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Jefferson White: Learn All About the Comic Relief of ‘Yellowstone’

One of our favorite branded cowboys of the bunch!

Prior to Yellowstone, Jefferson White probably wasn’t a name you had heard. Making his on-screen debut in 2014 in The Americans, the Iowa born actor coasted through the Hollywood scene, making appearances on TV shows including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Elementary, How to Get Away With Murder, Blue Bloods, House of Cards and more before he hit the ground running in Yellowstone.

White’s debut on Yellowstone as the initially aimless and prone-to-trouble Jimmy was a rocky one, but thanks to the mercy of John Dutton and the oh-so-giving nature of the iconic patriarch, Jimmy was given a second shot at getting his life on track. Who can forget the scene in which Rip branded the young soon-to-be-cowboy?

Jefferson White, 2022
Jefferson White, 2022Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

The early life of Jefferson White

Before he was Jimmy, Jefferson White’s foray into acting and performing was ever-so-humble. His mother was a librarian and essentially paved the way for the young Iowan thespian.

At her library, she would do puppet shows for the kids, a sort of children’s theater for the community, so I started helping her with that when I was really young and fell in love with performing through that experience,” he told Buck Mason.

“I don’t want to speak for all actors, but part of what drew me to it as a kid is that it’s a space where it’s not only acceptable to be the center of people’s attention and put on performances, but you can also celebrate whatever is unique or specific to you. So as a kid, I found comfort in that and came to crave that environment.”

Jefferson White, 2022
Jefferson White, 2022Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Deadline Hollywood

This first introduction to performing would lead to school and community theatre before he headed off to Iowa State University where he studied advertising, fearing acting wouldn’t be financially lucrative. Eventually, he made his way to New York where he managed to break into TV and film.

By 2018, he was suiting up for cowboy camp and heading off to his new home at the bunkhouse.

White was one of the many who attended Taylor Sheridan’s “cowboy camp,” the rigorous training the cast of the show endured to get them acquainted with the cowboy lifestyle, for the sake of authenticity as well as skill.

Jefferson White, 2022
Jefferson White, 2022Amy Sussman/WireImage/Getty Images

Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan recalled to Deadline the way in which White in particular remained a trooper throughout the whole ordeal, despite having little to no experience on horseback.

It takes a lot of trust for someone who has never been on a horse to get on one,” Sheridan said. “And the horse can feel that fear so it was pretty dicey for a bit. To his credit, the second day I had him out there, just riding, never complaining. And when he got off, he said, I’ll fix this, I promise.”

For White, his Yellowstone role has been the opportunity of a lifetime, and his role on the show has opened new doors for him as well, allowing him to host the official Yellowstone podcast and showcase his photography to a larger audience.

The actor in 2024
Jefferson White, 2024@_jeffersonwhite/Instagram

I feel so, so lucky to have wound up on Yellowstone,” he told Looper. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had, and it’s been an incredible journey over the course of four years. It has had such an incredible response from audiences. It’s a show that I love that also has found an audience that loves it, and that’s been a tremendous gift.”

Want more Yellowstone stories? Click through here!

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