Sam Elliott’s Wife Katharine Ross Got Banned from the Set of the Classic ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’: Here’s Why

by Clayton Edwards

 Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross tied the knot over three decades ago. Today, the actors have a deeply loving relationship. Elliott once said that their relationship has lasted so long because they work hard at it. They put in the extra work not only because they love one another but also because they want it to last. Before they were married, they crossed paths for the first time on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid went on to be one of the most popular westerns ever made. However, it was much more important for Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott. He became smitten with his future wife on that set. However, he couldn’t work up the gumption to talk to her. Later, they shared top billing in The Legacy and their romance blossomed. But, Ross almost wasn’t on the set of Butch Cassidy long enough to meet her future husband. She was actually banned from the set at one point.

Katharine Ross had a couple of reasons for being on the set of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. First and foremost, she had a role in the film. In fact, the film billed her name directly under Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Additionally, she was romantically linked to Conrad Hall, the film’s cinematographer. Their relationship is at the heart of why Ross was booted from the set.

Why Did Katharine Ross Get Banned from the Set?

Conrad Hall decided that it would be a good idea to let his then-girlfriend check out some of the camera equipment, according to The Vintage News. Katharine Ross “took a turn,” with one of the cameras. As the film’s lead cinematographer, Hall didn’t figure it would be a big deal. He couldn’t have been much more wrong in his assumption.

Another explanation of the events comes from YouTuber LandumC Goes There. He goes a little more in-depth with his video. Apparently, Katharine Ross was an avid photographer who knew her way around camera equipment. As a result, she started tinkering with one of the studio’s cameras. She made some changes to the settings. To make things worse, the film’s director ran a very tight ship. Any deviation from his plan would get under his skin.

As you would imagine, when director George Roy Hill found out that the young actress was messing with one of the cameras, he was furious. He was so furious, in fact, that he banned Katherine Ross from the set unless she was working on a scene. If she wasn’t in front of a camera, she had to vacate the premises.

As LandumC Goes There notes, the real details of the incident aren’t clear. Both Hill and Ross have kept quiet about it over the years.