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Get to Know Forrie J. Smith — Yellowstone’s Most Seasoned Cowboy

A real cowboy both on screen and off!

Of all the actors that grace the Yellowstone screen, Forrie J Smith might just be the most cowboy of them all. The 65-year-old actor became a famous face when he began portraying the character of Lloyd on the hit series. The most seasoned ranch hand to grace the Yellowstone property, his character has become beloved for his wisdom and gentler nature (most of the time).

Who is Forrie J Smith?

The actor hails from Helena, Montana, where he grew up surrounded by ranch life. His grandfather was a part of the rodeo circuit and his mother was barrel racer, which meant Forrie would be a pro on horses by the age of 7.

Forrie J. Smith in Yellowstone
Forrie J. Smith in YellowstoneParamount Network

However, his transition from cowboy to screen star wasn’t linear. Before he showed his skills in front of the camera, the actor worked as a stuntman, citing falling off his horse as a youngster as being the reason for his career decision.

My stepdad died when I was seven years old,” Smith told Montana Sports. “I can remember riding my little Shetland pony Bad Billy down there and fell off right in front of him and mom. They’re like, what the heck are you doing? I said, I’m going to be a stuntman someday.”

His work as a stunt man made up a large chunk of his career, but in the early days of his film work behind the scenes, he could also be seen on the screen in small roles in films and series like Desperado (1987), Desert Rats (1988), The Young Riders, Tombstone (1993) and more.

In 2016, Smith was working on another one of Taylor Sheridan’s films, Hell or High Water, as a wrangler. It was then in which the Yellowstone creator promised the actor a part in his next project — and he kept his word.

Forrie J. Smith attending the Bingham's Bourbon after party, 2023
Forrie J Smith attending the Bingham’s Bourbon after party, 2023Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Bingham's Bourbon

The actor on Yellowstone

Forrie’s role in Yellowstone is one near and dear to him. Not only is this perhaps his most revered role in film or television, but it’s a story he relates to heavily.

When you grow up on a ranch, you grow up with life and death,” he told Good Housekeeping in 2019. “Anything detrimental to the ranch or our way of life is an enemy and needs to be taken care of one way or another.”

As for this new venture in his career, he enjoys the fact that he gets to explore a different side of himself as an actor.

“This show has showed me my own potential. After 30 years in the business, I’ve killed other characters as an actor or stuntman, but never have I had the opportunity to cry on screen. When Jimmy got his belt buckle this season, I finally got to do that.”

Forrie J. Smith and Zia Carlock
Forrie J Smith and Zia Carlock@forriejsmithcowboy/Instagram

Yellowstone has opened new doors for Forrie, and outside of the series, he’s been able to enjoy new film ventures, his most recent film being Ride alongside C. Thomas Howell, Jake Allyn and Annabeth Gish.

As for his Yellowstone fame and newfound stardom, “I’m just a country kid from Montana on screen with an Academy Award winner,” he told Good Housekeeping. “This is a dream come true for me, or actually, any actor.”

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