Sam Elliott’s Wife, ‘Gunsmoke’ Actress Katharine Ross, Celebrating 81st Birthday

by Emily Morgan
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Katharine Ross, wife of mustachioed actor Sam Elliot, is spending the day celebrating her 81st trip around the sun. 

However, Ross is much more than a wife to the legendary gruff actor. Like her husband, she’s also been apart of the entertainment industry for decades, appearing in numerous films and stage productions. 

Meet Katharine Ross

Born on January 29, 1940, Ross’s parents raised her in Los Angeles, California. Her father was in the navy and had also worked for the Associated Press. 

Her family later left Los Angeles and moved to Walnut Creek, California, where she attended La Lomas High School. She graduated in 1957 and began her college career at Diablo Valley College, where she had her first onscreen role in a student film. 

While in school, her film professors introduced her to acting through the production of “The King and I.” 

However, after one year, she left the course and moved to San Francisco to find work as an actor. For three years, she was apart of The Actors Workshop from 1959 to 1962. 

In 1962, she had her first television appearance in the legal drama “Sam Benedict.” After impressing directors, she landed roles in other movies and television shows, including “Arrest and Trial,” “The Virginian,” “Gunsmoke,” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.”

 In 1967 her career took off when she appeared in the Oscar-winning film, The Graduate as Elaine Robinson. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Oscar nomination.

Besides her work in film and television, she’s also a published children’s book author. 

Like many celebrity couples, Elliot and Ross met on a film set. Yet, unlike others, they have been married for over three decades. 

In 1969 the two met when they starred in the western film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Katharine Ross played the leading lady Etta Place, alongside Paul Newman and Robert Redford. 

In contrast, Sam Elliott had a much smaller role, but that didn’t stop him from making his move. While he and his future wife didn’t have any scenes together, the two would reunite in 1978. 

That year, they were cast in a film called The Legacy. This time, they were able to get much closer. Soon after filming, they tied the knot, and one year later, they welcomed their first and only child.

Their daughter, Cleo Rose, was born in 1984. Like her parents, the 37-year-old also works in the entertainment industry, but as a musician. In 2008, she released her debut album titled, No More Lies.

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