||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
Elliott at the Veterans Day Ceremonies at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, November 2001
|Born||Samuel Pack Elliott
August 9, 1944
Sacramento, California, U.S.
|Other names||Kyle Peterson|
|Alma mater||Cal State LA|
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. His other credits over the years have included playing Marvel Comics characters General Ross in Hulk (2003) and The Caretaker in Ghost Rider (2007), as well as the "Stranger" in 1998's The Big Lebowski.
Sam Elliott was born in Sacramento, California, to a physical training instructor mother and a father who worked for the Department of the Interior. 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 LA. He worked in construction while studying acting in Los Angeles and served in the California Army National Guard. Elliott also lived for a short time in Princeton, West Virginia.
Elliott began his career as a character actor; his appearance, voice, and bearing were well-suited to Westerns. One of his first film roles was as 'Card Player #2' in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
In the 1970–71 television season, 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 played Tom Keating in the mini-series Aspen in 1977. He had the starring role as Rick Carlson in the summer hit 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. 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, Gunsmoke, Lancer, 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. In 1986 he starred in a TV movie Gone to Texas based on a biography of Sam Houston. The role allowed him to play Houston as both fighter and a man who grew into a skillful political leader; the film depicted his disgrace as Governor of Tennessee, his return to his Cherokee Nation friends, and his pivotal role in the liberation of Texas from Mexico in 1836. Elliott played Wade Garrett in Road 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 an estimated 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 portrayed General John Buford in the 1993 film Gettysburg. He 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, as a former Marlboro Man advertisement cowboy who has developed lung cancer. Elliot joined Nicolas Cage in 2007 in the comic book adaptation Ghost Rider, and stood out in another film that same year, in The Golden Compass as Lee Scoresby. In 2009, Elliott had a small role in Up In The Air in which he portrayed the Chief Pilot of American Airlines. He has appeared three times on Parks and Recreation as Ron Dunn, the Eagleton equivalent of Ron Swanson; Ron Dunn is a hippie, compared to Swanson's staunch survivalist-Libertarian personality. He has a supporting role in the film The Company You Keep and played a college football coach in 2014's Draft Day.
In 2015, Elliott played the role of Karl, Lily Tomlin's former flame, in Paul Weitz's film, Grandma. He played opposite Blythe Danner in the romance I'll See You in My Dreams, and had a role in the independent film Digging for Fire.
Elliott has performed voice-over narration for various commercials. He has lent his voice to campaigns for Dodge, IBM, Kinney Drugs, Union 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, Ram Trucks hired Elliott to do the voice-over for their Ram Heavy Duty truck commercial; he has been voicing their commercials since. He is also the new voice for Smokey Bear ("Only YOU can prevent wildfires"), and shares the mascot's birth date (August 9, 1944). For animated films, Elliott lent his voice to "Ben the Cow" in Barnyard, "Buster" (a.k.a. Chupadogra) in Marmaduke and Butch in The Good Dinosaur. He also narrated the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers team introductions to Super Bowl XLV—played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, at the conclusion of the 2010 NFL season—for Fox Sports.
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. The couple have a daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott, born in 1984, who is now a musician in Malibu.
|1969||Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid||Card Player #2|
|1970||The Games||Richie Robinson|
|1972||Molly and Lawless John||Johnny Lawler|
|1975||I Will Fight No More Forever||Captain Wood|
|1978||Legacy, TheThe Legacy||Pete Danner|
|1986||Gone to Texas||Sam Houston|
|1986||Blue Lightning, TheThe Blue Lightning||Harry Wingate|
|1987||The Quick and the Dead||Con Vallian|
|1987||Fatal Beauty||Mike Marshak|
|1988||Shakedown||Richie Marks||Also titled "Blue Jean Cop"|
|1989||Road House||Wade Garrett|
|1990||Sibling Rivalry||Charles Turner Jr.|
|1993||Gettysburg||Brigadier General John Buford|
|1995||The Final Cut||John Pierce|
|1995||The Desperate Trail||Bill Speakes|
|1996||Dog Watch||Charlie Falon|
|1996||Adventures of Mowgli||Kaa||English voice|
|1998||Big Lebowski, TheThe Big Lebowski||The Stranger|
|1998||Hi-Lo Country, TheThe Hi-Lo Country||Jim Ed Love|
|2000||Contender, TheThe Contender||Kermit Newman|
|2001||Pretty When You Cry||Detective Lukas Black|
|2002||We Were Soldiers||Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley|
|2003||Hulk||General Thadeus Ross|
|2003||Off the Map||Charley|
|2005||Thank You for Smoking||Lorne Lutch|
|2006||Barnyard||Ben the cow||Voice only|
|2006||Alibi, TheThe Alibi||The Mormon||Also titled "Lies and Alibis"|
|2007||Ghost Rider||The Caretaker / Carter Slade|
|2007||Golden Compass, TheThe 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—WAFCA Award for Best Ensemble
