Stories of the American West have been romanticized throughout history. You only have to look to the big screen to see how the Western became a defining American artform, with larger-than-life actors, like John Wayne in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," Clint Eastwood in "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and even Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit."
But these were just actors starring in movie roles. In the real wild west, there were characters so cool (or cold, depending on how you look at it), their stories read like they were written for film. Except they weren't. These wild west women, outlaws and cowboys weren't fictional — they were 100 percent genuine. Here are some of their best characters from the American west.