Sam Elliott

Currently appearing in:  "Hulk" 

Now: Then:

~ * M a s k * ~

Vital Stats:
Birth Name: Samuel Pack Elliott
Born: August 9, 1944
Birth Place: Sacramento, California
Nationality: American


Prior to completing work on The Hulk, Sam Elliott (General Ross) most recently starred opposite Joan Allen in the feature Off the Map, which had its premiere showing at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival followed by a Cannes showing in the Critics Choice Category. His recent films include We Were Soldiers, Top Secret, The Contender, The Hi-Lo Country, The Big Lebowski, Tombstone and Gettysburg.

On television, Elliott was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role in Buffalo Girls. Later he was seen in the highly successful CBS telefilm Fail Safe; prior to that, he co-produced and starred in TNTís You Know My Name, which won the first Golden Boot "Best of the West" Award.

Elliott gained cult status some years ago with his performance in the title role of Lifeguard. Since then, he has gone on to star in such films as Mask, Fatal Beauty, Prancer and Rush.

He made his debut as executive producer on Louis LíAmourís Conagher for TNT, still one of the top-rated shows. He and LíAmour were good friends and Elliott purchased the property just before the authorís death. Katharine Ross co-starred and they co-wrote the script. Sam has starred in such mini-series as Murder in Texas, Gone to Texas and The Sam Houston Story, as well as the NBC series The Yellow Rose and later in Joseph Wambaughís Fugitive Nights.

Elliott was born in Sacramento, California, to parents whose families extend back several generations in Texas; they lend credibility to Samís very strong and silent personality. He was raised in Oregon, where his father was an official for the Fish and Wildlife Service for the Department of the Interior. His earliest memories are of hiking and fishing trips with his father, a background which eminently suited him for the many outdoor action-packed roles in which he has appeared.

He left the University of Oregon in his senior year and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. After attending the Columbia Pictures Film Workshop, he was sent on his first interview to 20th Century Fox Studios and was immediately signed as a contract player. His first feature credit was "Cardplayer #2" in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. On that set he often glimpsed the female star, Katharine Ross, and some years later, they co-starred in The Legacy, which led to their eventual marriage. They are the parents of a daughter, Cleo Rose, and live in a beautiful, secluded ranch far up the Coast, where they have horses, dogs and assorted wildlife.

At the very beginning of his career, leading director John Ford visited the set and spotted Sam, noting, "Thatís my kind of a guy, heíll go far." Today, Elliott is considered one of the top exponents of the Western genre.

Additional Bio:
Lanky, long-faced, quietly compelling leading man whose weathered looks gave him a scruffy majesty ideal for Westerns. Signed by Fox, Elliott was one of the last generation of actors contracted under the old studio system. After a bit part in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) he was promptly loaned to Paramount where, clean-shaven and dashingly handsome, he joined the cast of the long-running spy series "Mission: Impossible" for a season, as Dr. Doug Lang. Elliott made a misstep into feature leads with a role in the dreadful horror film "Frogs" (1972) and subsequently kept busy primarily on the small screen (including a stint as "Evel Knievel" 1974) until 1976. That year he gained critical attention in the title role of the cult film "Lifeguard", displaying an imposing physical presence and giving a fine performance as an aging beach bum in his early thirties taking stock of his future. Worthy follow-ups were not forthcoming, though "The Legacy" (1979) did bring Elliott and future wife Katharine Ross together, both on and offscreen, and was the first of many subsequent pairings. Miniseries were the order of the day for the actor in the late 70s and 80s with "Aspen" (1977), and the Westerns "The Sacketts" (1979), "Wild Times" (1980) and "The Shadow Riders" (1982) following in rapid succession. By this point in Elliott's career, a bushy mustache had practically become a trademark, and middle age had only increased his laconic, leathery appeal. NBC's attempt to develop a barbecue-flavored primetime soap, "The Yellow Rose" (1983-84), to rival "Dallas" did not last, but Elliott's return to features after six years produced an acclaimed role as Cher's biker-boyfriend in "Mask" (1985). Elliott has since alternated between the big and small screens, performing well in features which span the good ("Rush" 1991), the bad ("Road House" 1989) and the ugly ("Fatal Beauty" 1987). Frequently in TV adaptations of Louis L'Amour's Western novels, Elliott tried his hand at producing and co-writing one with "Conagher" (1991). He also distinguished himself in the epic Civil War reconstruction "Gettysburg" and provided rustic flavor to "Tombstone" (both 1993) as well as relished the opportunity to play a villain in "The Hi-Lo Country" (1998).  2002:  "We Were Soldiers", 2003:  "Hulk"

Other TV Mini-Series:
Once An Eagle
Murder in Texas
A Death in California
Commercial Voice-Overs:
American Beef Council  "Beef, it's what's for dinner."
Chevrolet Avalanche


A Tribute to Sam Elliott

Cowboys & Indians

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