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Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott

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Also Known As: Samuel Pack Elliott Died:
Born: August 9, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Sacramento, California, USA Profession: actor, water safety instructor, construction worker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A laconic performer whose trademark bushy mustache and deep gravely voice made him perfect for Western roles, actor Sam Elliott unfortunately emerged at a time when that particular genre had run its course. As one of the last actors to sign an exclusive contract under the old studio system, Elliott struggled to find his footing in the feature world, which led to getting his start on the small screen with a regular series role on "Mission: Impossible" (CBS, 1966-1973) during the show's last season. Following several made-for-television movies and guest starring roles on episodes of "Hawaii Five-O" (CBS, 1968-1980) and "Police Woman" (NBC, 1974-78), he earned critical acclaim - as well as the enmity of Paramount Pictures - for his leading role in the cult favorite, "Lifeguard" (1976). But Elliott made his greatest impression in the following decade, particularly as a rough-and-tumble, but good-hearted biker in "Mask" (1985), a performance that brought the actor widespread attention. From there, Elliott went back and forth between television and features, turning in one quality performance after another, many of which were variations on the gruff cowboy or the tough, but wise authority figure. Though...

A laconic performer whose trademark bushy mustache and deep gravely voice made him perfect for Western roles, actor Sam Elliott unfortunately emerged at a time when that particular genre had run its course. As one of the last actors to sign an exclusive contract under the old studio system, Elliott struggled to find his footing in the feature world, which led to getting his start on the small screen with a regular series role on "Mission: Impossible" (CBS, 1966-1973) during the show's last season. Following several made-for-television movies and guest starring roles on episodes of "Hawaii Five-O" (CBS, 1968-1980) and "Police Woman" (NBC, 1974-78), he earned critical acclaim - as well as the enmity of Paramount Pictures - for his leading role in the cult favorite, "Lifeguard" (1976). But Elliott made his greatest impression in the following decade, particularly as a rough-and-tumble, but good-hearted biker in "Mask" (1985), a performance that brought the actor widespread attention. From there, Elliott went back and forth between television and features, turning in one quality performance after another, many of which were variations on the gruff cowboy or the tough, but wise authority figure. Though initially frustrated with playing virtually the same role in numerous projects, Elliott came to appreciate the fortune given to him. With rock solid supporting performances in "Tombstone" (1993), "The Big Lebowski" (1998), "The Contender" (2000) and "Thank You for Smoking" (2006), Elliott had established himself as one of Hollywood's most prolific and sought-after character actors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Digging for Fire (2015)
2.
 Draft Day (2014)
3.
4.
 Big Bang, The (2011)
5.
 Marmaduke (2010)
6.
7.
 Up in the Air (2009)
9.
 Ghost Rider (2007) Cast
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Attended Columbia Pictures Film Workshop in Los Angeles
:
Signed contract with 20th Century Fox
1969:
Made film debut in a bit role of second card player in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"; future wife Katharine Ross was female lead, but the two did not meet
1969:
Appeared on episodes of CBS series "Lancer"
1970:
TV movie debut, "The Challenge" (ABC)
1970:
Cast as series regular Dr. Doug Lang on "Mission: Impossible" (CBS)
1972:
First feature lead, "Frogs"
1973:
Played Detective Charlie Bronski in acclaimed NBC miniseries "The Blue Knight"
1975:
Pursued Nez Pearce Indians as they tried to flee to Canada in "I Will Fight No More Forever" (ABC)
1976:
Portrayed Sam Damon in seven-part NBC miniseries "Once an Eagle"
1976:
Landed breakthrough feature playing title role in "Lifeguard"
1979:
Starred with Tom Selleck in NBC miniseries "The Sacketts"
1979:
Began relationship with Katharine Ross during making of goofy Gothic mystery "The Legacy"
1981:
First of five TV projects with Ross, CBS miniseries "Murder in Texas"
1982:
Re-teamed with Selleck on "The Shadow Riders" (CBS)
1983:
Acted opposite Cybill Shepherd on NBC's "The Yellow Rose"
1985:
First feature film in six years, Peter Bogdanovich's "Mask"
1987:
Acted opposite Kate Capshaw in HBO film "The Quick and the Dead"
1988:
Fought drugs and corruption as a NYC undercover cop in "Shakedown"
1989:
Co-starred with Patrick Swayze as bouncers in "Road House"
1990:
Played a man who suffered a heart attack and died following a mad, pasionate afternoon of carnality with Kirstie Alley in Carl Reiner's "Sibling Rivalry"
1991:
Cast as a detective keeping tabs on his undercover narcs Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh in "Rush"
1991:
First executive producer and co-screenwriting credit (shared with Jeffrey M. Meyer and wife Katharine Ross), TNT movie "Conagher"; also played title role opposite Ross
1993:
Distinguished himself as Brigadier General John Buford, one of the unsung heroes of "Gettysburg" (TNT)
1993:
Acted part of Virgil Earp in "Tombstone"
1993:
Played a hard-drinking cop in NBC movie "Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert"
1994:
Headlined surprisingly good straight-to-video Western "The Desperate Trail"
1995:
Starred in ABC movie "The Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Sky"
1995:
Gave unflinching portrayal as Wild Bill Hickock in CBS miniseries "Buffalo Girls"
1997:
Portrayed Captain Bucky O'Neill in TNT's "Rough Riders"
1998:
Played villainous Jim Ed Love to Woody Harrelson's heroic Big Boy Matson in Stephen Frears' "The Hi-Lo Country"
1998:
Appeared as The Stranger in the Coen brothers "The Big Lebowski"
1999:
Executive produced and starred as legendary lawman Bill Tilghman in TNT's "You Know My Name"
2000:
Earned critical acclaim for playing the presidential chief of staff opposite Joan Allen in "The Contender"
2002:
Cast as a grizzled veteran sergeant major in "We Were Soldiers"
2003:
Appeared in Ang Lee directed "The Hulk"
2005:
Again starred with Joan Allen in Campbell Scott directed "Off the Map"
2006:
Co-starred as the original Marlboro Man in Jason Reitman's satirical comedy "Thank You for Smoking"
2007:
Co-starred with Nicholas Cage in Marvel Comics-inspired "Ghost Rider"
2008:
Voiced Smokey Bear in Forest Service public service announcements
2009:
Featured in Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air," starring George Clooney
2009:
Acted opposite Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant in comedy "Did You Hear About the Morgans?"
2010:
Voiced character of Chupadogra in live-action film based on comic strip "Marmaduke"
2012:
Featured opposite director Robert Redford in thriller "The Company You Keep"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Clark College: Vancouver , Washington -
University of Oregon: Eugene , Oregon -
David Douglas High School: Portland , Oregon -

Notes

"A few years back, in comes this script 'The Big Lebowski'. I'm thinking, 'Wow. A contemporary movie, a funny movie with the Coen brothers.' I start reading and here comes the character they want for me--and it's a fucking cowboy! So it's like, 'Is there an escape for me from this genre?' I don't know." --Elliott quoted in MOVIELINE, August 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Katharine Ross. Actor. Together since 1978; married in 1984; were both in the cast of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) but didn't get involved until they made "The Legacy" (1979).

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Cleo Rose Elliott. Born on September 17, 1984; mother, Katharine Ross.

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