Samuel Pack Elliott was born August 9, 1944, and graduated from David Douglas High School in Portland, Oregon in 1962. He began acting as a student at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, and was cast in Card Player #2 in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid in 1969.
Along the way to playing Wade Garrett in Road House, The Stranger who narrates the action in The Big Lebowski, Virgil Earp in Tombstone, and Cher’s lover, Gar, in Mask, Eliott has also put in an appearance as the Father of Portland, his own hometown.
In I Will Fight No More Forever (1975), Elliot played “Captain” (he was actually a lieutenant at the time of the dramatized events) Charles Erskine Scott Wood, a soldier-turned -lawyer-turned-poet who liked to both read and spend money, and in the pursuit of both pleasures helped to civilize Stumptown.
Here’s Tim Barnes’ excellent description:
C.E.S. Wood may have been the most influential cultural figure in Portland in the forty years surrounding the turn of the nineteenth century into the twentieth. He helped found the Portland Art Museum and was instrumental in making the Multnomah County Library a free and public institution. He secured the services of his friend Olin Warner, a nationally known sculptor, to design the Skidmore Fountain and his words, “Good citizens are the riches of a city,” are inscribed at its base. The Portland Rose Festivalwas his idea. He numbered among his friends Mark Twain, Emma Goldman, John Reed, Clarence Darrow, Lincoln Steffens, AnselAdams, John Steinbeck, Charlie Chaplin, James J. Hill, and Langston Hughes. Soldier, lawyer, poet, painter, raconteur, bon vivant, politician, free spirit, and Renaissance man, Wood might also be the most interesting man in Oregon history.
Here’s C. E. S. Wood:
I doubt Sam Elliott knew that he was playing the Father Of Portland when he appeared as Capt. Wood in I Shall Fight No More Forever. I’d love for him to return to television to reprise this role. Maybe Carrie Brownstein will ask him to make a guest appearance during the next season of Portlandia.