7. Bill Cosby as Caleb Revers in Man and Boy (1971)
As weird as it is to think of Mr. Sweaters doing anything badass, Bill Cosby chose this western drama for his film debut about a Civil War soldier on a mission with his son to recover their stolen horse. Pudding pops were still a long way off.
6. Cleavon Little as Sheriff Bart in Blazing Saddles (1974)The new Sheriff in Mel Brook’s legendary comedy is as funny as he is badass. Dealing with racism at every turn, Bart even manages to free himself from gunpoint by…holding himself at gunpoint! And let’s not forget, he also has a hell of a voice.
5. Max Julien as Bushrod in Thomasine & Bushrod (1974)Thomasine & Bushrod was designed to be an African American take on Bonnie & Clyde, where the couple went on a tear through the south, stealing from the rich white landowners, Robin Hood-style.