Sam Elliott’s Wife Katharine Ross Was Married 4 Times Before Marrying the Actor


Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross have been married for nearly 40 years. Both of them are iconic and award-winning actors, known for their onscreen presence and agelessly striking features. But before they found true love in each other, Katharine Ross was married four times. Here’s all you need to know about the Hollywood couple and their romance.

Videos by Rare

Katharine Ross’s Early Life

Katharine Ross was born on January 29, 1940, in Hollywood, California. Her father, Dudley Ross, was in the Navy, prompting the family to move around in Katharine’s youth. Her mother, Katherine Mullen, married Dudley in San Francisco, and the Bay area eventually became the Ross family’s home base. Katharine Ross attended Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek and then briefly enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College. Her first introduction to acting was in a college performance of The King and I. Katharine resonated so much with the process that she dropped out to study acting in San Francisco.

Ross’s Beauty and Talent Brought Her Early and Lasting Fame

Ross then relocated to Southern California to pursue her acting career. MGM picked her up but dropped her and she was quickly signed on with Universal and an agent by 1964. Between 1957 and 1965, Ross had over a dozen TV appearances although all but one were for one-off episodes. In 1965, she also landed a supporting role as Ann in Shenandoah. The next two years were spent doing both film and TV but her big breakout roles were in w 1967. First, she co-starred alongside James Caan and Simone Signoret in Games. Then she co-starred as Elaine Robinson in The Graduate. The latter won her a Golden Globe as well as an Oscar nomination.

In 1969, Katharine Ross played Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Coincidentally, Sam Elliott was in the same film. However, his role was minor, and he and Ross never connected on set. Ross starred in The Stepford Wives in 1975 and won a Saturn Award for Best Actress for the role. The following year, she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in Voyage of the Damned. Ross has continued to appear in TV and film, as well as voice act, despite being in semi-retirement. Her most recent notable credits are for Dr. Lilian Thurman in Donnie Darko (2001) and as Valerie Hayden in The Hero (2017), which also starred Sam Elliott.

Katharine Ross Married 4 Times Before Sam Elliott

Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott and daughter Cleo during Jurassic Park III Premiere – July 16, 2001 at Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

Throughout the years as a lauded Hollywood actress, Katharine Ross also found love — 5 times. Her first marriage was to Joel Fabiani, her college sweetheart and fellow actor. The two married in 1960 but they divorced two years later. Her next marriage was to John Marion from 1964 to 1967. In 1969, she married cinematographer Conrad Hall, but they divorced in 1974. The five-year mark seemed to be her limit as her next marriage was to actor Gaetano Lisi from 1974 to 1979.

Despite her stunning natural beauty and remarkable talent, it seemed that Katharine Ross was doomed to a cycle of marriage and divorce. Maybe it was written in the stars or maybe it was her leap of faith, but she saw something in Sam Elliott once they finally got to know each other. At the time that they met, Ross was still married to Gaetano Lisi. She quickly divorced Lisi but wouldn’t tie the knot with Elliott for another 5 years.

Sam Elliott’s Early Life

Sam Elliott was born August 9, 1944, in Sacramento, California. His mother, Glynn Mamie, was a teacher and his father, Henry Elliott, worked for the Department of the Interior. His family relocated to Portland, Oregon, when he was a teenager. After graduating from David Douglas High School, Elliott enrolled at the University of Oregon to study psychology and English. Like his future wife, Elliott dropped out. He then attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, where he turned heads as Big Jule in the stage production of Guys and Dolls. His performance, along with his uniquely deep voice, sparked a local newspaper to recommend that he fully dedicate himself to acting. After graduating from Clark, Elliott once again enrolled at the University of Oregon, but dropped out a second time after his father passed away of a heart attack.

Elliott then relocated to Los Angeles to pursue acting in the late 60s. His late father had previously warned him not to try. “My father once said, ‘You haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell in Hollywood.’ That motivated me,” Elliott once said. “My father was a good, practical man, but he came from a different time. He saw only a play or two of mine before he died. I think he’d be proud that his kid became the actor I did.” His general disposition, voice, and iconic mustache made him perfect for Westerns, which would both launch his career and stick with him forever.

