Elliott is 74 and is known for his roles on The Ranch, A Star Is Born, Tombstone, The Big Lebowski, and Justified. Ross is 79 and is known for her roles in The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and The Stepford Wives.
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 AARP The Magazine in 2015.
Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross in Legacy. (1978)
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. After Elliott told his agent he wouldn’t return early to test for the role, Ross made sure she got her new husband back in time to audition and it seems that was a good decision.
As for Elliott’s theory on why their relationship has lasted so long, he said it was their common sensibility. “We have a common sensibility, but we also work at being together,” he told AARP. “You work past the s—; you don’t walk away from it. That’s how relationships last.”
Elliott was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in A Star Is Born.
Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross at an event for the Oscars, February 24, 2019.