Sam Elliott Biography

Sam Elliott photo

Born: August 09, 1944


Date of Birth: August 9, 1944

Tall, thin, wiry—this Sacramento, California native is the perfect cowboy. Unfortunately when he came into films, the Western genre that was once so popular was dying at the box office.

Sam began his acting career on the stage and his film debut was a western called Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). His appearance was little more than a shadow on the wall, but he made enough of an impression on leading actress Katherine Ross that they were soon married. The two have one daughter.

With the western market dried up, Sam had to settle for standard good-guy roles in such contemporary films as Lifeguard (1976). Never tied down to any one type, Sam's range has embraced sexy "other men" (Sibling Rivalry [1989]) and vicious rapist/murderers (the TV movie A Death in California [1986]).

Fortunately for Sam, the Western stories had not disappeared on television and soon he was working on a number of TV show's including The Sacketts (1977), I Will Fight No More Forever (1981) and Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986).

When westerns began showing up on the big screen again in the 1990s, Sam was there, prominently cast as Virgil Earp in Tombstone (1993) and the made-for-cable film, The Desperate Trail (1995). In the late '90s and early 2000s, he appeared in The Big Lebowski (1998) with Jeff Bridges, the Oscar-nominated drama The Contender (2000) with Joan Allen, We Were Soldiers (2002) with Mel Gibson, and Ang Lee's sci-fi action film Hulk (2003) with Eric Bana.

His big credits since then include Thank You for Smoking (2005), Ghost Rider (2007), The Golden Compass (2007), Up in the Air (2009), The Company You Keep (2012), and has a reoccurring on the Netflix series The Ranch in which he plays Ashton Kutcher's grizzly, no-nonsense father.

Most recently, Sam returned to theaters in the drama musical A Star is Born(2018) alongside Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. For his role in the film, Sam earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.


A Star is Born (2018)
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then Bigfoot (2018)
The Hero (2017)
Rock Dog (2017)
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
Grandma (2015)
I'll See You in My Dreams (2015)
Draft Day (2014)
The Company You Keep (2012)
The Big Bang (2010)
Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009)
Up in the Air (2009)
The Golden Compass (2007)
Ghost Rider (2007)
Thank You for Smoking (2005)
Hulk (2003)
We Were Soldiers (2002)
The Contender (2000)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The Final Cut (1996)
Tombstone (1993)
Gettysburg (1993)
Rush (1991)
Road House (1989)
Shakedown (1988)
Mask (1985)
Frogs (1972)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
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