It’s a question every star struggles with at some point: How do you know when you’ve “made it?”
In a recent interview with The Off Camera Show, actor Sam Elliott revealed the moment he realized he “made it.”
“When I signed my first contract with FOX, I was a professional actor,” Elliott said during the interview. “I started getting paid, and I worked a little bit. Most kids didn’t honor the contract. Tom Selleck and I both worked more than anybody else there. We both started at the exact same time. He was fresh out of USC, and I was fresh out of Oregon.”
At the time, Elliott said he was making $85 per week while his rent was $85 per month. He added that he often lived “right out the back gate” from the FOX studios so as to cut down on his morning commute.
This living situation also paid dividends toward his career growth, Elliott said. He remembers meeting some people who worked in FOX’s legal department that let him get access to scripts before the casting department. Elliott said he got quite a few jobs from these advanced reading sessions.
Today, Elliott is recognized as the most famous cowboy still working in television.
Sam Elliott’s Long Road to Fame
Fame didn’t come easy to Elliott. In fact, many of his early roles were background characters. For example, he played “Missouri Townsman” in the television series “The Way West.” However, that role is uncredited, according to IMDb.
Elliott’s first big role came two years into his career when he a role in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, even though it was just as “Cardplayer #2.” The screen time led to more roles for Elliott, such as Martin Reed in “The Land of Giants” and Doug Robert in the original “Mission Impossible” series.
After the success of “Mission Impossible,” Elliott climbed the ranks and earned spots in “Gunsmoke” and the original “Hawaii Five-0.”
More recently, Elliott has appeared on animated adult series such as “Robot Chicken” and “Family Guy.” He also voiced Trusty in the 2019 remake of The Lady and the Tramp as well as Fleetwood Yak in Rock Dog.
Fans of Elliott will be able to see him in the upcoming series MacGruber, alongside Laurence Fishbourne and Mickey Rourke. The show is based on a 1980’s sketch performed on Saturday Night Live that parodies “McGyver.”
Elliott also makes regular appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He’s also going to appear in a documentary called The Chainsaw Artist, which details a chainsaw sculptor as he develops his craft.