RENO, Nev. (AP) _ Sunset Carson, a 1940s cowboy movie hero, died one day after winning a settlement in a 3-year-old lawsuit over money earned from some of his old pictures. He was 63.

Carson died Tuesday at Washoe Medical Center after apparently suffering a heart attack in his room at the Ponderosa Hotel.

Carson, who was a rodeo star at age 17, appeared in more than 40 westerns, including ''Bandits of the Badlands,'' ''Oregon Trail'' and ''Bells of Rosarita.''

In 1978, he created a series of 78 classic westerns featuring himself and other stars like Ken Maynard and Roy Rogers.

He filed suit in 1987 complaining that South Carolina Educational Television Producers Inc. and Ken Heard Releasing Inc. helped in the production and distribution of the ''Six Gun Heroes'' series but had not paid him for video cassette sales and promotional materials sold on the show since 1982.

Carson's Reno attorney, Larry Dunn, said the lawsuit was settled out of court in Carson's favor Monday. Dunn would not give a money amount.

Carson had spent recent years crusading against drugs and violence, and sex and language in movies and on television.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, a son and a daughter.