Elliott and Ross Fell In Love While Filming The Legacy

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MAY 31: Actors Sam Elliott (L) and Katherine Ross attend the 5th Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 31, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for FIJI Water)

Elliott’s very first film role was uncredited in The Way West in 1967. From 1969 to 1970, he picked up several small roles in TV shows and TV movies. He also played “Card Player #2” in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Asked about what he thought of Katharine Ross at the time, he said he was too shy to talk to her.

“My wife, Katharine Ross, and I both worked on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but I didn’t dare try to talk to her then,” said Elliott. “She was the leading lady. I was a shadow on the wall, a glorified extra in a bar scene. It wasn’t until we made The Legacy [in 1978] that we actually interacted.”

In 1970, Sam Elliott landed a starring role as Doug Robert in the Mission: Impossible TV series. He continued to take part in TV and film, a great character actor but never a star. His first feature film was in Lifeguard in 1976. Then came The Legacy, a horror thriller which starred Elliott and Ross. The two fell in love and began dating in 1978. Three years later, Elliott co-starred again with Ross, now his girlfriend, and Farrah Fawcett, in the Murder in Texas miniseries.

Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott Married in 1984

Katherine Ross and actor Sam Elliot arrive at The Golden Compass premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on December 2, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross tied the knot in 1984. While they were on their honeymoon in Hawaii, Elliott was offered a supporting role alongside Cher in Mask. He initially turned it down because he didn’t want to cut his time with his newlywed wife short. However, Ross called her husband’s agent and said she’d get him back in time for the film. She may have made his career because Elliott was finally noticed for his talent. He continued to land role after role and has only become more iconic and desirable as a contributor over time. Some of Elliott’s notable films include Road House, The Big Lebowski, and A Star Is Born. He played Beau Bennett for 80 episodes of The Ranch and Shea Brennan in the Yellowstone spin-off 1883. Elliott’s voice has also made him a staple on countless TV shows and films, including The Good Dinosaur, Robot Chicken, and Family Guy. He’s been nominated for an Oscar, two Golden Globes, and two Primetime Emmys. He won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in 1883.

Cleo Rose Elliott: Sam and Katharine’s Only Child

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 24: Actress Katherine Ross, actor Sam Elliott and daughter Rose Elliott arrive for the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “A Star Is Born” held at The Shrine Auditorium on September 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Shortly after saying their vows in 1984, Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott welcome their first and only child. Their daughter, Cleo Rose Elliott, was born on September 17, 1984. Cleo unfortunately made big news in 2011 after attacking her mother with a pair of scissors. Ross was prompted to get a restraining order after Cleo threatened to kill her. Citing a history of increasingly abuse and violence since the age of 12 or 13, Ross seemed sincerely afraid at the time. However, that has mostly been swept under the rug at this point.

Since then, Cleo has created a successful career for herself as a singer. Trained classically from a young age, Cleo studied Italian opera at the Joanne Barron/D.W. Brown Acting Studio in Monica, California after graduating high school. She has been spotted over the years accompanying her parents at red carpet events and at the premiere of A Star Is Born. Cleo has been romantically linked to musician Randy Christopher Bates, who once referred to her as his fiancé. She keeps her personal life private but does post photos of her band on Instagram.

Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross Have Been Married for 40 Years — Because They Work Through Things

Katherine Ross, actor Sam Elliot and Cleo Rose Elliott arrive at “The Golden Compass” premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater on December 2, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Despite the rough patch with their daughter, Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross are going strong. And while they’ve kept the details of the 2011 incident fairly private since then, they’ve obviously worked through it with her as her parents as they still go out together. Not everything in life is as poetically simple and easy as Hollywood likes to make it appear. Elliott himself can attest to this. On creating a lasting marriage — his one and only, and his wife’s fifth but final — Elliott had these words to share:

“We have a common sensibility, but we also work at being together. You work past the sh*t; you don’t walk away from it. That’s how relationships last.”

Read More: Sam Elliott Says SAG Awards 2023 Win Is ‘The Most Meaningful Acknowledgement of My 55-Year Career’

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hospital Respiratory Therapist Who Denied Being a Serial Killer Charged With Murder

Keke Palmer and Darius Jackson Welcome First Child: Leodis ‘Leo’ Andrellton