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Samuel Pack "Sam" Elliott (born August 9, 1944) is an American actor. His rangy physique, thick horseshoe moustache, deep, resonant voice, and Western drawl lend to frequent casting as cowboys and ranchers.

Early life

Sam Elliott was born in Sacramento, California, to a physical training instructor mother and a father who worked for the Department of the Interior.[1] He moved from California to Oregon with his family during his teenage years, where he graduated from David Douglas High School in Portland. He attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, where he completed a two-year program and was cast as one of the leads in Guys and Dolls. The local newspaper suggested that Elliott should be a professional actor. Soon after, Elliott declared he was going to Hollywood to become a star. Elliott is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Cal State L.A.. He worked in construction while studying acting in Los Angeles. Elliott also lived for a short time in Princeton, West Virginia.[2]


Elliott began his career as a character actor; his appearance, voice and bearing were ideally suited to Westerns. One of his first film roles was as 'Card Player #2' in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

In 1970-71, Sam Elliott starred as Doug Robert in the hit TV series Mission: Impossible, and played the lead character Sam Damon in Once an Eagle,an NBC miniseries during the 1976-77 season. He also had the starring role as Rick Carlson in the summer sleeper, Lifeguard (1976). In 1979, he played the oldest brother in the made-for-TV miniseries The Sacketts, also starring Tom Selleck, Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Glenn Ford, Ruth Roman, Mercedes McCambridge, Jack Elam, and Gilbert Roland, among others. He later played a wife killer in the miniseries Murder in Texas (1981) and A Death in California (1985). Elliott's breakthrough came with his supporting role in Mask (1985) when he co-starred with Cher. He has made guest appearances on shows such as Felony Squad,GunsmokeLancer and Hawaii Five-O and has been featured in many TV movies, including "Prancer" (1989) and Buffalo Girls (1995) in which he played Wild Bill Hickok. He has also starred inRoad House (1989) with Patrick Swayze and played Virgil Earp in Tombstone (1993), which starred Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. In 1998, Elliot was named the grand marshal of the Calgary Stampede parade and rode in the procession before 300,000 spectators.

Elliott co-starred in We Were Soldiers, which is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once… And Young, portraying Sgt. Maj. Basil L. Plumley. He also played General John Buford in the 1993 filmGettysburg. Elliott played General Thunderbolt Ross in the 2003 film Hulk.

Elliott played "The Stranger", a character narrating the story of The Big Lebowski (1998). In 2005 he appeared in Thank You For Smoking where he played a former Marlboro Man advertisement cowboy who has developed lung-cancer. Elliot joined Nicolas Cage in 2007 in the popular Ghost Rider, and stood out in another film the same year, in The Golden Compass as a key character, Lee Scoresby. In 2009, Elliott had a small role in Up In The Air in which he portrayed the Captain of an American Airlines jet.

Elliott has performed voice-over narration for various commercials. He has lent his voice to campaigns for DodgeIBMKinney DrugsUnion Pacific, and, most notably, the American Beef Council, succeeding Robert Mitchum in the latter. Since late 2007, Elliott has done voice-overs for Coors beer, bringing his deep, rich voice and "western" appeal to the brand brewed in Colorado. In 2010, Dodge hired Elliott to do the voice-over for their Ram Heavy Duty truck commercial. He is also the new voice for Smokey Bear ("Only YOU can prevent wildfires"). Coincidentally, Elliott and "Smokey" share the same birthday (the U.S. Forest Service recognizes this as Smokey's "birthdate"). He lent his voice to "Buster" (a.k.a. Chupadogra) in Marmaduke (2010). He also narrated the opening of the Super Bowl introductions, in 2011 Super Bowl in Arlington, Texas. He has a supporting role in the forthcoming film The Company You Keep.

