Sam Elliott reveals where he learned to be a man; the answer is melting fan’s hearts

American actor Sam Elliott is the guy who always plays the most masculine of roles; from Virgil Earp in Tombstone to tough guy Wade Garrett in Roadhouse, the man oozes masculinity.

The 79-year-old actor, who has consistently appeared on our TV and movie screens for the past 50 years, sat down to talk about where he learned to be a man and who his male role models were.

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His sweet answers are warming the hearts of fans all over.

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Unveiling a lesser-known facet of Sam Elliott’s journey, his life took a profound turn in the wake of a family tragedy. This pivotal event acted as a catalyst, compelling him to reassess his life’s trajectory and embark on a transformative path, even in the face of formidable obstacles.

The genesis of this transformation is deeply rooted in the bond between Sam and his father. The iconic actor reflects on the profound influence his father, alongside his father’s close companions, had on shaping his life.

Foremost among these influential figures was his father, a beacon of inspiration whose approval he fervently sought, driving him to strive for greatness.

Sam Elliott recounts that his father, a diligent worker, tragically succumbed to a heart attack at the untimely age of 54.

Sam was 18 at the time. He said his dad instilled a strong work ethic into him and even though he died young, he still wanted to work as hard as he could to make his father proud.

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“I can only speak of the men that were in my life and that was my dad and his friends,” Elliott said, “Those are the men that I grew up going fishing and, you know, spending time with.”

Elliott says these men were pretty “hardcore” in the sense that they weren’t rude or mean, but very hard-working and inspired Elliott to be the same.

Elliott said his dad worked in the Fish and Wildlife Service so he was outside all the time and took Elliott with him to many places in the Sacramento, California, area where he grew up.


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He said his dad wasn’t enthusiastic about the theater and acting and didn’t think Elliott would get anywhere as an actor.

While employed at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sam’s dad held reservations about pursuing a career in acting, considering it a less favorable option. In contrast, his son was resolute in his ambition to thrive in the entertainment industry, aiming for success on the grand stage of Hollywood.

Sam Elliott publicity portrait for the film ‘Gettysburg’, 1993. (Photo by New Line Cinema/Getty Images)

“My dad died thinking I was a total idiot for wanting to be an actor,” Elliott recalled with a bit of laughter, “He said ‘you got a snowball’s chance in hell having a f*#king career in that tomb.’”

Elliott says he just wanted to make his father proud and wished he could have seen him achieve what he did. It was a challenging phase after his dad’s tragic passing, Elliott acknowledges that it was a period fraught with difficulties.

Elliott remembered his late father, saying:

“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.”

His father’s passing served as a profound lesson, compelling him to embrace personal growth and embark on a journey of positive transformation.

Guided by the unwavering support of his cherished mother, Sam Elliott embarked on a journey into the realm of acting – a decision that has since become an iconic chapter in his life story. Today, his charismatic presence and remarkable talent have solidified his position as one of the foremost and most revered names in the entertainment industry.


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See the interview with Sam Elliott in the video below.

Such a charismatic man. Watching this interview it’s easy to see why he is a successful screen star and his advice to work that little bit harder than everybody else in everything you do is a great takeaway!

Please share this inspirational interview with all the Sam Elliott fans you know.