Sam Elliott may not have been born in Texas, but his ancestors extend back several generations in Texas; they lend credibility to Sam’s very strong and silent personality. He was raised in Oregon, where his father was an official for the Fish and Wildlife Service for the Department of the Interior
Tall, thin, wiry Sam Elliott is the classic picture of the American cowboy. His deep gravelly voice fits right in as well.
Elliott’s is credited with making his film debut in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, but he actually appeared while a college student as an extra in The Way West in 1967.
As there weren’t many western films being made when Elliot came along, he turned to television. He would star in The Sacketts and The Shadow Riders, along with Tom Selleck.
There would be a period of time where he had to make non-westerns until the opportunity came up again. That came in the 1990’s when he starred in Gettysburg and Buffalo Girls.
In 1991 Elliott wrote the screenplay and co-starred with his wife, Katherine Ross, in the made-for-TV western Conagher. Two years later he would play Virgil Earp in Tombstone, with Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp. To end the 20th century, Elliott made two more westerns, The Hi-Lo Country and You Know My Name, where he played lawman and gunslinger Bill Tilghman.
Elliot was inducted into the International Mustache Hall of Fame in 2015, its inaugural class, in the category Film & Television. Did you know that Elliott’s mustache wasn’t in all of his movies?! He made nine without it; in those he mostly had stubble.
San Elliott has been the voice of “Smokey Bear” since 2008, who he shares a birthday with. He also has been doing Ram Heavy Duty Truck commercials since 2010. Coors also hired Elliott in 2007 to “bring his deep, rich voice and ‘western’ appeal” to the brand, which is brewed in Colorado.
In 2021, Elliott starred in 1883, a prequel to Yellowstone, a current television series.