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).
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 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 played Tom Keating in the mini-series Aspen in 1977. He also 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 about Sam Houston's biography. The role allowed him to play Houston as both fighter and a man who grew into a skillful political leader as the film followed him from his leaving the Governor's office in Tennessee in disgrace, to returning to his Cherokee Nation friends, to his pivotal role in the liberation of Texas from Mexico in 1836. He has also starred 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 also 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 that 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 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 plays a college football coach in 2014's Draft Day.
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). Eliott lent his voice to "Buster" (a.k.a. Chupadogra) in Marmaduke (2010). 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. He and Katharine Ross have a daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott, born in 1984, who is now a musician in Malibu.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Card Player #2
Molly and Lawless John
I Will Fight No More Forever
Legacy, TheThe Legacy
Gone to Texas
Blue Lightning, TheThe Blue Lightning
The Quick and the Dead
Also titled "Blue Jean Cop"
Charles Turner Jr.
Brigadier General John Buford
The Final Cut
The Desperate Trail
Adventures of Mowgli
Big Lebowski, TheThe Big Lebowski
Hi-Lo Country, TheThe Hi-Lo Country
Jim Ed Love
Contender, TheThe Contender
Pretty When You Cry
Detective Lukas Black
We Were Soldiers
Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley
General Thunderbolt Ross
Off the Map
Thank You for Smoking
Ben the cow
Alibi, TheThe Alibi
Also titled "Lies and Alibis"
The Caretaker / Carter Slade
Golden Compass, TheThe Golden Compass
Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Up in the Air
Nominated - Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble,
Nominated - WAFCA Award for Best Ensemble
Big Bang, TheThe Big Bang
The Company You Keep
I'll See You in My Dreams
The Gettysburg Address
Ward Hill Lamon (voice)
Land of the Giants
1 episode: "Six Hours to Live"
SAC Kendall Lisbon)
1 episode: "The Prey"
Judd, for the Defense
1 episode: "The Crystal Maze"
1 episode: Death Bait
1 episode: The Great Humbug
Challenge, TheThe Challenge
1 episode: Blue Skies for Willie Sharpe
Dr. Douglas Robert (Lang)
Assault on the Wayne
Ensign William 'Bill' Sandover
1 episode: "The Wedding"
Mod Squad, TheThe Mod Squad
1 episode: Good Times Are Just Memories
Molly and Lawless John
Blue Knight, The
Detective Charlie Bronski
1 episode, Little Girl Lost
1 episode: "Die Die, Darling"
1 episode: "A Time to Live"
1 episode: "The Two-Faced Corpse"
Manhunter, TheThe Manhunter
1 episode: "The Ma Gantry Gang"
Streets of San Francisco, TheThe Streets of San Francisco
1 episode: "The Hard Breed"
1 episode: Farewell, Mary Jane
Once an Eagle
7 episodes (Miniseries)
Sacketts, TheThe Sacketts
Murder in Texas
Dr. John Hill
Shadow Riders, TheThe Shadow Riders
Yellow Rose, TheThe Yellow Rose
A Death in California
D. Jordan Williams
2 episodes (Miniseries)
Gone to Texas
TV movie. Also titled "Houston: The Legend of Texas"
Quick and the Dead, TheThe Quick and the Dead
The World's Greatest Stunts: A Tribute to Hollywood Stuntmen
Nominated - Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor - TV Film He also produced and helped co-write the script.
Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert
The Making of 'Gettysburg'
Himself - 'Brig. Gen. John Buford, Federal'
Documentary (On the making of the film Gettysburg)
The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky
Wild Bill Hickok
Nominated - Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor - Movie,
Nominated - Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor - TV Film
The Way West
Capt. Bucky O'Neill
Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western
You Know My Name
The Contender: The Making of a Political Thriller
We Were Soldiers: Getting It Right
Himself/ Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley
The Making of 'Tombstone'
Himself - 'Virgil Earp'
Hulk: The Lowdown
Anatomy of a Scene
Documentary- Episode: Off the Map
1 episode: "Hurtled from a Helicopter Into a Speeding Train"
Parks and Recreation
Pending - Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series
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