Actor James Coburn, best known for his Western films The Magnificent Seven and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid was posthumously inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Hall of Great Western Performers on April 18, 2015. Coburn guest-starred or starred in numerous television series before his break through role in John Sturges’ classic 1960 ensemble Western starring Yul Bryner and Steve McQueen. The stylistic director liked Coburn and again cast him with McQueen in Sturges’ follow-up mega-cast hit, The Great Escape in 1963. Coburn soon caught the eye of another director, Sam Peckinpah, who cast the flinty-eyed actor in Major Dundee, opposite Charleston Heston in 1965. Peckinpah, like Sturges, liked building a loyal ensemble cast and crew, and he waited for the right role to cast Coburn again, this time as Pat Garrett opposite Kris Kristofferson’s Billy the Kid in the epic 1973 Western. Most recently, Northwestern University Press published award-winning Peckinpah biographer Paul Seydor’s The Authentic Death and Contentious Afterlife of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid: The Untold Story of Peckinpah’s Last Western Film, which is excerpted in the special report on Billy the Kid in True West’s June issue.