Sam Elliott

Sam Elliott, born on August 9, 1944, is an American actor. Over the years, he has received critical acclaim and numerous awards, including a National Board of Review Award, and has been nominated for awards from the Academy, Golden Globe, Primetime Emmy, and the Screen Actors Guild. Join us in celebrating his birthday!

Fast Facts

Full Name:

Samuel Pack Elliott



Birth date:

August 9, 1944



Zodiac Sign:



6' 2"

Relationship Status:


Net Worth:

$20 million


Samuel Pack Elliott was born in the city of Sacramento, California on August 9, 1944. He moved from California to Portland, Oregon, at the age of 13. Elliott spent his teenage years living in northeast Portland and graduated from David Douglas High School in 1962. Elliott studied at the University of Oregon as an English and psychology major for two terms before dropping out. He returned to Portland and attended Clark College in nearby Vancouver, Washington. Over there he completed a two-year program and worked in a stage production of “Guys and Dolls.” The “Vancouver Columbian” newspaper praised Elliott for his performance. After he graduated from Clark in 1965, Elliott re-enrolled at the University of Oregon but dropped out again before completing his studies after his father suffered from a fatal heart attack. In the late 1960s, Elliott relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Elliott served in the California Air National Guard’s 146th Airlift Wing (the Hollywood Guard) at Van Nuys Airport before the unit moved to Channel Islands Air National Guard Station.

In 1969, Elliott made his voice acting debut as Dan Kenyon in “Judd for the Defense” in the episode “The Crystal Maze.” That same year he also appeared in “Lancer” playing Renslo. He went on to appear in two more episodes of the series between 1970 and 1971. In the 1970–1971 television season, Elliott starred in the hit series “Mission: Impossible” as Doug Robert for numerous episodes. In 1975, Elliott was cast as Charles Wood in the television film “I Will Fight No More Forever.” From 1976 to 1977, he played the lead character Sam Damon in the miniseries “Once an Eagle.” He also had a starring role as Rick Carlson in the summer sleeper hit “Lifeguard,” which marked his feature film breakthrough.

In 1977, Elliott played the role of Tom Keating in the miniseries “Aspen.” He played an abusive wife-killer in the miniseries “Murder in Texas” and also starred in “A Death in California.” He has made guest appearances on shows like “Felony Squad,” “Gunsmoke,” “Lancer,” and “Hawaii Five-O”. Elliott had a supporting role in “Mask” and also in the Christmas film “Prancer.” In 1986, he starred in the T.V. movie “Gone to Texas.” Elliott played Wade Garrett in “Road House.” He portrayed General John Buford in the 1993 historical drama “Gettysburg,” and the same year played Virgil Earp in “The Western Tombstone.” Elliott also played The Stranger, a character narrating the story of “The Big Lebowski.” He subsequently co-starred in “We Were Soldiers,” an adaptation of “We Were Soldiers Once… And Young,” in which he portrayed Basil L. Plumley. He starred in the 2003 action film “Hulk” as General Thaddeus Ross.

In 2005, he played a former Marlboro Man advertisement cowboy who has developed lung cancer in “Thank You for Smoking.” In 2006 he provided the voice for the character Ben the Cow in the animated film “Barnyard.” In 2007, Elliott joined the comic book adaptation “Ghost Rider.” The same year, Elliott appeared in “The Golden Compass” as the character Lee Scoresby. The film is based on the Northern Lights in Philip Pullman’s trilogy “His Dark Materials.” 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 thrice as Ron Dunn in “Parks and Recreation.” He then provided the voice of Buster in the animated film “Marmaduke.” He had a supporting role in the thriller film “The Company You Keep” and played a college football coach in 2014’s drama film “Draft Day.” In 2015, he won the Critics’ Choice Television Award for his role in the show “Justified.”

Career timeline

His First T.V. Show

Elliott stars in "Mission: Impossible," a series that chronicles the missions of a team of secret American government agents.

His Leading T.V. Role

He stars in "Lifeguard" as a 30-year-old full-time lifeguard on the beaches of Los Angeles.

One More Main Role

Elliott plays a major role in "Gone to Texas," an American made-for-television biographical film.

His First Nomination

Elliott is nominated for the Golden Globe Award for ‘Best Actor (Miniseries or Television Film).’

His Superhero Movie

Elliott plays General Thaddeus Ross in "Hulk."

His First Dubbing Role

Elliott works as a voice actor for the first time in the animation "Barnyard," playing Ben the Cow.

He Stars in “The Hero”

Elliott plays an aging Western icon with a golden voice in "The Hero."

Why We Love Sam Elliott

  1. He's proud of his origins

    Elliott is proud of his Southern accent. He was once advised to get voice and diction lessons to change his enunciation, which he tried for some time but eventually decided to be comfortable in his own skin.

  2. He is a devoted husband

    Elliott has been with his wife, Katharine Ross, for decades and the two are still very much in love. He almost missed his important role in "The Mask" because of his honeymoon.

  3. He is awesome to work with

    Elliott is such a cool actor that makers of the "The Big Lebowski" even wrote down his name in the script when describing the character of the Stranger. This made it really hard for Elliott to turn down the role and shows how much he is appreciated as an artist.

5 Surprising Facts

  1. He married his co-star

    He’s been married to actress Katharine Ross since 1984, whom he met when they both co-starred in "The Legacy."

  2. He served in the military

    Elliott has spent time in the army and was even honored by the National Guard Association with the ‘Spirit of America’ award in 2002.

  3. His father disapproved of his acting career

    Elliott’s father, who worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was not initially very happy when his son told him that he wanted to become an actor.

  4. He shares his birthday with a bear

    Elliott and Smokey the Bear share the same birthday.

  5. He has a prolific filmography

    He has appeared in several T.V. shows and films, and some of his most notable movies include "Tombstone," "Ghost Rider," "Gettysburg," "Road House Up In The Air," "The Golden Compass," "Hulk," "We Were Soldiers," and also "Bigfoot."

Sam Elliott FAQs

What does Sam Elliott’s daughter do?

Elliott’s daughter, Cleo Rose, is a model, singer, and musician.

Was Sam Elliott in the Vietnam War?

Although Elliott did not participate in the Vietnam War, he expressed his guilt for not doing his bit for the nation at the time.

What does Sam Elliott do now?

Elliott remains active in films and T.V. shows despite being in his seventies.

Sam Elliott’s birthday dates

2023August 9Wednesday
2024August 9Friday
2025August 9Saturday
2026August 9Sunday
2027August 9Monday

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