The Evolution Of Sam Elliott’s Mustache: 18 Roles You Might Have Missed

Sam Elliott’s mustache’s career in showbiz spans three decades. Sam Elliott has been working in Hollywood even longer. The man oozes more masculinity than the entire cast of The Expendables and he doesn’t need a machine gun or rocket launcher to grab attention — all he has to do is speak. Most people from my generation probably best know Sam Elliott as the sarsaparilla-sipping cowboy that befriends The Dude, or the old bouncer who saves Patrick Swayze’s ass in Roadhouse, but Elliott already had 20 years of TV and movie credits before Roadhouse came out in theaters. Then there are the westerns. So many westerns…

One of Elliott’s first roles was a small part in the classic western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and from there he appeared in TV shows like Mission Impossible, Hawaii Five-O, and movies like The Sacketts with Tom Selleck — double the mustache power! To celebrate Sam Elliott’s 70th birthday I had planned to grow a bushy mustache, get in a bar fight, and then nurse my wounds with an ice-cold sarsaparilla, but my weekend was already too full. (Maybe next year.) So instead, here are 18 Sam Elliott roles most have forgotten about, starting with one of his first and ending with his most recent — and possibly one of his greatest??

1. Felony Squad, Station Attendant — 1968-69
“Kiss Me, Kill You,” “The Fatal Hours,” “Blind Terror”

2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Card Player #2 — 1969

3. Mission Impossible, Doug Robert — 1970
various episodes

4. Evel Knievel, Evel — 1974
(CBS produced this show but it never made it past the pilot episode.)

5. Lifeguard, Rick — 1976

6. Once an Eagle, Sam Damon — 1976-77
various episodes

7. The Sacketts, Tell Sackett — 1979
(Sam Elliott AND Tom Selleck?! That’s almost too much mustache for a movie to handle.)

8. Mask, Gar — 1985

9. Fatal Beauty, Mike Marshak — 1987

10. Shakedown, Richie Marks — 1988

11. Prancer, John Riggs –1989

12. Sibling Rivalry, Charles Turner Jr. — 1990

13. Buffalo Girls, Wild Bill Hickok — 1995

14. Rough Riders, Capt. Bucky O’Neil — 1997

15. We Were Soldiers, Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley — 2002

16. Thank You for Smoking, Lorne Lutch — 2005

17. Marmaduke, Chupadogra — 2009

18. Parks and Recreation, Ron Dunn aka “Eagleton Ron” — 2013-14
“Doppelgangers” and “Flu Season”