Yellowstone Actually Features Creator Taylor Sheridan In 2 Different Roles

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan plays Travis Wheatley on the flagship series, and Charlie Goodnight in 1883.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan is a man who wears many hats, most of them cowboy. In addition to writing every episode of Yellowstone —and spinoffs 1883 and 1923—Sheridan also acts as showrunner on Mayor of Kingstown and Tulsa King. So it should come as no surprise to fans of the Dutton family that Taylor has played not one but two roles in the Yellowstone universe.

Taylor Sheridan as Travis Wheatley

Sheridan plays veteran horse trainer Travis Wheatley on Yellowstone and lawman Charlie Goodnight on the prequel spinoff 1883. As Wheatley, Taylor Sheridan gets a chance to show off his stunning horse riding skills. Not surprising, given that he grew up as something of a cowboy and horse trainer himself.

Taylor Sheridan as Charlie Goodnight

Playing Goodnight allows the Yellowstone creator to scratch a different itch, that itch being an interest in the historical old west. Charlie Goodnight, much like Taylor Sheridan, was a real-life cowboy and rancher whose nickname “Father of the Texas Panhandle” was given to him after a successful career as a Texas Ranger. Fans familiar with Sheridan’s role as Wheatley may not have recognized him as Goodnight, thanks to a large scraggly beard that renders the creator almost unrecognizable.

Despite being best known today as the guy behind Yellowstone, Taylor Sheridan actually got his start in the business as an actor. His first role was in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. Sheridan followed that up with bit parts on shows like the forgotten Pamela Anderson vehicle V.I.P. and Star Trek: Enterprise before landing a five-episode stint on Veronica Mars as Danny Boyd.

Prior to his role as Travis Wheatley on Yellowstone, Taylor Sheridan’s biggest acting gig was playing David Hale on Sons of Anarchy. Sheridan appeared in 21 episodes of the biker crime drama before he was unceremoniously killed off in Season 3. Sons creator Kurt Sutter has confessed that having Sheridan’s character get hit by a van was originally a plan B if contract negotiations with the actor didn’t work out, but it ended up working well creatively, so he went with it.

Sutter’s decision may have been a blessing in disguise for the Yellowstone creator as it freed him up to try his hand at writing. Taylor Sheridan made the leap from character actor to writer with the screenplay for the acclaimed drama Sicario about drug trafficking across the Mexico/U.S. border. Sheridan then went on to write the screenplays for Hell or High Water and Wind River, a movie that also stands as the creator’s directorial debut.

Taylor went on to direct 2021’s Those Who Wish Me Dead before focusing his directing skills on the small screen. The multi-talented auteur has directed episodes of Yellowstone, 1883, and Mayor of Kingstown, in addition to writing the bulk of those very same episodes. If you’re wondering when Taylor Sheridan finds the time to sleep, you’re not the only one.

To call Sheridan a Jack of all trades is an understatement. Writing, directing, show running, producing, and acting, there may be nothing in Hollywood the Yellowstone creator can’t do. While there may currently only be one Taylor dominating the pop charts, Taylor Swift better watch her back just in case Taylor Sheridan decides he wants to tackle pop stardom too.