Real Texas Cowboy Behind Smash Hit Yellowstone Details Amazing Rags-To-Riches Story: “I didn’t want to raise my son in LA”

Taylor Sheridan, 52, is the creator, writer, and director (of most episodes) of the record-breaking Yellowstone TV series. He also is behind the Yellowstone prequels, 1883 and 1923, which are setting streaming records, and a few other massive hits. Sheridan has an amazing rags-to-riches story he detailed recently.

Sheridan grew up in Cranfills Gap, a small town southwest of Dallas where his family ran a ranch. In the 1990s he was at Texas State University and was thinking about becoming the sheriff of his hometown but tried acting instead.

He didn’t quit when others would and eventually landed his big break in his 40s starring as Deputy Chief David Hale in Sons of Anarchy and Danny Boyd in Veronica Mars. But with a child on the way took a massive risk and quit acting to get out of Los Angeles and focus on screenwriting.

He said: “I didn’t want to raise my son in LA and I didn’t want to have to look him in the eye and tell him I couldn’t take him to a baseball game because I had an audition for a Windex commercial.

“I think the thing that really changed my perspective on my career was getting married and having a child. And then, really thinking about how I am going to raise that child. And if that child is going to look up to me, what is he looking up to me for?

“Also, I wanted to tell stories that mattered to me, and not tell other people’s stories. I wanted to tell stories about my life and the lifestyle that I grew up in, and the world that I came from.

“So people could understand where I come from, and understand the value of the upbringing that I had. That’s why I quit acting.”

He wrote two hits, the critically acclaimed and Academy Award-nominated Sicario and Hell Or High Water. He bought a ranch with the money.

“I was a new father and penniless, crammed my family into this little apartment because I stupidly at 40 decided to start writing,” he said of writing ‘Hell Or High Water.’

“One of the major themes in it is failure as a father and at the same time Texas was on fire, the markets were collapsing and the way of life that I grew up with was failing and dying.

“So it was a very personal exploration of my own experiences and then of a way of life, and it lent itself to some pretty harsh study of us as a people and our relationships, our relationships to people of different genders, race and everything.

“As far as my horses go, I supply most of the horses to Yellowstone, my TV show. And then I have horses that I show and breed. Right now, I’ve got probably as many horses as I have cattle. And I have too many horses,” he said.

In 2021 Sheridan was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.