Marriages made in Hollywood aren't exactly known for their longevity; lengthy unions between two stars tend to draw a lot of attention. Think: 's celebrated 50-year marriage or, in terms of a more contemporary couple, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick's notable 29-year union.
But not all rock-solid relationships make headlines. Many people have no idea that Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross are together, much less that they've been married for 33 years. Perhaps even more incredibly, it looks like the fifth time proved to be the charm for Ross, who was divorced four times when she tied the knot with Elliott.
Ross, 77, is best known for her iconic roles as Elaine Robinson in The Graduate (1967), Etta Place in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and Joanna Eberhart in The Stepford Wives (1975). Her — none of which lasted longer than five years — were to Joel Fabiani (1960-1962), John Marion (1964-1967), Conrad L. Hall (1969-1974), and Gaetano Lisi (1974-1979).
Elliott, 73, known for his bushy mustache as well as for his cowboy, biker and military characters, currently stars in the Netflix series The Ranch. He's also known for roles in the films Tombstone and The Big Lebowski , and the television series Justified (2015), among many others. He's also served as of forest fire-prevention mascot "Smokey Bear" since 2008.
Ross and Elliott met in 1978 while filming the horror movie The Legacy in London, in which they played a couple who are among a group of guests terrorized at a creepy English estate. Actually, Elliott had a small role in Butch Cassidy nearly a decade earlier, but he and Ross never met on set. "I didn't dare try to talk to her then. She was the leading lady. I was a shadow on the wall, a glorified extra in a bar scene," Elliott told in 2015.
The two apparently saw a lot more of each other while making Legacy — in fact, Elliott's bare posterior in the film was lauded in The Bare Facts, a guide to nudity in film, according to his . Asked if she was first attracted to Elliott's baritone voice, rugged good looks, or mustache, Ross told : "Probably all that and more. We were working together and one thing led to another. And here we are."
Back then, Ross was on her fourth husband and Elliott had never been married. Ross divorced in 1979 and married Elliott in 1984. Their daughter, Cleo Rose, was born later that year and is now a musician.
Elliott nearly passed on his breakout role as Cher's biker boyfriend in the 1985 film Mask because he and Ross were on their honeymoon in Hawaii, according to . After Elliott told his agent he wouldn't return early to test for the role, Ross called the agent back that night to say she'd get her husband back in time.
Ross must have sensed the role would be a turning point for Elliott. As the Los Angeles Times stated in 1985, "His portrayal of the compassionate biker Gar has received nearly as much critical attention as the performances by the film's stars, Eric Stoltz and Cher."
The couple appeared together on screen again this year. Elliott stars in as an aging Western film icon; Ross plays his character's ex-wife. Both actors have projects in the pipeline: Elliott is slated to appear in several upcoming films, including A Star is Born in 2018, while Ross is starring in the comedy Attachments, currently in post-production.
The two divide their time between homes in California and Oregon. As Elliott , marriage is work, but it's worth it. "We have a common sensibility, but we also work at being together," he said. "You work past the sh*t; you don't walk away from it. That's how relationships last."
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