How Did ‘1883’ Star Sam Elliott Meet His Wife, Katharine Ross?

by Shelby Scott
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(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

1883” star Sam Elliott has become iconic in Hollywood. Over the span of his career, he’s received critical acclaim and admiration for many of the characters he portrays. However, his enduring marriage to fellow actor Katharine Ross has become just as iconic in the world of acting. Now, we’re here to share with you just how the two stars met.

Katharine Ross is Sam Elliott’s ‘Leading Lady’

Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross have been married for 34 years. However, it wasn’t as if the couple hit things off right away. In fact, it was nearly a decade after the two stars initially shared the same set that they met officially.

As per AARP, Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross first shared the same set in 1969. It was then they both had roles in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” However, due to the meniality of Elliott’s role compared to Ross’s as the film’s “leading lady,” the two never spoke.

The “1883” star previously shared, “My wife, Katharine Ross, and I both worked on ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ but I didn’t dare try to talk to her then. She was the leading lady.”

(Photo by Harry Dempster/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Of his role, Elliott said, “I was a shadow on the wall, a glorified extra in a bar scene.”

Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross Met in 1978

The famous couple first met nearly a decade after starring in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” According to Country Living, Ross and Elliott met in 1978. It was then that they both starred in the horror film, “The Legacy.”

The 1978 production was filmed in London. While filming, the two stars played a fictional couple among a group of terrorized guests at a “creepy” English estate.

It was then that sparks flew between the two actors. While playing a couple in front of cameras, the two iconic actors were falling in love off the set.

At the time, the outlet reports that Katharine Ross had been married to her fourth husband, Gaetano Lisi. Already, though, the couple’s marriage had begun to fall apart.

A year after Ross met Sam Elliott, she divorced Lisi and married the mustachioed actor in 1984. When the actress, most prominently known for her roles in “The Graduate” (1967), “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), and “The Stepford Wives” (1975), was asked about what she loved most about her now-husband, she couldn’t pick just one trait.

Of their relationship, she said, “We were working together and one thing led to another. And here we are.”

Behind Every Good Man Is a Good Woman

What took place while on their honeymoon marked a pivotal moment in both the couple’s relationship and in Sam Elliott’s career.

Once Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross were married, they welcomed a baby girl later that year. Their daughter, Cleo Rose (37), diverted from her parents’ roots in Hollywood, instead choosing to become a musician.

However, Katharine Ross demonstrated what a supportive partner she could be when Sam Elliott initially turned down an audition for what became his breakout role in “Mask.”

While on their honeymoon in Hawaii, Sam Elliott’s agent called the actor, requesting he and his new bride return home early so he could audition for the iconic role beside Cher. In typical Sam Elliott fashion, he turned his agent down, refusing to conclude his honeymoon early.

However, Ross soon called the agent back, making a promise to have her husband home in time to audition for the role. The film marked a pivotal point in his acting career. At Ross’s encouragement, Elliott took on the role, and following the premiere, the Los Angeles Times wrote, “[Sam Elliott’s] portrayal of the passionate biker Gar has received nearly as much critical attention as the performances by the film’s stars, Eric Stoltz and Cher.”

While the couple has supported each others’ careers, they’ve also been known to share the screen. Alongside their aforementioned roles, Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross both starred in the 2017 film, “The Hero.”

Of their decades-long marriage, Sam Elliott said, “We have a common sensibility, but we also work at being together. You work past the sh*t; you don’t walk away from it. That’s how relationships last.”

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