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Samuel Pack "Sam" Elliott (born August 9, 1944) is an American actor. In films, he is often characterized by his rangy physique, thick horseshoe moustache and distinctively gruff speaking voice.

Life and career

Early life

Elliott was born in Sacramentomarker, Californiamarker, to a physical training instructor mother and a father who worked for the Department of the Interiormarker. He moved from California to Oregonmarker with his family during his teenage years, where he graduated from David Douglas High Schoolmarker in Portlandmarker. He attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washingtonmarker, where he completed a two-year program. During that time Elliott tried out for and got a leading role in "Guys and Dolls". The local newspaper suggested that Elliott should be a professional actor. Soon after, Elliott got the acting bug and declared he was going to Hollywood to become a star. Elliott is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the California State University, Los Angelesmarker. He worked in construction while studying acting in Los Angeles. Elliott also lived for a short time in Princeton, West Virginiamarker.


Elliott began his career as a character actor, his appearance and bearing ideally suited for Westerns.

His debut role in film (a bit part as 'Card Player #2') was in 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

During 1970-71, Elliott starred as Doug Robert in the hit TV series Mission: Impossible and later played a wife killer in the miniseries Murder in Texas (1981) and A Death in California (1986). 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; for instance, he played Wild Bill Hickock in Buffalo Girls (1995). In 1998, Elliot was named the grand marshall of the Calgary Stampedemarker parade and rode in the procession before 300,000 spectators.

Elliott has performed voice-over narration for various commercials. He has lent his voice to campaigns for Chevy, IBM, Union Pacific, and, most notably, took over as the voice of the American Beef Council after Robert Mitchum died. He also is the voice of Smokey Bear, and shares the bear's birthdate of August 9, 1944. In 2007, Toyota hired Elliott to perform voice-overs for the new Toyota Tundra truck commercials, playing on the rich and gravelly delivery of his voice. Since late 2007, Elliot has done voice-overs for Coors Beer, bringing his deep, rich voice and "western" appeal to the beer brewed in Colorado. He has also starred in Roadhouse alongside Patrick Swayze.

The one common element in two novels recommended by The US Army's Officer Professional Development Recommended Reading List For Professional Officer Recommended Developmental Reading in The US Army, The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara and Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer, is that Elliott has a starring role in the film adaptations of both, playing a US Army general officer. Elliott also co-stars in another movie, We Were Soldiers, which is based on a book from that same reading list We Were Soldiers Onceā€¦ And Young, portraying Sgt. Maj. Basil L. Plumley.

Personal life

Elliott has been married to actress Katharine Ross since 1984. Although Ross starred in the 1969 film 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 Ross have a daughter, Cleo Rose, born September 17, 1984.


Year Title
2009 Remember the Morgans
2007 Ghost Rider
The Golden Compass
2006 Barnyard: The Original Party Animals
The Final Season
Thank You for Smoking

2005 The Alibi
2003 Hulk
Off the Map
2002 We Were Soldiers
2001 Pretty When You Cry
2000 The Contender
Fail Safe
1999 You Know My Name (TV movie)
1998 The Big Lebowski
The Hi-Lo Country

1997 Rough Riders (TV movie)
1996 Dog Watch (direct to video film
Woman Undone (TV movie)
1995 Final Cut
The Desperate Trail (direct to video film)
The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky (TV movie)
Buffalo Girls (TV movie)

1993 Tombstone
Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert (TV movie)

1991 Rush
Conagher (TV movie)
1990 Sibling Rivalry
1989 Prancer
Road House
1988 Shakedown
1987 Fatal Beauty
The Quick and the Dead (TV movie)
1985 Mask
1983 Travis McGee (TV movie)
1982 The Shadow Riders (TV movie)
1981 Murder in Texas (TV movie)
1978 The Legacy
1977 Aspen (TV movie)
1976 Lifeguard
Once an Eagle (TV movie)
1975 Will Fight No More Forever (TV movie)
1974 Evel Knievel (TV movie)
1973 The Blue Knight (TV movie)
1972 Molly and Lawless John (TV movie)
1971 Assault on the Wayne (TV movie)
1970 The Games
The Challenge (TV movie)
1969 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


  1. Sam Elliott Biography (1944-)
  2. Toyota builds trucks like a big guy - Los Angeles Times

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