Sam Elliott is an American actor whose rangy physique, thick horseshoe moustache, deep, resonant voice, and Western drawl lend to frequent casting as cowboys and ranchers. In 1970-71, Sam Elliott starred as Doug Robert in the hit TV series Mission: Impossible, and played the lead character Sam Damon in Once an Eagle, an NBC miniseries during the 1976-77 season. He also had the starring role as Rick Carlson in the summer sleeper, Lifeguard (1976). In 1979, he played the oldest brother in the made-for-TV miniseries The Sacketts, also starring Tom Selleck, Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Glenn Ford, Ruth Roman, Mercedes McCambridge, Jack Elam, and Gilbert Roland, among others. 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) when he co-starred with Cher. 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. He has also starred in Road House (1989) with Patrick Swayze and played Virgil Earp in Tombstone (1993), which starred Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. In 1998, Elliot was named the grand marshal of the Calgary Stampede parade and rode in the procession before 300,000 spectators.
Elliott 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 also 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 where he played a former Marlboro Man advertisement cowboy who has developed lung-cancer. Elliot joined Nicolas Cage in 2007 in the popular Ghost Rider, and stood out in another film the same year, in The Golden Compass as a key character, Lee Scoresby. In 2009, Elliott had a small role in Up In The Air in which he portrayed the Captain of an American Airlines jet. He has a supporting role in the film The Company You Keep.
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