‘1883’ Star Eric Nelsen Posts Epic Birthday Tribute to Sam Elliott

by Lauren Boisvert

Eric Nelsen and Sam Elliott worked together on the “Yellowstone” prequel “1883,” and that work has created lasting memories. For Elliott’s birthday today, August 9th, Nelsen shared a series of photos of the Western star. He also shared some kind words about the time they shared on screen.

“Happy birthday, Sam Elliott,” Nelsen wrote in the caption. “You led us with strength, fearlessness, generosity, kindness, and grace every step of our journey. I’ll forever be grateful to know you. Getting to share the western screen was just an unimaginable bonus. Love you, brother.”

A Short Appreciation for the Quintessential Western Star On His Birthday

Today is Sam Elliott’s 78th birthday. I’d say he deserves all the love for his hard work, dedication to the craft, and that killer mustache. Elliott has had a long and storied career, mostly in Westerns, which I would say are his specialty. He’s the picture of a typical cowboy, and he fits right in historical dramas. He notably starred in “Tombstone” as Virgil Earp, “The Big Lebowski” as a God-like cowboy narrator, and the 1987 version of “The Quick and the Dead.” Although, Westerns aren’t all he knows. He’s also done work in many dramas, thrillers, and horror movies. For instance, 1978’s horror film “The Legacy” where he met his future wife, Katharine Ross.

As for his most recent project, he portrayed Shea Brennan in Taylor Sheridan’s Western series “1883.” Shea was a former soldier who became a Pinkerton Agent along with fellow soldier and friend Thomas. The two were tasked with making sure the German immigrants made it out West. They came upon a few tragedies and hardships along the way, though. The least of these being having to deal with James Dutton and his family. Shea’s story ended tragically, but somehow right for his character. He chose to join his dead wife and child while sitting by the ocean.

Eric Nelsen Remembers Time On Set With Sam Elliott, Calls Him ‘Down-to-Earth’

Back in January, when “1883” was about a month away from its explosive ending, Eric Nelsen described what working with Sam Elliott was like. Elliott was clearly greatly loved by his costars. They’ve all told stories about how kind and patient he was on set. For instance, Thomas actor LaMonica Garrett recalled a moment when Elliott gave an extra a pep talk. She messed up a scene, and he effectively calmed her down. Eric Nelsen recalled similar experiences with Elliotts demeanor, calling him “the most down-to-Earth” person.

“Sam is probably the most down-to-earth, giving man you’ll ever meet,” Nelsen told Town and Country at the time. “He’s not one to hide out in his trailer. He loves to just be sitting out there with everybody. Even when he’s done filming and his scenes are wrapped, he hangs out, supports all of us, watches the rest of the scenes for the day.”