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Sam Elliott – MovieActors.com

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Elliott in The Big Lebowski.

About Sam Elliott (1944 – )
Sam Elliott was born on August 9, 1944, in Sacramento, California, the son of former Texans, Gyn Mamie and Henry Nelson Elliott. His mother was a physical training instructor, and his father worked for the Department of the Interior. One of his parents' ancestors fought in the Battle of the Alamo.

The Elliott family moved to Oregon, where Sam graduated from David Douglas High School and then enrolled in a two year program at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. While attending Clark College, he was cast in the stage production of Guys and Dolls, and received rave reviews. He was officially bitten by the acting bug.

Sam enrolled at Calif. State Los Angeles, and studied acting, putting himself through college here working in construction. He also joined th California National Guard.

Because of his deep, commanding voice, glorious mustache, graying hair in later years and ability to put on a Texas drawl, he was deemed to be perfect for westerns;often cast as a character actor. After doing some stage work, Sam was first cast as card player #2, in the hit film, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. Though only a foot-in-the-door part, it did eventually affect his personal life in his future.

In Sam Elliott's debut film, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, his future wife and the love of his life; actress Katharine Ross, had a co-starring role, but they never met because their roles were filmed on different days, though they have have met during cast parties.

However, their paths crossed again when they both were cast in the 1978 film THE LEGACY, a script that was partially inspired by Agatha Christie's TEN LITTLE INDIANS. Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott were married in 1984. In September of 1984, their daughter, Cleo Rose was born. Cleo grew up to be a musician.

In 1976 Sam Elliott was listed as one of twelve Promising New Actors in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 28.

In the film, TOMBSTONE;(1993), Sam Elliott was cast as Virgil Earp. When the cowboys began raising hell in this small western town, Virgil Earp;(Sam Elliott) teamed up with his brothers;Morgan Earp;(played by Bill Paxton), and Wyatt Earp; ( played by Kurt Russell) to bring peace to the small town. This was said to be Val Kilmer's best role; playing Doc Holliday.

Sam Elliott's body has been shown in only a few of his films. In the book Shirtless!, Sam Elliott is referred to as a "Super Bod" based on his appearance in Lifeguard.
In a December 1976 interview, that was published in the magzine;PLAYGIRL, Sam stated, "I don't want to be known as a sex symbol. There's a great stigma that goes with that tag. I want to be a Sam Elliott."

However, an actor will do what he or she has to do when cast in a meaty co-star part. His "bare buns" were shown in the 1978 film, LEGACY, which caused a twitter of excitement among women. This "bare-buns" scene was appreciated as well by a printed publication called "The Bare Facts"; a guide to nude scenes in films. His "bare buns" scene garnered the highest rating of three stars.

During the 1980s', Sam Elliot continues to find ample work in TV Movies and Mini-Series, to great success. He stared this decade in a strong offering; MURDER IN TEXAS; co-starring with his wife, KATHARINE ROSS in this 1981 film.

These highly rated TV Movies folllowed:THE SHADOW RIDERS;(1982), TRAVIS MCGEE;(1983) and the 1985 film; A DEATH IN CALIFORNIA. Sam rounded out the decade of the 1980s' with the TV Movies:THE BLUE LIGHTNING;(1986), HOUSTON: THE LEGEND OF TEXAS;(1986), and THE QUICK AND THE DEAD;(1987).

His strongest shining success in film during the 1980s' was the 1985 film, MASK, where he got third billing behind co-stars CHER and Eric Stoltz.

As the run-down bouncer, Sam Elliott played Wade Garrett in the 1989 hit Road House starring opposite Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch and Ben Gazzara.

The 1990s' brought some acclaim to Sam Elliot. In 1990, Sam Elliott won the Golden Boot Award for his work in western films.

Working with his wife again, Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross were in the TV Movie; Conagher, in 1991. Sam Elliott wrote the screenplay for this movie. Sam was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

In 1996, Sam was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe for his supporting actor performance in the TV Movie; BUFFALO GIRLS;(1995), portraying the character of Buffalo Bill.

Looking back at his career, Sam had this to say, about being type-cast, and wishing that he had gotten more training in his profession.

"I've spent my entire career on horseback or on a motorcycle. It boxes you in, the way people perceive you. I read a lot of scripts. Most of 'em go to other actors."

"I think I might have been a more interesting actor, had more of a career earlier on, if I had more formal preparation. When I see something ten years later that I was in I think, 'Boy, would I love to do that over.'"

Despite being typecast in tough guy roles, cowboy, military officer and biker types, and wishing that he could do some of his earlier roles over again, Sam has grown considerably as an actor over his long career, and has enjoyed steady, satisfying work in worth-while projects as a character actor, being cast in well-done films, such as WE WERE SOLDIERS, THE BIG LEBOWSKI and UP IN THE AIR.

Sam continues to be a favorite with casting directors for strong character actor roles. In 2015, Sam was cast in award winning Sundance Film Festival movies, I'll SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, DIGGING FOR FIRE and GRANDMA.


Sam Elliott's notable movie credits include...

GRANDMA (2015)
I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (2015)
DIGGING FOR FIRE (2015)

THE GOOD DINOSAUR (2015)
The Big Bang (2011)
Did You Hear About The Morgan? (2009)
Up In The Air (2009)
The Golden Compass (2007)
Ghost Rider (2007)
THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (2006)
Barnyard (2006)
The Alibi (2006)
HULK (2003)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
THE CONTENDER (2000)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Tombstone (1993)
GETTYSBURG (1993)
Road House (1989)
PRANCER (1989)
mask (1985)
The Legacy (1978)
LIFE GUARD (1976)
Molly And Lawless John (1972)
Frogs (1972)
Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
Maugli (1967)


Sam Elliott's notable TV credits include...

JUSTIFIED (TV SERIES) (2015)
PaRKS AND RECREATION (TV SERIES) (2013-2015)
NOVEMBER CHRISTMAS (TV MOVIE) (2010)
FAIL SAFE (TV MOVIE) (2000)
YOU KNOW MY NAME (TV MOVIE) (1999)
TEXARKANA (TV MOVIE) (1998)
ROUGH RIDERS (TV MOVIE) (1995)
THE BUFFALO GIRLS (TV MOVIE)(1995)
THE DESPERATE TRAIL (TV MOVIE) (1994)
CONAGER (TV MOVIE) (1991)
HOUSTON: THE LEGEND OF TEXAS (TV MOVIE) (1986)
WILD TIMES (TV MINI-SERIES) (1980)
ASPEN (TV MINI-SERIES) (1977)
ONCE AN EAGLE (TV MINI-SERIES) (1976-1977)
I WILL FIGHT NO MORE FOREVER (TV MOVIE) (1975)

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Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski.

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Sam Elliott in Ghost Rider (2007).