Originally the Man With No Name starred in Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy, formed by the films A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) starring Clint Eastwood. Although it was not Leone's declared intention, as the films saw US release in 1966, they were advertised as a trilogy following the exploits of the same "Man with No Name", based on the fact that Eastwood's characters all share extremely striking similarities (which makes some doubt that it was not Leone's intention to make them a single character).
The Man with No Name's voice was provided by Eastwood himself for the English-language releases, while he was dubbed by the famous Italian actor Enrico Maria Salerno for the original versions.
Nothing is known about the origins of the mysterious Man With No Name. He has been an outlaw, a bandit, and a gun-for-hire, but retains a sense of honor that often finds him doing the right thing to help those in need in spite of his quest for personal gain. His adventures led him to become a wanted man by both the Confederate and Union forces of the American Civil War when he blew up a Union bridge and made off with a small fortune in Confederate gold.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Sometime in 1862, during the American Civil War, a Mexican bandit, Tuco Ramirez finds himself at the bad end of a gang of bounty hunters. He is saved by a nameless man, only refering to him as 'Blondie'. Killing the hunters, he himself captures Tuco and turns into in to the local sheriffs for the $2,000 bounty. However, before Tuco could be hung, Blondie shoots down his noose, freeing him for the two to escape and split the money. Later, after repeating their hustle from town to town, Blondie grows tired or his compared, eventually leaving him stranded in the desert.
However, the bandit eventually returns to Blondie, with vengeance. Likewise, taking him into the deserts. Walking him through the sands, until No Name passed out from dehydration. While this happens, a ambulance carriage arrives, drawing a cart full of dead Confederates, and a dying Bill Carson. Whom promises Tuco $200,000 in gold, if he assist him. He tells him that the treasure is in a grave at Sad Hill Cemetery. However, as Tuco runs to get some water for the man, he dies of his conditions. And, fortunately for Blondie, Bill tells only him which grave, before passing. So, Tuco is forced to bring No Name back from the desert sands, and into a frontier mission. And, they decide to work together and find the treasure. Though, they are immediately captured by Union soldiers as they left the mission. Brought to a prison camp, they encountered Angel Eyes, who was posing as a Union sergeant. Searching for Carson, who Tuco was now posing as, Angel Eyes tortures Tuco for the location, before sending him to be executed.
Though, Blondie would not give up the exact grave, Angel Eyes would hire him to assist him in locating the treasure. And, with the escape of Tuco, they would all meet in a ruined town, along with Angel Eye's gang. The two would pair up again, and agree to take care of Angel Eyes. They would find themselves destroying a bridge in the middle of a battle between the Northern and Southern troops. While at it, the two decided to tell their end of the secrets. Blondie would reveal that the grave was that of Arch Stanton. To which, Tuco would quickly steal a horse and race to the cemetery. Reaching the grave, he would begin digging, only for Blondie and Angel Eyes to arrive with guns pointed. There, No Name would reveal that he gave Tuco the wrong grave. Writing the right name at the bottom of a rock, he placed it in the middle of a cobblestone field, initiating a three-way duel.
They all stared down each other, before drawing and firing. With Blondie killing Angel Eyes, Tuco would discover that his revolver was unloaded (by Blondie, the night before). No Name would reveal that the treasure was actually in a unmarked grave next to Arch Stanton. The two would split the gold and part ways.
A Fistful of Dollars
Then only known as 'the Stranger', he arrives in a small border town, between the United States and Mexico. Finding the town being divide and terrorized by two overlords, the criminal brother smugglers, the Rojo Brothers, and the family of lawmen. Making home in the town, they continuously battle it out with one another, leaving the townsfolk unfortunately caught in the middle.
Learning this from the innkeeper, Silvanito, the Stranger comprises a plan to make money. He decides to play the two sides against each other, and earn cash off of them both.
He is shown as being slightly cynical, somewhat selfish and violent. He has been known to lighten up from time to time, showing a sense of humor through sarcasm, as well as being very compassionate to people he believes to be good, albeit he rarely meets any such people.
He uses Colt revolvers, one a Single Action Army (SAA), the other an 1851 Navy. Both are unique because of the snake like engravings on their handles. His main rifle is a Winchester Yellow Boy. He also uses a Sharps 1874 sniper rifle on occasion.
After the popularity of the three films there were several novels produced. Including the novelization of the Dollar Trilogy. There was also the novels A Coffin Full of Dollars, A Dollar to Die For, The Devil's Dollar, The Million-Dollar Bloodhunt, and Blood For a Dirty Dollar. The five books were all written by Joe Millard with the exception of A Dollar to Die For by Brian Fox.
In 2008 The Man With No Name got in his own comic with the same title with Dynamite Entertainment. The comic picks after the Dollar Trilogy films. A year later the comic The Good Bad and the Ugly made it's start also with Dynamite Entertainment.