Sam Elliott

Mary Scott
Dec 26, 2018
11:14 A.M.
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Who is Sam Elliott?

Sam Elliott is an actor, writer, and producer whose “bad boy” looks and physique have earned him a spot on both the Hollywood scene and in the hearts of women. He is most famous for playing the role of Gar in “Mask.” His wife is also an actress, and they have a daughter who is a musician.

Sam Elliott was born on August 9, 1944, in Sacramento, California. He is of English and Scottish descent. Elliott’s father was Henry Nelson Elliott, a worker in the Department of Interior. His mother, Glynn Mamie Spark, was a physical training instructor who doubled as his physical trainer. Elliott married his co-star, Katharine Ross in 1984 after they met on a movie set. He welcomed his only child, daughter Cleo Rose Elliott on September 17, 1984. Elliott nursed an acting ambition from age nine and earned his first media recognition in a college play where he starred as the lead. While studying acting, Elliott joined the 163rd Airlift Wing of the California Air National Guard and also worked in construction.

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Early life:

After graduating from David Douglas High School, Elliott moved with his family to Portland, Oregon. Sadly, he lost his father, Henry, when he was 18. Henry died of a heart attack. Elliott continued to pursue his dream of becoming an actor with a two-year course in Clark College, Vancouver. While in college, young Elliott was cast as one of the lead actors in the play, "Guys and Dolls". His performance was so impressive that the local newspaper spotlighted him and encouraged him to become an actor. Elliott also attended California State University, where he became a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at California State University, Los Angeles.



Since 1969, Elliott has starred in over 100 series and movies such as "Judd for the Defense", "Mission: Impossible", "The Shadow Riders", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", and the 2018 film, "The Gettysburg Address". Elliott’s major series break came when he played the lead role as Sam Damon in "Once an Eagle" from 1976 to 1977, and his major film break was when he played a supporting role as Gar in "Mask". Up until 2018, he has been nominated for and won numerous awards for his acting prowess and contributions to the industry.

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Elliott made a name for himself in the industry with his distinct physique: thick and dark eyebrows, husky voice, grey hair, thick mustache, and Western accent. His build and drawl made him a favorite with the ladies as well as a prime candidate for cowboy roles in films. As a result of those roles, he was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2007, and in 2015, he was inducted into the Film and Television category of the International Mustache Hall of Fame.


Elliott’s wife, Ross, gave him a major push in his breakthrough film, "Mask". The couple was on their honeymoon when Elliott was contacted to play Cher’s lover in the movie. The star declined, but his wife got in touch with the agency, told them her husband would be coming and made sure he was on set when filming began.

Elliott was cast as Paul Marshall in the 1982 movie "The Ambush Murders." He fell ill during the filming and eventually had to be replaced by James Brolin. In 1998, Elliott was named the Grand Marshal of the Calgary Stampede parade and rode as part of the procession before an estimated 300,000 spectators.

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Personal life:

Elliott began dating Katharine Ross after they both appeared in the horror film, "The Legacy". Before that, they had co-starred in Elliott’s debut, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", but never appeared in the same scene or even met. Elliott and Ross’ relationship suffered some controversy, as Ross was at the time still married to her fourth husband.


After Ross’s divorce, she and Elliott tied the knot on May 1, 1984. Their daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott was born four months later on September 17, 1984. Cleo is a musician.

Elliott and his wife would go on to co-star in the 1991 movie, "Conagher."

There was some drama in the Elliott household in 2011 when Ross filed a complaint against their daughter, alleging that she tried to stab her with a pair of scissors at their Malibu home. Cleo was ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from her mom. The restraining order was only temporary and before long, both parties reconciled.


As a voice artist in Ads:

Sam Elliot has worked as a voice artist in ads for American Beef Council, Coors beer, Dodge, IDM, Kinney Drugs, Ram Trucks, Smokey Bear, and Union Pacific.

As a Voice Artist in films:

Sam has also been lending his voice to movie characters. Some of those productions include Barnyard (2006), "Marmaduke" (2010), "The Good Dinosaur" (2015), "Rock Dog" (2017), "The Gettysburg Address" (2017).

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    Golden Globes, USA:

    • Golden Globe [Nominee] (1996): Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for "Buffalo Girls" (1995)
    • Golden Globe [Nominee] (1992): Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for "Conagher" (1991).

    Primetime Emmy Awards

    • Primetime Emmy [Nominee] (2013): Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for playing Narrator in an episode of "Robot Chicken" (2001)
    • Primetime Emmy [Nominee] (1995): Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for playing Wild Bill Hickok in "Buffalo Girls" (1995)

    Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

    • Alan J. Pakula Award [Winner] (2001) for "The Contender" (2000)

    Central Ohio Film Critics Association

    • COFCA Award [Nominee] (2010) for Best Ensemble in "Up in the Air" (2009)

    Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

    • CFCA Award [Nominee] (2015) for Best Supporting Actor in "Grandma" (2015)
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    Chlotrudis Awards

    • Chlotrudis Award [Nominee] (2018) for Best Actor in "The Hero" (2017)

    Critics’ Choice Television Awards

    • Critics' Choice TV Award [Winner] (2015) for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series in "Justified" (2010)

    Golden Boot Awards

    • Golden Boot [Winner] (1990)

    Newport Beach Film Festival

    • Honors [Winner] (2017) Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking - Acting for “Mad to Be Normal” (2017), “The Hero” (2017), "A Date for Mad Mary" (2016), "Class Rank" (2017).

    Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards

    • WAFCA Award [Nominee] (2009) for Best Ensemble in "Up in the Air" (2009)

    Western Heritage Awards

    • Bronze Wrangler [Winner] (2000) for Television Feature Film in "You Know My Name" (1999)
    • Bronze Wrangler [Winner] (1999) for Theatrical Motion Picture for "The Hi-Lo Country" (1998)
    • Bronze Wrangler [Winner] (1992) for Television Feature Film in "Conagher" (1991)
    • Bronze Wrangler [Winner] (1987) for Factual Television Program in "Houston: The Legend of Texas" (1986)
    • Bronze Wrangler [Winner] (1976) for Factual Television Program in "I Will Fight No More Forever" (1975).
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        Best movie:

        The Hero (2017)


        “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 them go to other actors.”

        “Gentlemanliness comes natural to me. That’s the way I was raised.”

        “I don’t want to be a sex symbol. There is a great stigma that goes with that tag. I want to be Sam Elliott.”


        • Elliott wants to sing in stage shows and do musicals
        • Good music makes him emotional. Some of his favorite acts are Ray Cash and Johnny Cash
        • Elliott bared his derriere in "The Legacy"
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