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.

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

Fortunately for Elliott, 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, Elliot was there, prominently cast as Virgil Earp in Tombstone (1993) and the made-for-cable film, The Desperate Trail (1995). He continues to land leading roles in features, including We Were Soldiers (2002) alongside Mel Gibson, Ghost Rider (2007) with Nicolas Cage and Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009) with Sarah Jessica Parker.

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