Monday, October 11, 2010
Male on Monday: Sam Elliott
Sam Elliott has the ability to make me swoon. And it's all from the voice. And maybe the mustache. I'm not generally a fan of mustaches, but I make an exception for Elliott. He is in a class of his own. When he was Parade Marshal for the Calgary Stampede Parade a few years ago, I figured I'd get a better view of him watching the tv than I would on the parade route (and have a miss at the traffic).
Elliott was born in Sacramento, California, to a physical training instructor mother and a father who worked for the Department of the Interior. He moved from California to Oregon with his family during his teenage years, where he graduated from David Douglas High School in Portland. He attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, where he completed a two-year program and was cast as one of the leads in "Guys and Dolls." The local newspaper suggested that Elliott should be a professional actor. Soon after, Elliott declared he was going to Hollywood to become a star.
Elliott began his career as a character actor, his appearance and bearing ideally suited for Westerns. One of his first film roles was as 'Card Player #2' in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
Elliott has performed voice-over narration for various commercials. He has lent his voice to campaigns for Chevy, IBM, Union Pacific, and, most notably, the American Beef Council, succeeding Robert Mitchum. Since late 2007, Elliott has done voice-overs for Coors beer, bringing his deep, rich voice and "western" appeal to the brand brewed in Colorado. In 2010, Dodge hired Elliott to do the voice-over in their Ram Heavy Duty truck commercial. He is also the new voice for Smokey Bear ("Only YOU can prevent wildfires"). Coincidentally, Elliott and "Smokey" are the same age.
Elliott has been married to actress Katharine Ross since 1984. Although Ross starred in the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in which Elliott had a very small role, the two did not meet and begin dating until 1978 when they both starred with Roger Daltrey in The Legacy. He and Ross have a daughter, Cleo Rose, born September 17, 1984.
Donna's current release is Proud Rancher, Precious Bundle, out now in the UK and the Mills and Book Book of the Month. You can check out an excerpt on her website at www.donnaalward.com