Actor John Travolta and Debra Winger talk in a scene during the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

'Urban Cowboy' Cast: Then & Now

Can you believe it's been over 40 years since Urban Cowboy was released? The 1980 classic earned over $50 million at the box office and proved that audiences will always love country music — and that Texans really love their honky-tonks.

The film, directed by James Bridges, followed a young Texan (Travolta) who leaves home and his mama (Betty Murphy) and moves to Houston to work at an oil refinery. While staying with his uncle, he visits the local honky-tonk in Pasadena and learns about the competitive world of mechanical bull riding. Whether or not he was lookin' for love, he definitely finds it when he meets Sissy (Winger) who asks him if he's a real cowboy. Writer and director James Bridges (co-written with Aaron Latham) brought the story to life with the help of choreographer Patsy Swayze (yes that's Patrick Swayze's mom!). John Travolta and Debra Winger led the stacked cast with co-stars Cooper Huckabee, Brooke Alderson and Jerry Hall.

Here's where the Urban Cowboy cast is over 40 years later.

John Travolta

Actor John Travolta rides a mechanical bull in a scene during the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

John Travolta attends G'Day USA 2020 at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California

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Country boy Bud Davis, portrayed by the one and only John Travolta, leads the story. Bud has his ups and downs throughout the film, particularly with his relationship with Sissy. But it all works out in the end. Travolta is now a Hollywood legend, having starred in numerous films since the '70s, including Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Swordfish, Hairspray and The General's Daughter. He is also a trained pilot and personally owns multiple private planes. He was married to actress Kelly Preston before she tragically passed away earlier this year.

Debra Winger

Actor John Travolta and Debra Winger smile on set of the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Debra Winger attends the 2018 New York Film Critics Circle Awards at TAO Downtown on January 07, 2019 in New York City.

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Sissy Davis falls fast for Bud, but she's definitely intrigued by Wes and his friend Steve Strange (James Gammon). She also doesn't care what Bud says, she wants to ride that mechanical bull at Gilley's! Winger went on to star in An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment, Shadowlands and Rachel Getting Married. She also starred opposite Sam Elliott in the Netflix show The Ranch.

Scott Glenn

Actor Scott Glenn stands in a scene during the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Scott Glenn attends the Build Series to discuss the show 'The Leftovers' at Build Studio on May 24, 2017 in New York City.

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Wes Hightower was the bad boy in the film. He was a convict, having been released from Huntsville Penitentiary before getting a job at Gilley's. He even temporarily wooes Sissy away from Bud! Scott Glenn has had a steady acting career over the years appearing in a slew of high profile films — The Right Stuff, Silverado, The Hunt for Red October, The Silence of the Lambs, Training Day and more. He's been married to wife Carol Schwartz since 1968 and they have two children.  

Madolyn Smith Osborne

CIRCA 1980: Actor John Travolta and Madolyn Smith Osborne walk in a scene of the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Who could forget the lovely Pam? She was the beautiful woman that temporarily steals Bud's heart away from Sissy in the film. Osborne actually hasn't appeared in any roles since 1994. Since this film's release, she was in 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Funny Farm and The Super. She's been married to former NHL player Mark Osborne since 1988. 

Barry Corbin 

Actors Barry Corbin with actress Madolyn Smith Osborne and John Travolta stand in a scene during the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Actor Barry Corbin attends the screening of "The Homesman" during AFI FEST 2014 presented by Audi at Dolby Theatre on November 11, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

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How cute was Uncle Bob Davis?! The former rodeo champion lets Bud crash with him and helps him train to win the big mechanical bull prize money. Corbin went on to appear in Lonesome Dove, Dallas and No Country for Old Men. He played Coach Whitey Durham on the CW TV show One Tree Hill.

Brooke Alderson

Brooke Alderson played Corene Davis, Bud's aunt, who memorably entered the Gilley's Dolly Parton lookalike contest.

Alderson would go on to appear in Family Ties and the 1995 film Just Cause.

Mickey Gilley

Photo of Mickey Gilley

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Singer Mickey Gilley, winner of the Triple Crown Award attends the 50th Academy Of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.

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The one and only Mickey Gilley played himself in the film. The country singer had opened up  Gilley's club in Pasadena, Texas in 1970 after already having a career in country music. Not only did Gilley continue making music, but he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. He even opened up a theater in Branson, Missouri

Gilley passed away in May of 2022.

Bonnie Raitt

Actor John Travolta with Bonnie Raitt on set during the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Along with Johnny Lee and Charlie Daniels, Grammy award-winning artist Bonnie Raitt also played herself in the film and contributed to the soundtrack. Most recently she won Best Americana Album at the 2013 Grammys for Slipstream.

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Editors Note: This article was originally published on June 4, 2021.