Personal life

Elliott married actress Katharine Ross in 1984. Although Ross starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which Elliott had a very small role, the two did not meet and begin dating until 1978 when they both starred with Roger Daltrey in The Legacy. He and Katharine Ross have a daughter, Cleo Cole Elliott,[3] born in 1984, who is now a musician in Malibu.[4][5]



Year Title Role Notes
1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Card Player #2
1972 Frogs Pickett Smith
1975 I Will Fight No More Forever Captain Wood
1976 Lifeguard Rick Carlson
1978 The Legacy Pete Danner
1982 Shadow Riders Dal Traven
1985 Mask Gar
1987 Fatal Beauty Mike Marshak
1988 Shakedown Richie Marks Also titled "Blue Jean Cop"
1989 Road House Wade Garrett
1989 Prancer John Riggs
1990 Sibling Rivalry Charles Turner Jr.
1991 Rush Dodd
1993 Tombstone Virgil Earp
1993 Gettysburg Brigadier General John Buford
1995 Final Cut John Pierce
1995 The Desperate Trail Bill Speaks direct to video film
1995 The Ranger, The coo, and a Hole in the Sky Bill Bell film
1996 Dog Watch Charlie Falon direct to video film
1998 The Big Lebowski The Stranger
1998 The Hi-Lo Country Jim Ed Love
2000 The Contender Kermit Newman
2001 Pretty When You Cry Detective Lukas Black
2002 We Were Soldiers Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley
2003 Hulk General Thaddeus E. "Thunderbolt" Ross
2003 Off the Map Charley
2006 Barnyard: The Original Party Animals Ben the cow voice only
2006 Thank You for Smoking Lorne Lutch
2006 The Alibi The Mormon
2007 Ghost Rider The Caretaker / Carter Slade
2007 The Golden Compass Lee Scoresby
2009 Did You Hear About the Morgans? Clay Wheeler
2009 Up in the Air Maynard Finch Nominated - Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble

Nominated - Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble

2010 Marmaduke Chupadogra voice only
2011 The Big Bang Simon Kestral
2012 The Company You Keep Mac Mcleod


Year Title Role Notes
1970 The Challenge Bryant Television film
1970-1971 Mission: Impossible Dr. Douglas Robert (Lang)
1971 Assault on the Wayne Ensign William 'Bill' Sandover (TV movie)
1972 Gunsmoke Corey Soames
1972 Molly and Lawless John Johnny Lawler (TV movie)
1973 The Blue Knight Detective Charlie Bronski (TV movie)
1974 The Two-Faced Corpse Jack Houston (TV movie)
1974 Evel Knievel Evel Knievel (TV movie)
1975 I Will Fight No More Forever Captain Wood (TV movie)
1976 Once an Eagle Sam Damon TV miniseries
1977 Aspen Tom Keating (TV movie)
1979 The Sacketts Tell Sackett (TV movie)
1980 Wild Times Hugh Cardiff (TV movie)
1981 Murder in Texas Dr. John Hill (TV movie)
1982 The Shadow Riders Dal Traven (TV movie)
1983 The Yellow Rose Chance McKenzie
1983 Travis McGee (TV movie)
1985 A Death in California D. Jordan Williams TV miniseries
1986 Gone to Texas Sam Houston (TV movie)
1987 The Quick and the Dead Con Vallian (TV movie)
1991 Conagher Conn Conagher (TV movie)

Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or Television Film

1993 Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert Lyn Cutter (TV movie)
1995 The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky Bill Bell (TV movie)
1995 Buffalo Girls Wild Bill Hickock (TV movie)

Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or Television Film

1995 Blue River Henry Howland (TV movie)
1996 Woman Undone Ross Bishop (TV movie)
1997 Rough Riders Capt. Bucky O'Neil (TV movie)
1998 Texarkana (TV movie)
1999 You Know My Name Bill Tilghman (TV movie)
2000 Fail Safe Congressman Raskob (TV movie)
2006 Avenger Calvin Dexter (TV movie)
2010 November Christmas Jess Sanford (TV movie)