|2011||Big Bang, TheThe Big Bang||Simon Kestral|
|2012||The Company You Keep||Mac McLeod|
|2014||Draft Day||Coach Moore|
|2015||I'll See You in My Dreams||Bill|
|2015||The Gettysburg Address||Ward Hill Lamon (voice)||Documentary (filming)|
|2015||The Good Dinosaur||Butch||Voice only|
|2016||Rock Dog||Fleetwood Yak||Voice only|
|1968–1969||Felony Squad||Numerous||3 episodes|
|1969||Land of the Giants||Martin Reed||Episode: "Six Hours to Live"|
|The F.B.I.||SAC Kendall Lisbon)||Episode: "The Prey"|
|Judd, for the Defense||Dan Kenyon||Episode: "The Crystal Maze"|
|1969–1970||Lancer||Renslo / Canopus / Cowboy||3 episodes|
|1970||Challenge, TheThe Challenge||Bryant||Television film|
|1970–1971||Mission: Impossible||Dr. Douglas Robert (Lang)||13 episodes|
|1971||Assault on the Wayne||Ensign William 'Bill' Sandover||TV movie|
|1972||Gunsmoke||Cory Soames||Episode: "The Wedding"|
|Mod Squad, TheThe Mod Squad||Rick Price||Episode: "Good Times Are Just Memories"|
|Molly and Lawless John||Johnny Lawler||TV movie|
|1973||Blue Knight, The||Detective Charlie Bronski||TV movie|
|Mannix||Bill Saunders||Episode: "Little Girl Lost"|
|Hawkins||Luther Wilkes||Episode: "Die Die, Darling"|
|1974||Doc Elliot||Lee Barrows||Episode: "A Time to Live"|
|Hawaii Five-O||Jack Houston||Episode: "The Two-Faced Corpse"|
|Evel Knievel||Evel Knievel||TV movie|
|Manhunter, TheThe Manhunter||Will Gantry||Episode: "The Ma Gantry Gang"|
|Streets of San Francisco, TheThe Streets of San Francisco||Ken Johnson||Episode: "The Hard Breed"|
|1975||Police Woman||Michael Gregory||Episode: "Farewell, Mary Jane"|
|1976–1977||Once an Eagle||Sam Damon||7 episodes (miniseries)|
|1977||Aspen||Tom Keating||TV movie|
|1979||Sacketts, TheThe Sacketts||Tell Sackett||TV movie|
|1980||Wild Times||Hugh Cardiff||2 episodes|
|1981||Murder in Texas||Dr. John Hill||TV movie|
|1982||Shadow Riders, TheThe Shadow Riders||Dal Traven||TV movie|
|1983||Yellow Rose, TheThe Yellow Rose||Chance McKenzie||22 episodes|
|Travis McGee||Travis McGee||TV movie|
|1985||A Death in California||D. Jordan Williams||2 episodes (miniseries)|
|1986||Gone to Texas||Sam Houston||TV movie. Also titled "Houston: The Legend of Texas"|
|1987||Quick and the Dead, TheThe Quick and the Dead||Con Vallian||TV movie|
|1988||The World's Greatest Stunts: A Tribute to Hollywood Stuntmen||Himself||Documentary|
|1991||Conagher||Conn Conagher||Nominated—Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor—TV Film
He also produced and helped co-write the script.
|1993||Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert||Lyn Cutter||TV movie|
|1993||The Making of "Gettysburg"||Himself/"Brig. Gen. John Buford, Federal"||Documentary (On the making of the film Gettysburg)|
|1995||The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky||Bill Bell||TV movie|
|Buffalo Girls||Wild Bill Hickok||TV movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor—Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor—TV Film
|Blue River||Henry Howland||TV movie|
|The Way West||Voice||Documentary|
|1996||Woman Undone||Ross Bishop||TV movie|
|1997||Rough Riders||Capt. Bucky O'Neill||TV movie|
|1997||Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western||Himself||Documentary|
|1999||You Know My Name||Bill Tilghman||TV movie|
|2000||Fail Safe||Congressman Raskob||TV movie|
|2001||The Contender: The Making of a Political Thriller||Himself||Documentary (short)|
|2002||We Were Soldiers: Getting It Right||Himself/Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley||Documentary (short)|
|2002||The Making of "Tombstone"||Himself/"Virgil Earp"||Documentary (short)|
|2003||Hulk: The Lowdown||Co-Host||Documentary|
|2004||Anatomy of a Scene||Himself||Documentary; episode: "Off the Map"|
|2006||Avenger||Calvin Dexter||TV movie|
|2010||November Christmas||Jess Sanford||TV movie|
|2012||Robot Chicken||Various||Episode: "Hurtled from a Helicopter into a Speeding Train"|
|2013–2015||Parks and Recreation||Ron Dunn||3 episodes|
|2015||Justified||Avery Markham||12 episodes
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series
- Harris, Aisha (2 February 2015). "Sam Elliott On Being the Hollywood Embodiment of the Old West". Slate. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Movies & TV: Sam Elliott Biography". New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- a "Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA"—¶ 1.
- "Sam Elliott Biography (1944-)". Filmreference.com. 1944-08-09. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
- "Sam Elliot Biography". Perfect People. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- Murphy, Mekado (19 August 2015). "‘Grandma’ (With Movie Trailer): Paul Weitz Narrates a Scene". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- Buckley, Cara (12 August 2015). "Sam Elliott, a Leading Man Again at 71, No Cowboy Hat Required". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Katharine Ross". People. 4 May 1992. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Magruder, Melonie (31 December 2008). "Straight from her heart". Malibu Times. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "'Cleo:". Daily Mail. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sam Elliott.|
- Sam Elliott at the Internet Movie Database
- Hajek, Daniel (September 6, 2015). "Typecast as a Cowboy, Sam Elliott Came to Embrace That 'Western Box'". My Big Break (story series). All Things Considered (NPR). Retrieved September 7, 2015.