Sam Elliott is a real movie star and legend. His distinctive voice, iconic moustache and a rugged style are widely recognizable and popular, and he was always meant to be famous. Let us explore his life in some more detail.
Not Following Father’s Wishes
His father was a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worker, and Sam had to convince him to help him and support him in his dreams to become an actor.
When he was 18, his dad sadly passed away after a heart attack. The two had a rocky relationship, but Elliott was sad of course, but also upset. “He died thinking, ‘Man, this kid is going to go down the wrong path,’ and I think on some level that was either hard on me or made me more focused in my resolve to have a career.”
A Good Start
A great review is everything in Hollywood. While Sam was entering the industry, a newspaper wrote a review of his performance in Guys and Dolls. They said Elliott could make it big, after which he moved to Hollywood to make his dreams come true.
Working for a Living
Instead of waiting tables or serving drinks like most aspiring actors do in Hollywood before their big break, Sam worked construction part-time. In the movie industry, there was plenty of construction work, meaning he did not have to worry about money in between auditions and roles.
Sam Elliott played numerous military in his career. He also has a military history. Before acting, Elliott was a California Army National Guard in Golden State. This really prepared him for military roles, and also increased his discipline and skills in leadership.
Sam’s first role on a screen was an episode of The Felony Squad, a hit TV show. This small part didwonders for his then short resume, and caught the eyes of directors. Sam was not at all a big star then, but the casting directors took chances with him. Their instincts were right as it turned out.
Big Screen Debut
The actor’s movie debut was also modest, but also had a huge impact as the movie was iconic. His role was ‘Card Player #2’, as he worked alongside Butch Cassidy and the “Sun dance Kid,” who need no introduction. This movie would prove immensely important for his life, as his future wife Katharine Ross, starred in the movie. Funny enough, they did not even meet during the production of this film.
Small Roles Continue
The ‘60s and early ‘70s were filled with minor roles for the actor, as it would take a while before he became a star. Thanks to his parts in Lancer, Bracken’s World, Land of the Giants, and The F.B.I., Elliott was now a recognizable face as well as a respected B list actor. His Richie Robinson role in The Games, gained much recognition as well, after which he was on a path of becoming a true Hollywood actor.
Blossoming TV Career
Sam’s profile and fame expanded with every role. He scored roles in movies like Mission: Impossible, as well as TV shows like Once an Eagle, with projects like these making his face even more recognizable. Every role paid off it seemed, and in 1974 he landed his biggest role to date, the titular role of the movie Even Knievel.
Sam Elliott eventually married Katharine Ross. They met at the production of The Legacy, and they immediately hit it off. They had much more in common other than the movie where they both starred, not knowing it at that time.
Showing off His Assets
The Legacy was big for Sam Elliot, professionally and personally, as it was the first time for him to play the leading character. It was also the first time he had exposed his backside on camera. The scene won over fans and critics, which proved great for his future career.
Katharine Fell For Him
As the newest celebrity movie couple, people wondered what she saw in her fellow colleague. Interviewers asked her this a number of times, expecting it to be his voice, mustache, or the straightforward nature. She simply replied one time, “Probably all that and more. We were working together, and one thing led to another.”
Before being a real-life fairy tale, the relationship was a bit controversial, because Katharine was still married to Gaetano Lisi when she fell for Sam. In addition, Lisi was her fourth husband, as they divorced in 1979. Katharine and Sam started to plan a future together after this.It seems that the drama was truly worth it in the end.
Not Interested In Being a S*x Symbol
Katharine was hardly the only one who fell for Sam. He was a real hit after The Legacy role, and gained a lot of attention from the ladies. During the start of his relationship with Katharine, the 1979 issue of Playgirl called them the “Hollywood’s Se*iest Couple.” However, he did not want this type of reputation saying, “There’s a great stigma that goes with that tag. I want to be Sam Elliott.”
Unable To Film
Elliot was the first choice for The Ambush Murders, getting replaced in the last minute. His was set to play Paul Marshall, a lawyer who defends a black political activist wrongfully charged for murdering two white police officers. He became ill while filming, so James Brolin replaced him.
Tying the Knot
Katherine and Sam married in 1984. This was Katharine’s fifth marriage and the first for Sam. They soon after welcomed their daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott, four months after the wedding. Sam once said, ‘She Was The Love Of My Life’.
Almost Passed On Mask
One of Sam’s best roles was in the famous movie Mask, where he played a biker involved in a romantic relationship with Cher. However, he almost passed the role. He was in Hawaii on his honeymoon, and thought that he would not make the screen test in time.
A Cowboy’s Life
Producers loved to cast him in Westerns. Elliott has starred in some real classics like Tombstone, The Quick and the Dead, and You Know My Name, becoming the go-to guy for Westerns. These roles had a huge impact in the industry,so much so that he was inducted into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, a rather special and rare privilege.
Where Sam Got His Work Ethic
Where Sam is different from many of his coworkers is his no-nonsense work ethic, for which he thanks his late father. When he talked about him and his friends, he said they “were all men’s men and outdoors men.’ He was inspired to firmly follow their example, and he adopted a similar personality by watching them.
