Here’s what the cast of Dances With Wolves looks like now and their biggest movie and TV roles since. By the time Dances With Wolves hit cinemas in 1990, Westerns had all but died out in Hollywood. While it was once one of the most popular genres, it waned in popularity during the ’60s and ’70s and soon Westerns became few and far between, which wasn’t aided by the infamous box-office bomb of Heaven’s Gate in 1980. Critics also had their knives sharped for Dances With Wolves, which was the directorial debut of star Kevin Costner, with the movie being seen as a vanity project.
The movie involves Costner’s disillusioned union soldier becoming part of a Sioux tribe. Instead of being a box-office dud, Dances With Wolves – which has a trashier version in A Man Called Horse – grossed over $400 million and was greeted with acclaim. It even won Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars. Dances With Wolves is still beloved among fans, though its legacy is mixed, with some observers feeling it belongs to the “white savior” genre, while many critics feel the Oscars bestowed upon it should have gone to Goodfellas instead.
Regardless, the movie proved there was life in the Western genre. Here’s a guide to Dances With Wolves cast and their biggest projects since.
Kevin Costner – Lieutenant John J. Dunbar / Dances With Wolves
Costner was the biggest name in Dances With Wolves‘ cast, and its success brought his career to the next level. After the film he fronted major hits like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Bodyguard, though the critical bashing that greeted 1995’s Waterworld – which is getting a TV series – impacted his A-list status. Other roles of note include Open Range – which he also directed – 2013’s Man Of Steel and playing John Dutton in hit drama Yellowstone.
Mary McDonnell – Stands With A Fist
Mary McDonnell played Stands With A Fist in the movie, who eventually becomes Dunbar’s wife. Following the success of Dances With Wolves, McDonnell went on to movies like 1992’s Sneakers, Independence Day, Donnie Darko and Scream 4. On TV, she’s also scored a major success with Battlestar Galactica and Major Crimes.
Graham Greene – Kicking Bird
Graham Greene gives one of the most soulful performances in Dances With Wolves, with Greene later receiving an Academy Award nod for Best Supporting Actor. The actor made a habit of stealing movies, which include Thunder Heart, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and 2017’s Wind River, in addition to shows like Longmire -which had a moving finale – and American Gods.
Rodney A. Grant – Wind In His Hair
Wind In His Hair is deeply distrustful of Dunbar when they first meet, but his goodbye message to Dances With Wolves is one of the movie’s most emotional scenes. Sadly, Grant was never really given a role worthy of his talent in the years after the film, with his most notable projects being Geronimo: An American Legend, John Candy’s final movie Wagons East, Wild, Wild West and John Carpenter’s Ghosts Of Mars. Grant appears to have retired from performing, with his last credit being 2011’s Shouting Secrets.
Wes Studi – Toughest Pawnee
Rounding out the Dances With Wolves cast is Wes Studi as “Toughest Pawnee,” and while not the biggest role in the movie, Studi still makes a major impression. Studi has since gone on to an impressive career, appearing in The Last of the Mohicans – which is easy to find online – Street Fighter, Geronimo: An American Legend and Soul, in addition to shows like Penny Dreadful and 2021’s Reservation Dogs.