Sam Elliott Revealed How His ‘Performing Arts Career’ Began in a Church Choir

by Robert Davis
Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Actor Sam Elliott told his hometown magazine about how his performing arts career began in a local choir at the Pioneer Congregational Church.

In an interview with Sactown Magazine, Elliott said he was a member of the Cherub Choir for little kids. He progressed through the medium-age group and performed in a couple of musicals during middle school as well, Elliott added.

In middle school, Elliott recalls landing a role in the production of Guys and Dolls. He said he was “one of the guys sitting on the corner watching all the girls go by.”

“But singing in that choir when I was about 4 or 5 years old, that’s where my performing arts career began,” Elliott added.

Sam Elliott’s Star is Born

Growing up in Sacramento, California was “tough,” Sam Elliott says. He lived near Hollywood Park for most of his life before his father, who worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, was transferred to Oregon.

Elliott says his childhood in Sacramento during the 1950s was “idyllic.” He recalls riding his bike between William Land Park and the Sacramento River and “everything else in between.” Elliott also remembered spending time with his dad out in nature. They visited  the Sierras, Placerville, Wentworth Springs and the Rubicon River, Elliott said. They also went fishing for trout.

Sacramento also inspired Elliott to pursue his acting career. When he wasn’t in church, Elliott would frequent The Sequoia Movie Theatre with his sister Glenda. He said they would often see Saturday matinees like the classic Creature of the Black Lagoon.

Elliott said he also attended performances at The Crest or the Alhambra Theatre while growing us as well. He said he saw both Annie and Jailhouse Rock while growing up, which inspired him to seriously pursue acting.

Whenever he returns to Sacramento nowadays, Elliott told Sactown Magazine that he still visits his childhood home. He said his family took gardening seriously. They raised a patch of award-winning begonias while Elliott was young.

The State Fair was also held near Sacramento when Elliott was growing up. He said he often thinks about these memories now that he’s departed “lovely” California for northeast Portland.

Upcoming Performances

Even though Elliott is now 76-years-old, he is still acting and performing. Elliott has regularly appeared on television shows such as “Robot Chicken” and “Family Guy” for the past eight years. He also appeared on “The Ranch” as Beau Bennett between 2016 and 2020.

Elliott is also part of a show that will air on Peacock in 2021 called MacGruber. According to IMDB, the show is loosely based on a skit from Saturday Night Live spoofing the hit 1980s series “MacGuyver.” Elliott plays the role of “Perry” though few details about the show have been released.