Sam Elliott – Tombstone Actor

Sam Elliott in Tombstone

Sam Elliott and the way he portrays Virgil Earp in Tombstone is a perfect fit for a western character.

On December 25, 1993, Hollywood Pictures released Tombstone in broad theaters across the country, bringing in $73.2 million globally. It was written by Kevin Jarre and directed by George P. Cosmatos.

Renowned actors like Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, and Dana Delany appeared alongside Sam Elliott as Virgil Earp in Tombstone.

In the movie, Elliott portrayed Virgil Earp as one of Wyatt Earp’s brothers who decided to move to Tombstone in order to live a prosperous and peaceful life. However, Virgil’s brother quickly came into dispute with the Cowboys, a band of outlaws commanded by the Clanton brothers.

While Elliott is only a supporting character in the picture, his severe demeanor and gravelly voice are among the many highlights, and he looks just as good in a long black coat just like Russel and Paxton. Elliott is recognizable by his lanky build, thick mustache, and rich, booming voice.

Sam Elliott’s Life

On August 9, 1944, Samuel Peck Elliott was born in Sacramento, California. When he was 13 years old, his family moved from California to Portland, Oregon. His parents are originally from El Paso, Texas. Elliott lived in northeast Portland during his teenage years. After high school, he majored in English and psychology for two years at the University of Oregon before departing. He went back to Portland and enrolled at Clark College in nearby Vancouver, Washington, where he earned a degree in two years and was hired to portray Big Jule in a Guys and Dolls stage production. The Vancouver Columbian newspaper urged Elliott to pursue a career as an actor.

Sam Elliott As An Actor

Samuel Peck Elliott, also known as Sam Elliott, is an accomplished actor. Since he began his acting career, he has won numerous awards, including the National Board of Review Award.

Additionally, he has received nominations for two Golden Globes Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the prestigious Academy Award. But before that, he had only played some minor characters, like in The Way West (1967), which marked the beginning of his career. Although he appeared in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), his breakout role was in the thriller Lifeguard (1976). The Quick and the Dead (1987), Conagher (1991) and other Louis L’Amour adaptations followed, the last of which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor.

Additionally, he was nominated for a second Golden Globe and his first Primetime Emmy Award for Buffalo Girls in 1995. And the historical drama Gettysburg in 1993, in which he played John Buford and the Western Tombstone which Sam Elliott as Virgil Earp are among his other early 1990’s acting credits, also in 1993.

Facts about Samuel Elliott

  • Together with his family, Elliott relocated from California to Portland, Oregon when he was 13 years old.
  • He graduated in 1962 from David Douglas High School.
  • Sam Elliott studied English and psychology for two semesters at the University of Oregon.
  • Not long after Elliott went back to Portland and enrolled at Vancouver, Washington’s Clark.
  • After completing a two-year course of study, he was chosen to play Big Jule in a Guys and Dolls theatrical performance.
  • The Vancouver Columbian newspaper recommended Elliott pursue a career as an actor.
  • Elliott enrolled once at the University of Oregonmore and pledged to the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
  • He dropped out of school again before graduating after his father’s death.
  • Elliott moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s to pursue his acting career.
  • Elliott served in the 146th Airlift Wing (the Hollywood Guard) of the California Air National Guard at Van Nuys Airport while pursuing a career in acting also being a construction worker.
  • In 1984, Elliott married the actress Katharine Ross.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which Ross starred, also included Elliott in a minor role.Their daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott, was born on September 17, 1984, and she currently resides in Malibu, California, where she works as a musician.

Samuel Elliott Controversy

Sam Elliott faced criticism for his comments regarding the film “The Power of the Dog” in 2021. On a podcast, he called “The Power of the Dog” a “piece of sh*t” and said it was Western with “allusions of homosexuality.” Elliott has since apologized and left a note for filmmaker Jane Campion, who won the Oscar for directing the said film.

“I said some things that hurt people and feel terrible about that,” the veteran actor said.

Questions Related to Sam Elliott

Why is Sam Elliott so popular?

Elliott is well-known for his roles as Western bandits and heroes. He has portrayed gun-toting cowboys throughout his career in movies and television series.

Why did Sam Elliott shave?

The mustache that Elliott sports is recognizable and is what draws the most attention to him. In almost all of his acting roles, he has worn it, and it is unusual to see him without it. When he had a part in the television series Justified, he had shaved.

How much is Sam Elliott’s net worth?

As of 2022, Sam Elliott is 78 years old and has a staggering net worth of $20 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, which is only appropriate for a renowned veteran actor who has received several accolades and nominations at prestigious award ceremonies.


Elliott was able to live the life of his dreams despite his father’s criticism and rejection of his desire and passion for pursuing acting. He believed in himself, and look where it has gotten him: he is one of the world’s most famous performers and has been in a wide range of films and television shows. An iconic man with a lanky build and a deep speaking voice, ideal for any western film. Who would have expected that this tall, lanky man would win so many awards, and yet here he is, a senior actor from whom many actors throughout the world seek inspiration. 

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