Happy Birthday Taylor Sheridan: Celebrating the ‘Yellowstone’ Creator

by Suzanne Halliburton

Happy birthday, Taylor Sheridan. We’ll let Yellowstone, our favorite show, give you the best kind of greeting.

The show’s official Instagram account posted a photo of Taylor Sheridan riding a horse. That’s birthday-appropriate. So was the cutline.

“Happy Birthday, Taylor Sheridan. Hope you’re doing cowboy shit all day! #YellowstoneTV”

Sheridan is 51. He’s the best sort of Texan. He grew up on his family’s ranch in Cranfills Gap, a sliver of a town in Bosque County in Central Texas. And he graduated from Texas State in San Marcos, just south of Austin.

After leaving the state for bright lights of Los Angeles, Taylor Sheridan returned to live in an environment he craved. He and his wife now live on a working ranch in Weatherford, west of Fort Worth, Texas.

Sheridan was a fine actor. But his real talent is telling stories, whether he’s writing, directing or doing both. You could say he specializes in sweeping western blood justice. And he brings his visions to both the big and small screen, often using Texas as a backdrop. He didn’t even start screenwriting until about 10 years ago.

Taylor Sheridan First Tackled Sicario Script

His first big screen-writing project was Sicario, a movie about an FBI task force and the bloody Mexican drug cartels. Sheridan picked up some major recognition, with the Writers Guild of America nominating him for best original screenplay.

Then came the Taylor Sheridan project Hell or High Water, a movie starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster. The movie was about two brothers, who begin robbing banks in West Texas to help keep the family ranch afloat. They’re pursued by a couple of Texas Rangers. Sheridan earned an Academy Award nomination for best screenplay, to go along with one from the Golden Globes and BAFTA.

His first big directing debut came in Wind River. This one was about an FBI agent investigating a murder on a Native American reservation.

In 2017, Sheridan First Brought Yellowstone to Life

And by 2017, Taylor Sheridan wrote and directed a TV show that felt like a movie. That was Yellowstone, which told the story of the Dutton family who lived in Montana on the country’s largest ranch. Kevin Costner, a true movie star, is John Dutton, the patriarch of the family.

Gil Birmingham, who plays Chief Thomas Rainwater on Yellowstone, said the TV show is similar to the two movies he worked on with Taylor Sheridan.

Yellowstone “is epic in its sweeping quality of a movie,” Birmingham said of Taylor Sheridan and his work. “And I don’t think, I don’t feel any different from the two movies I’ve done with Taylor. (Yellowstone isn’t) really any different. It’s just a ten-episodic movie.

“So that’s one of the great beauties about it. There’s not a differentiating line between any of those things. So you’re still gonna get all of the same quality, and the impact of how Taylor incorporates the environment as a character in all of his movies, and this show in particular. I think people are just gonna be blown away.”

Earlier this year, Sheridan reworked the script and directed Those Who Wish Me Dead, which starred Angelina Jolie.

Jolie said of Sheridan: “He has a unique voice when it comes to characters within America, which had not been a prior focus of my work. I wanted to be in this world with him.”