Samuel Pack Elliott (born August 9, 1944) is an American actor. His lanky physique, thick moustache, deep and resonant voice, and Western drawl have led to frequent roles as cowboys and ranchers. His other credits over the years have included playing The Stranger in The Big Lebowski (1998), Gar in Mask (1985), General John Buford in Gettysburg (1993), Virgil Earp in Tombstone (1993), Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley We were Soldiers (2002) and Marvel Comics characters Thunderbolt Ross in Hulk (2003) and The Caretaker in Ghost Rider (2007).
Elliott in November 2001
|Born||Samuel Pack Elliott
August 9, 1944
Sacramento, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Katharine Ross (m. 1984)|
Elliott was born in Sacramento, California, to a mother who was a physical training instructor and a father who worked for the Department of the Interior. He moved to Portland, Oregon, with his family during his teenage years, graduating from David Douglas High School. He attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, where he completed a two-year program and was cast as one of the leads in Guys and Dolls. The local newspaper suggested that Elliott should be a professional actor. Soon after, Elliott declared he was going to Hollywood to become a star.
Elliott is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at California State University, Los Angeles. He worked in construction while studying acting and served in the California Army National Guard. He also lived for a short time in Princeton, West Virginia. He has said that he has heritage from the west, specifically the state of Texas, with a relative who was in the Battle of the Alamo.
Elliott began his career as a character actor; his appearance, voice, and bearing were well-suited to Westerns. One of his first film roles was as a card player in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). In the 1970–1971 television season, Elliott starred as Doug Robert in the hit series Mission: Impossible, and played the lead character Sam Damon in Once an Eagle, an NBC miniseries during the 1976–1977 season. He played Tom Keating in the mini-series Aspen in 1977. He had the starring role as Rick Carlson in the summer hit sleeper Lifeguard (1976). In 1979, he played the oldest brother in the made-for-TV miniseries The Sacketts. He later played a wife killer in the miniseries Murder in Texas (1981) and A Death in California (1985).
Elliott's breakthrough came with his supporting role in Mask (1985). 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, including Prancer (1989) and Buffalo Girls (1995), in which he played Wild Bill Hickok. In 1986, he starred in TV movie Gone to Texas, based on a biography of Sam Houston. The role allowed him to play Houston as both fighter and a man who grew into a skillful political leader; the film depicted his disgrace as Governor of Tennessee, his return to his Cherokee Nation friends, and his pivotal role in the liberation of Texas from Mexico in 1836. Elliott played Wade Garrett in Road House (1989) and Virgil Earp in Tombstone (1993).
In 1998, Elliot was named the grand marshal of the Calgary Stampede parade and rode in the procession before an estimated 300,000 spectators. He co-starred in We Were Soldiers, which is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once… And Young, portraying Sgt. Maj. Basil L. Plumley. He portrayed General John Buford in the 1993 film Gettysburg. He played General Thunderbolt Ross in the 2003 film Hulk. Elliott played The Stranger, a character narrating the story of The Big Lebowski (1998). In 2005, he appeared in Thank You for Smoking, as a former Marlboro Man advertisement cowboy who has developed lung cancer. In 2007, Elliott joined the comic book adaptation Ghost Rider and The Golden Compass as Lee Scoresby. In 2009, Elliott had a small role in Up In The Air in which he portrayed the Chief Pilot of American Airlines. He has appeared three times on Parks and Recreation as Ron Dunn, the Eagleton equivalent of Ron Swanson; Dunn is a hippie, compared to Swanson's staunch survivalist and Libertarian personality. He has a supporting role in the film The Company You Keep and played a college football coach in 2014's Draft Day.
In 2015, Elliott played Karl in Paul Weitz's film Grandma, appeared in the romance I'll See You in My Dreams, and had a role in the independent film Digging for Fire. In 2015, he won the Critics' Choice Television Award for best guest performer in a drama for his role in the FX Network's show Justified.
In 2017 it was confirmed that Elliott will appear in the upcoming movie The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot.
Elliott has performed voice-over narration for various commercials. He has lent his voice to campaigns for Dodge, IBM, Kinney Drugs, Union Pacific, and, most notably, the American Beef Council, succeeding Robert Mitchum in the latter. Since late 2007, Elliott has done voice-overs for Coors beer, bringing his deep, rich voice and "western" appeal to the brand brewed in Colorado. In 2010, Ram Trucks hired Elliott to do the voice-over for their Ram Heavy Duty truck commercial; he has been voicing their commercials since. Starting in 2008, he has voiced Smokey Bear, and shares the mascot's birth date (August 9, 1944). For animated films, Elliott lent his voice to Ben the Cow in Barnyard, Buster (a.k.a. Chupadogra) in Marmaduke, and Butch in The Good Dinosaur. He also narrated the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers team introductions to Super Bowl XLV, played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas at the conclusion of the 2010 NFL season for NFL on Fox.
