10+ Interesting Things About Sam Elliott Fans Didn't Know

Sarah Kester

One look at that thick, gray mustache and you'd recognize Sam Elliott anywhere.

Add in his voice, which has voiced everything from Smokey Bear to Joe Biden's most recent presidential campaign, and it's like he's right in front of you.

Yep, Sam Elliott certainly is one of Hollywood's treasures, one who's finally getting the recognition he deserves.

Sam Elliott is not exactly one of the most famous people in the world, if you're comparing him to Marvel stars or the likes of Brad Pitt.

Giphy | The Academy Awards

And yet at the same time, those who know him, tend to love him.

That deep, soothing voice lets you know where home is.

However, just because we love him, that doesn't mean we know everything about him.

Giphy | Golden Globes

Luckily, we are here to help with that.

Take a look at these super interesting facts about Sam Elliott! Let us know your favorite fact at the end of the article!

1. His dad never wanted him to become an actor.

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Tragically, his dad, a member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, died when Elliott was 18.

“He died thinking, 'Man, this kid is going to go down the wrong path,'” Elliott said. "And I think on some levels that was either hard on me or made me more focused in my resolve to have a career.”

2. He's the voice in several familiar commercials.

That deep drawl is certainly a voice you'd recognize.

In addition to narrating The Big LeBowski as The Stranger, he was the voice in commercials for these brands: Coors beer, Dodge Ram, and American Beef Council.

He was also the voice of Smokey Bear.

Given his father's wildlife background, it was fitting for Sam to voice the advertising icon of the U.S. Forest Service.

Fun fact: He and the spokesbear have the exact same birthday: August 9, 1944.

4. He earned his first Oscar nomination for his role in *A Star Is Born*.

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After decades of acting, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. When this happened, his response was so epic: "It's about [expletive] time."

Sadly, he didn't win the Oscar.

5. His first acting role was on the TV cop drama, *Felony Squad*.


He was on the show from 1968 to 1969.

From there, he landed his first film role, Card Player No. 2, in 1969′s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

6. He's been with his wife, Katharine Ross, for 36 years.

They have one of Hollywood's most enduring marriages.

The couple started dating after they starred in the horror movie, The Legacy, together.

"I didn't dare try to talk to her then," Elliott told AARP The Magazine in 2015.

"She was the leading lady. I was a shadow on the wall, a glorified extra in a bar scene."

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When they started dating, Ross was on her fourth husband and Elliott had never been married.

Today, they have one daughter together named Cleo Rose.

7. Elliott almost missed his important role in *Mask* because of his honeymoon.

You can thank Ross for getting her husband in the movie.

She cut their honeymoon short to get them home in time for the screen test.

8. He stalled his career due to his beef with Paramount Pictures.

When the actor was promoting his film, Lifeguard, he had an issue with the movie's poster.

“The one sheet [poster] for that film was an animated piece, and it had me in a pair of Speedos," he told NPR in 2017.

"And a big busted girl on either arm,” he said.


“And it said, 'Every girl's summer dream' over the top of it. And I was like, wow.”

After he complained about it during press interviews, Paramount wasn't jumping to hire him again.

9. The Coen Brothers wrote The Stranger based off of him in *The Big Lebowski*.

His name was even in the script when describing the character. This made it really hard for the actor to turn down the role.

"You can't," he told Business Insider about this. "And how do you say no to the Coen brothers, period? Even when your name isn't in the script."

10. He got propositioned a lot during the early days of his career.

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Remember that episode from Friends where Joey could have landed an acting role if he slept with the casting director?

Well, in the early days of Sam's career, these kinds of propositions actually happened.

“The clichés are all true. I’ve had propositions from men and women, and I’ve turned them all down," he told Dayton Daily News in 1980.

"It’s probably hurt me, but I’m the one who has to live with that guilt. My conscience is clear, even though my career is still not setting the world on fire.”

11. The Coen Brothers made him repeat his lines in *The Big Lebowski* for a very unique reason.

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If you loved hearing him say things like "The Dude abides," you're not alone.

The Coen brothers made Elliott feel exasperated by making him repeat all of his lines several times. The reason? They loved hearing him talk.

12. He refuses to sell out to make money.

No wonder you won't catch the actor in a bad role.

"My security comes from the fact that I’ve never done a job for money," he told The Guardian.

"A certain level of security comes out of the commercial world – that allows me to turn down the dramatic stuff, or the theatrical stuff ... the acting work."

13. He doesn't understand the world's fascination with his mustache.


Rolling Stone once said that he has the “world’s greatest living mustache" but Elliott doesn't understand it.

“The whole mustache thing is a mystery to me,” he told Vanity Fair in 2017.

He continued:


“I’m working on this thing now, A Star is Born—somebody showed me on their cell phone one day that there was this contest online between me and [Tom] Selleck about who had the best mustache. It’s so bizarre.”

15. He thinks comedians cross lines.


While he didn't say whether or not he finds that to be a good thing or a bad thing, he does think they take pride in being able to cross lines in the world of entertainment.

14. He recently voiced Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

In the $4 million ad titled, "Go From There," he narrates visuals of Biden interacting with Americans.

"There is only one America," he says. "No Democratic rivers. No Republican mountains. Just this great land and all that's possible on it with a fresh start."

16. He got along with Bradley Cooper right away.


When they got to work together on A Star is Born, they went to dinner and immediately connected.

From there, the rest was history, and Elliott knew that he would be able to trust Cooper with the movie.

In fact, when it came to praising Cooper's director ability, he had nothing but good things to say.

"Bradley is more than capable as a director. I think he's a great director. I don't know how he does it. I've gone to set when I'm not working just to watch him in action."

"He covers it all and boy the pressure is on him and he's delivering this amazing performance in which he's singing and playing the guitar. I mean, that guy is driven. He's super intelligent, has an incredible work ethic."

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"He just wants it to be real, that's what he's striving for, some kind of honesty," he told Business Insider.

17. He doesn't mind that many people haven't seen most of his movies.

Elliott has been very clear that movie making isn't about the money for him.

What matters to him is the experience that he had, and making connections with the people he got to work with at the time.

18. He credits his current career to Nick Offerman.


"I love Nick. I think on some level Nick is probably responsible for whatever's going on with my career right now. I think probably," he told Business Insider.

"I've never asked Nick this but when I went and did *Parks and Rec,* it was to play Nick's doppelganger."

"I can't imagine that those writers and producers didn't got to Nick and say, "Who do you want to play this character, since it's a reflection of you?" And I think Nick was the one who came up with it."

19. He still takes acting advice seriously.

In fact, he still remembers the ones that changed him.

In particular, he has always remembered not to take himself too seriously and to just play himself the best he can. No one else can be Sam Elliott, after all.

Do you know any more interesting things about Sam Elliott?

Giphy | SAG Awards

Or were you pleasantly surprised by all of the facts in this article?

Either way, let us know down below in the comment section! We would love to hear from you!