The Evolution of his Iconic Voice
His epic voice also makes him stand out, and it is one of his unique attributes. Ashton Kutcher worked alongside him in The Ranch, and said he could practically relate “everything,” to which Elliott said that the skill comes with age. During some earlier roles, Elliott had a higher voice, and said how it actually “kept going down the older I got.”
His Secret to Longevity
His acting dream aside, he can be picky about movie roles he accepts. “I wanted to be an actor since I was nine years old and I figured that was only one way to ever have any longevity, and that’s to be careful about what kind of work you do.” He believes that fans can get bored of actors if they see them too often.
Almost Passed Wade Garrett
One of his iconic roles is in Road House where he works with Patrick Swayze. He was first set to portray the bad guy, Brad Wesley, but things changed. He believed his skills are better suited for Wade Garrett, which proved like a good move, with the role being one of his best.
On To Another Big Role
After his famous role in The Big Lebowski, filmmaker Rod Lurie was intrigued with the dynamic between him and Jeff Bridges. He wrote a movie and wanted to cast the pair to work together again. The movie was The Contender, with both actors obliged to be a part of the project. The actor was happy to star in something different for a change.
Serious Family Drama
Family life at home was not as great as his career was at this point. In 2011, Katharine wanted a restraining order against Cleo, following a brawl. Court apparently stabbed her mother with scissors and threatened to kill her. She then had to stay at least 100 yards away, or be arrested.
The restraining order was temporary, as Katharine nor Cleo showed up for court hearing. The restraining order was therefore canceled, after which the family worked hard through their troubles. The family was on a healthy and happy path finally. Cleo currently lives in Malibu,working in the music industry.
The Mustache Man
One more thing that sets him apart from countless other actors is his facial hair, as famous as the actor himself, and widely admired by critics and fans alike. In 2015, Sam was awarded a very special honor, when he was inducted into the International Mustache Hall Of Fame. That is now two special memberships to rather manly organizations.
Although he can be picky with his roles, the Westerns were the most present throughout his career. “My family had a relative who fought at the Alamo. I’ve got history in Texas.” It is always a plus when the actor always looks like his most iconic roles in his everyday look, not to mention the impressive mustache and rugged style.
He Can Do It All
Alongside his acting career, he is a successful in producer and writer. Elliott actually produced the Netflix series, The Ranch. Other than being a triple threat in the movie industry, he has some nice vocal talent. He proved it by singing a song for the soundtrack of Barnyard in 2006.
Love That Lasts
The famous Hollywood curse often strikes actors in relationships, many wondered about Katharine and Sam’s romance. However, they have been married for 34 years proving the world wrong. “We have a common sensibility, but we also work at being together. She is the love of my life!” said Sam.
What is He Worth?
After working hard on his dreams, Sam Elliott achieved stardom. He has a long and distinguished career, but how much is he worth today? Ever so modest, he never revealed how much money he has. It is however reported that his acting and wise real-estate investments give him a net worth of an impressive $16 million.
Always a Perfectionist
In one interview, he explained how he wished to have had a more formal acting training in his early days. H said he “might have been a more interesting actor” if he had learned more. He is himself his biggest critic, and he often watches his old movies wishing he could reshoot them with his current expertise.
A Love for Westerns
Sam has more to share except his family’s Alamo connections when it comes to the love for Wild West. “I think it has something to do with integrity and a man’s word and honor and all that kind of stuff––values, morality, all that kind of stuff that everybody looks kind of down their nose at.”
What is he up to?
After a rather lengthy and very successful career, he took a back seat. He is hardly jobless, as his Netflix show and a 2017 movie The Hero where he stars alongside Katherine are his latest projects. He also worked behind the scenes on the upcoming movie A Star is Born, featuring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
Fans naturally always want more of the personal lives of their favorite celebrities. One journalist quizzed Elliott on his favorite role, The Hero being the answer, and this being the reason: “I think what I remember most about films are the people rather than the films themselves,” Elliott explained, and added that this movie was a “labor of love.”
It is Not All about the Money
As a successful actor, Elliott does not have to worry about saying no projects. When he was just starting however, he knew he had to have enough exposure, as well as income. He therefore accepted various projects for a paycheck. Commercial voice-overs gave him financial stability.
He has known Changes
Anyone working in entertainment for more than 50 years will witness major changes and advances. He once revealed, “Changes that have been made in the technological world have revolutionized the movie business on almost every level. There are some constants that are never going to change.”
The striking similarities between the legends Sam Elliott and Tom Selleck are legendary. The majority of it is thanks to their superb mustaches. Journalists are of courses brave enough to ask who has the better mustache. Sam said one time, “I think it all depends on where we are at the time, you know? Right now,I’ve got more of a mustache than Tom does, but I know he can grow one. I don’t think he’s ever grown his out the way I’ve grown mine out over the years.” A healthy and friendly rivalry indeed.
Although a famous and respected Hollywood actor, Sam says that he is extremely shy. He had troubles approaching future wife Katharine Ross on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sun dance Kid due to a lack of confidence. “I didn’t dare try to talk to her then. She was the leading lady. I was a shadow on the wall, a glorified extra in a bar scene.” Instead however, fate did its part as the encounter between them happened a few years later, and everything turned out great in the end!