Elliott married actress Katharine Ross in 1984. Ross starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which Elliott had a very small role, but the two did not meet and begin dating until 1978, when they both starred in The Legacy. They have a daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott (born 1984), who is now a musician in Malibu, California.
|1969||Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid||Card Player #2|
|1970||The Games||Richie Robinson|
|1972||Molly and Lawless John||Johnny Lawler|
|1975||I Will Fight No More Forever||Captain Wood|
|1978||Legacy, TheThe Legacy||Pete Danner|
|1982||The Shadow Riders||Dal Traven|
|1986||Gone to Texas||Sam Houston|
|1986||Blue Lightning, TheThe Blue Lightning||Harry Wingate|
|1987||The Quick and the Dead||Con Vallian|
|1987||Fatal Beauty||Mike Marshak|
|1988||Shakedown||Richie Marks||Also titled Blue Jean Cop|
|1989||Road House||Wade Garrett|
|1990||Sibling Rivalry||Charles Turner Jr.|
|1993||Gettysburg||Brigadier General John Buford|
|1995||The Final Cut||John Pierce|
|1995||The Desperate Trail||Bill Speakes|
|1996||Dog Watch||Charlie Falon|
|1996||Adventures of Mowgli||Kaa||English voice|
|1998||Big Lebowski, TheThe Big Lebowski||The Stranger|
|1998||Hi-Lo Country, TheThe Hi-Lo Country||Jim Ed Love|
|2000||Contender, TheThe Contender||Kermit Newman|
|2001||Pretty When You Cry||Detective Lukas Black|
|2002||We Were Soldiers||Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley|
|2003||Hulk||General Thaddeus Ross|
|2003||Off the Map||Charley|
|2005||Thank You for Smoking||Lorne Lutch|
|2006||Barnyard||Ben the cow||Voice only|
|2006||Alibi, TheThe Alibi||The Mormon||Also titled Lies and Alibis|
|2007||Ghost Rider||The Caretaker / Carter Slade|
|2007||Golden Compass, TheThe Golden Compass||Lee Scoresby|
|2009||Did You Hear About the Morgans?||Clay Wheeler|
|2009||Up in the Air||Maynard Finch||COFCA Award for Best Ensemble (2nd place)
Nominated—Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated—WAFCA Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated—DFCS Award for Best Ensemble
|2011||Big Bang, TheThe Big Bang||Simon Kestral|
|2012||The Company You Keep||Mac McLeod|
|2014||Draft Day||Coach Moore|
|2015||I'll See You in My Dreams||Bill|
|2015||Grandma||Karl||Nominated—CFCA Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|2015||The Good Dinosaur||Butch||Voice only|
|2017||Rock Dog||Fleetwood Yak||Voice only|
|2017||The Hero||Lee Hayden|
|2017||The Gettysburg Address||Ward Hill Lamon||Voice only; Post-production|
|2018||A Star Is Born||Bobby||Post-production|
|2018||The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot||Calvin Barr||Filming|
|1968–1969||Felony Squad||Numerous||3 episodes|
|1969||Land of the Giants||Martin Reed||Episode: "Six Hours to Live"|
|1969||The F.B.I.||SAC Kendall Lisbon||Episode: "The Prey"|
|1969||Judd, for the Defense||Dan Kenyon||Episode: "The Crystal Maze"|
|1969–1970||Lancer||Renslo / Canopus / Cowboy||3 episodes|
|1970||Challenge, TheThe Challenge||Bryant||Television film|
|1970–1971||Mission: Impossible||Dr. Douglas Robert (Lang)||13 episodes|
|1971||Assault on the Wayne||Ensign William 'Bill' Sandover||TV movie|
|1972||Gunsmoke||Cory Soames||Episode: "The Wedding"|
|1972||Mod Squad, TheThe Mod Squad||Rick Price||Episode: "Good Times Are Just Memories"|
|1972||Molly and Lawless John||Johnny Lawler||TV movie|
|1973||Blue Knight, The||Detective Charlie Bronski||TV movie|
|1973||Mannix||Bill Saunders||Episode: "Little Girl Lost"|
|1973||Hawkins||Luther Wilkes||Episode: "Die Die, Darling"|
|1974||Doc Elliot||Lee Barrows||Episode: "A Time to Live"|
|1974||Hawaii Five-O||Jack Houston||Episode: "The Two-Faced Corpse"|
|1974||Evel Knievel||Evel Knievel||TV movie|
|1974||Manhunter, TheThe Manhunter||Will Gantry||Episode: "The Ma Gantry Gang"|
|1974||Streets of San Francisco, TheThe Streets of San Francisco||Ken Johnson||Episode: "The Hard Breed"|
|1975||Police Woman||Michael Gregory||Episode: "Farewell, Mary Jane"|
|1976–1977||Once an Eagle||Sam Damon||7 episodes (miniseries)|
|1977||Aspen||Tom Keating||TV movie|
