John McClane is the great American action hero of the modern age. An answer to the cartoony, unstoppable heroes of the 80s, McClane’s DIE HARD films brought us a real human being at the center of awesome, thrilling action. His dedication and his bravery are not superhuman but totally relatable. And he’s got some great one liners.
If there were to be a patron saint of badasses, it would be Warren Oates. Not because he was particularly tough, although he could - at times - hold his own. Not because he was all that handsome, although he had a certain roguish charm to his smile. What made Warren Oates so badass was the way that he simply didn’t give a shit what people thought. Oates lived his own way - hard and rough, leading to his untimely early death - and worked his own way, staying out of the spotlight. There was a period in the early 70s when Oates - almost always relegated to supporting roles from which he handily stole entire films - was the best actor working in Hollywood.