Best Known For
Throughout his career, American actor Sam Elliott has played gun-slinging cowboys on TV and in films, including The Quick and the Dead and Tombstone.
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Elliott earned serious fans with 1989's Road House, playing the mentor to Patrick Swayze's James Dalton, a bouncer with a mysterious past. His most beloved role, however, may have been his performance as The Stranger, the mysterious narrator of the Coen Brothers' cult classic The Big Lebowski (1998), which still inspires fans to approach him in the street begging him to say,
just once, "The Dude abides."Elliott may be best known for his work portraying Western heroes and outlaws. Over the course of his career, he has played gun-slinging cowboys in both television shows and films including The Quick and the Dead (1987), Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986), Tombstone (1993) and You Know My Name (1999). For his work as an on-screen cowboy, Elliott was inducted in 2007 into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Elliott has said of his penchant for Westerns: "I think it has something to do with integrity and a man's word and honor and all that kind of stuff - values, morality, all that kind of stuff that everybody looks kind of down their nose at."
Apart from his cowboy roles, in recent years Elliott has played Lee Scoresby in 2007's The Golden Compass, the first film based on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy; a pilot in 2009's Up in the Air; and the voice of Chupadogra in 2010's animated Marmaduke.
Elliott's work may delve into the realm of fantasy, but that's ultimately how Elliott sees the real life of every actor. "We're the great pretenders, some not so great probably, but that's what we do," Elliott said. "We pretend for a living."
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