|1979||Sacketts, TheThe Sacketts||Tell Sackett||TV movie|
|1980||Wild Times||Hugh Cardiff||2 episodes|
|1981||Murder in Texas||Dr. John Hill||TV movie|
|1982||Shadow Riders, TheThe Shadow Riders||Dal Traven||TV movie|
|1983||Yellow Rose, TheThe Yellow Rose||Chance McKenzie||22 episodes|
|1983||Travis McGee||Travis McGee||TV movie|
|1985||A Death in California||D. Jordan Williams||2 episodes (miniseries)|
|1986||Gone to Texas||Sam Houston||TV movie. Also titled "Houston: The Legend of Texas"|
|1987||Quick and the Dead, TheThe Quick and the Dead||Con Vallian||TV movie|
|1988||The World's Greatest Stunts: A Tribute to Hollywood Stuntmen||Himself||Documentary|
|1991||Conagher||Conn Conagher||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
He also produced and helped co-write the script.
|1993||Fugitive Nights: Danger in the Desert||Lyn Cutter||TV movie|
|1993||The Making of "Gettysburg"||Himself/"Brig. Gen. John Buford, Federal"||Documentary (On the making of the film Gettysburg)|
|1995||The Ranger, the Cook and a Hole in the Sky||Bill Bell||TV movie|
|1995||Buffalo Girls||Wild Bill Hickok||TV movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|1995||Blue River||Henry Howland||TV movie|
|1995||The Way West||Voice||Documentary|
|1996||Woman Undone||Ross Bishop||TV movie|
|1997||Rough Riders||Capt. Bucky O'Neill||TV movie|
|1997||Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western||Himself||Documentary|
|1999||You Know My Name||Bill Tilghman||TV movie|
|2000||Fail Safe||Congressman Raskob||TV movie|
|2001||The Contender: The Making of a Political Thriller||Himself||Documentary (short)|
|2002||We Were Soldiers: Getting It Right||Himself/Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley||Documentary (short)|
|2002||The Making of "Tombstone"||Himself/"Virgil Earp"||Documentary (short)|
|2003||Hulk: The Lowdown||Co-Host||Documentary|
|2004||Anatomy of a Scene||Himself||Documentary; episode: "Off the Map"|
|2006||Avenger||Calvin Dexter||TV movie|
|2010||November Christmas||Jess Sanford||TV movie|
|2012||Robot Chicken||White Wine Narrator/Commander Waspax/Reporter||Voice role
Episode: "Hurtled from a Helicopter into a Speeding Train"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (for White Wine Narrator role)
|2013–2015||Parks and Recreation||Ron Dunn||3 episodes|
|2015||Justified||Avery Markham||12 episodes
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series
|2016–present||The Ranch||Beau Bennett||Main role
|2016||American Dad!||Big John Tanner||Episode: "Kiss Kiss Cam Cam"
|2016||Grace and Frankie||Phil||4 episodes|
- Harris, Aisha (2 February 2015). "Sam Elliott On Being the Hollywood Embodiment of the Old West". Slate. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Movies & TV: Sam Elliott Biography". New York Times. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- a "Birthplace: Sacramento, California, USA"—¶ 1.
- "Sam Elliott Biography (1944-)". Filmreference.com. 1944-08-09. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
- "Sam Elliott Biography". Perfect People. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
- Murphy, Mekado (19 August 2015). "‘Grandma’ (With Movie Trailer): Paul Weitz Narrates a Scene". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- Buckley, Cara (12 August 2015). "Sam Elliott, a Leading Man Again at 71, No Cowboy Hat Required". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "Elisha Cuthbert Joins Ashton Kutcher's Netflix Comedy Series ‘The Ranch’"
- Busch, Anita. "Sam Elliott, John Sayles On ‘The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot’". Deadline. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
- "Katharine Ross". People. 4 May 1992. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Magruder, Melonie (31 December 2008). "Straight from her heart". Malibu Times. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "'Cleo:". Daily Mail. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- Amanda N'Duka. "Ron Livingston Joins ‘The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot’". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-08-09.