named Antaeus, I believe. He had a fan website even.

Frank the Wonder Horse was in 24 of my pictures. And directed one. And he got the “film by” credit. - Buck McCoy

Roy Rogers’ horse, Trigger, was so popular he had his own comic book.

The horse who played “Trooper” in Animal House has his own page on IMDB and Highland Dale has more credits than many actors.

Then there was Bamboo Harvester, aka “Mr. Ed”

BoJack Horseman, back in the 90s, was in a very famous show.

Hi-yo, Silver!

Trigger is Maid Marian’s horse in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Was Silver a real horse, and not just a character?

I just realized Trigger was a real horse, who died in 1965 and has hoofprints on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And while looking at his wiki page, I found out about Wonder Horses:

According to this, both! There were two for Clayton Moore, he picked the first (“White Cloud”) himself but soon discovered that White Cloud was great for standing still, not so much for tricks. The iconic horse, the one used for promotions and stunts like rearing up, was “Silver”.

William Shatner rode his own horse in Star Trek: Generations. She was a Saddlebred named Great Belles of Fire.

Best pic of her I could find.

Let’s not forget Champion the Wonder Horse, Gene Autry’s horse. Or actually ‘horses’, as there were eventually three of them over a span of 21 years. Champion even had his own TV series from 1955-1956.

I own a picture book my father had when he was a kid called Rex King of Wild Horses: The Famous Movie Horse. It says he appears in Universal Pictures movies. No author is listed since “Rex” is telling his own story. “Rex” lists a bunch of movies he’s been in (probably silent, since the copyright date is 1928) but I can’t find them on IBMD. “Prancing Hoofs”, “Harvest of Hate”, “Guardian of the Wild”, “Wild Blood”, “Outlaws”, and “Wild Beauty.” (I’ve found other movies with those titles, but they’re too recent.)

One of my favorites was in Cat Ballou.

Lee Marvin on winning his best supporting actor Oscar: " “Half of this Oscar belongs to a horse someplace out in the valley.”"