Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross Are One of Hollywood's Most Enduring Couples

The "A Star Is Born" actor and his wife have the sweetest love story.

  • Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross met in 1978 and were married in 1984.
  • They met while filming the horror movie, .
  • It was Ross’s fifth marriage, and Elliott’s first.
  • They have one daughter, Cleo Rose, who is now 34.

    A Star Is Born (2018)
    fandango.com $5.00

    Relationships made in Hollywood aren't exactly know for their longevity, but Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross are one of the lucky few exceptions. The couple have been married for 34 years, which is quite the benchmark for the movie business.

    Elliott, 73, known for his bushy mustache as well as for his cowboy, biker, and military characters, currently stars in the Netflix series, The Ranch. He's also turning heads for his part as Bobby in the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper movie, , hitting theaters in October. His roles in the films Tombstone and The Big Lebowski, and the television series Justified (2015), among many others (he's even of forest fire-prevention mascot "Smokey Bear!") have also made him one of Hollywood's most famous leading men.

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    Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross
    Elliott and Ross at the 1979 premiere of 'The China Syndrome.'
    Getty Images
    The Graduate

    Ross, 77, is best known for her iconic roles as Elaine Robinson in The Graduate (1967), Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and Joanna Eberhart in The Stepford Wives (1975). Her —none of which lasted longer than five years—were to Joel Fabiani (1960-1962), John Marion (1964-1967), Conrad L. Hall (1969-1974), and Gaetano Lisi (1974-1979).

    Ross and Elliott met in 1978 while filming the horror movie The Legacy in London, in which they played a couple who are among a group of guests terrorized at a creepy English estate. Actually, Elliott had a small role in Butch Cassidy nearly a decade earlier, but he and Ross never met on set. "I didn't dare try to talk to her then. She was the leading lady. I was a shadow on the wall, a glorified extra in a bar scene," Elliott told in 2015.

    Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross
    At the 16th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in 1981
    Getty Images

    The two apparently saw a lot more of each other while making Legacy—in fact, Elliott's bare posterior in the film was lauded in The Bare Facts, a guide to nudity in film, according to his . Asked if she was first attracted to Elliott's baritone voice, rugged good looks, or mustache, Ross told : "Probably all that and more. We were working together and one thing led to another. And here we are."

    Back then, Ross was on her fourth husband and Elliott had never been married. Ross divorced in 1979 and married Elliott in 1984. Their daughter, Cleo Rose, was born later that year and is now a musician.

    Elliott nearly passed on his breakout role as Cher's biker boyfriend in the 1985 film Mask because he and Ross were on their honeymoon in Hawaii, according to . After Elliott told his agent he wouldn't return early to test for the role, Ross called the agent back that night to say she'd get her husband back in time.

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    Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross
    Elliott and Ross with their daughter circa 1990.
    Getty Images

    Ross must have sensed the role would be a turning point for Elliott. As the Los Angeles Times stated in 1985, "His portrayal of the compassionate biker Gar has received nearly as much critical attention as the performances by the film's stars, Eric Stoltz and Cher."

    Sam Elliot, Katharine Ross, Cleo Rose
    Ross, Elliott, and Cleo Rose
    Getty Images

    The couple appeared together on screen again in 2017. Elliott stars in as an aging Western film icon; Ross plays his character's ex-wife. Both actors have projects in the pipeline: Elliott is slated to appear in several upcoming films, while Ross is starring in the comedy Attachments, currently in post-production.

    The two divide their time between homes in California and Oregon. As Elliott , marriage is work, but it's worth it. "We have a common sensibility, but we also work at being together," he said. "You work past the s--t; you don't walk away from it. That's how relationships last."

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