Elliott was born on 9th August, 1944, in Sacramento, California, but says he's a "sixth-generation Texan."
Everyone knows Sam Elliott. If not by name, by his mustache. The actor is now 76-years-old. Born on 9th August, 1944, in Sacramento, California, Elliott will always be known for his iconic cowboy roles and his southern accent. “I’m a sixth-generation Texan, even though I was born in California,” he said in an interview with Parade Magazine. Elliott and his older sister Glenda were raised by their mom Glenn, a teacher and his dad, Nelson, an outdoorsman and former Eagle Scout who worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Elliott and his dad, nicknamed Shorty, got along amazingly well. When Elliott was just 17, his dad, then 53, died of a heart attack. This was just a few years before he moved to LA to pursue acting. “I’d love to have my dad see this,” Elliott says of both the show and his life today. “He died thinkin’ I was a total idiot for wanting to be an actor. You know, ‘You got a snowball’s chance in hell in that town!’’’ says Elliott. However, his father never really wanted him to become an actor, as per Looper. The two of them got into a tiff over Elliott's career choices and they were never able to see eye-to-eye about it.
Many years later while speaking in an interview with The Star, he explained, "He died thinking, 'Man, this kid is going to go down the wrong path.' And I think on some levels that were either hard on me or made me more focused in my resolve to have a career, you know what I mean?" Elliott, who followed his dream, had his first role in a major film in 1969's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which featured the superstar leads Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the titular roles. Though he didn't have a lot of screen time or even a dialogue for that matter, the movie is quite close to his heart for various reasons.
Katherine Ross was also a part of the movie, and though they didn't cross paths at the time, they met again 10 years down the line. During the 1978 horror film The Legacy, the two met and fell in love. They got married in 1984 and have been together ever since. The couple shares a daughter, Cleo, 32, who is also an artist. “I just really love being with Cleo. It doesn’t really matter what we’re doing,” Elliott says, adding that he particularly enjoys walking with Cleo along the beach near his home in Malibu, searching for rocks, which is quite symbolic. “We’re rock hounds. My dad was a rock hound, I’m a rock hound, my daughter is now a rock hound. We pick up all these beautiful stones.”
His journey to success wasn't easy as he says, "You cannot believe the casting couch stories I could tell you, man. The clichés are all true. I've had propositions from men and women, and I've turned them all down. 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." While we love his mustache and just can't get enough of it, Elliott doesn't really understand what the fuss is all about. "The whole mustache thing is a mystery to me. ... 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." Happy birthday, superstar!