Mark S. King

In the Beginning there was Sam Elliott

Filed By Mark S. King | November 17, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: hot gay guys, Sam Elliott

A moment of reverence, please. In 1975, I went to the movies and discovered everything I needed to know about men, sexual allure, chest hair and the masculine ideal that would fuel my fantasies for the rest of my natural life.

Elliott MAIN (2).jpgThe film was Lifeguard and the star was Sam Elliott.

You unfortunate folks under 40 may know Elliott from his more recent roles, typically as a gruff, western-styled codger with a handlebar mustache and a low voice like thick maple syrup with pecans mixed in (recent photos after the jump). In that case, you've missed the man that set the gold standard. Before there was Tom Selleck and long before the Baldwin brothers, there was only Sam.

Sam (also right) mirrored the swarthy stars of gay porn flicks of the time, stars with names like Jack Wrangler and titles like Kansas City Trucking Company. But Sam's good looks were more intense and he was, of course, more unattainable. The glamour of mainstream Hollywood film making may have polished his sheen, but Sam's knee-weakening smirk and that twinkle in his eye did all the heavy lifting.

Sam Elliott never exploited himself as a sex symbol, and his style is so laid back it's possible to imagine he might not be aware of his own magnetism. Well, possible, but unlikely.

Sam Older.jpgHe's also a family man, having been snagged early by fellow seventies icon Katherine Ross, who probably hasn't left him alone a single moment since they were married in 1984. The fact he has a longtime, successful marriage and has been without tabloid shenanigans makes him all the more endearing.

In the late 1980's, during the darkest, brutal years of the AIDS epidemic, my brother sang in a gay choir in Los Angeles that was asked to perform as part of a display of the AIDS Quilt. Hollywood was fraught with grief and the biggest stars regularly attended such events.

On this night, seemingly every star of every caliber was there, including the gorgeous couple Sam Elliott and Katherine Ross. Just as the program was about to begin, an electrical outage plunged the venue into darkness. Unable to proceed, organizers apologized and invited everyone to return the following night.

My brother and his choir returned. The Quilt returned, as did grieving families and supporters. But none of the stars returned, either committed to other appearances or knowing the media coverage would be diminished. None of them, that is, except Katherine Ross and Sam Elliott, who sat through the entire program and then chatted with fans for some time afterward.

It may spoil my lifelong crush to admit this, but those are two very fine people and they deserve one another.

I'll just sit here quietly, and continue to worship Sam Elliott from afar.


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Regan DuCasse | November 17, 2010 5:49 PM

I met him in person. I was looking for a set and was on the wrong one. He pointed me in the right direction, and man alive...he's hot.
Still hot.
I just LOVE how he cocks his head in that knowing way and how his eyes twinkle.
Katherine Ross is a VERY lucky lady!

Ah, Sam. I too have admired him from afar for many years (and still do). It's nice to know he's not only a looker, but a good guy, too.

I have seen some of his movies but baby, whew, his voice, mustache and chest hair is too fine and sexy that you want to jump his bones. He just says and spells sexy. A good chest hair scene is from a film called Sibling Rivalry starring Kirstie Alley and Bill Pullman. Kirstie and Bill are married and she has a sexual one-day affair. The sexual experience is great and as Kirstie would say, Roch n' Roll and Sam's character is rocking her world. Afterwards, she realizes he's dead plus Bill Pullman's brother. The scene is when she checks on for his breathing and the chest hair is very, very full all the way up to the neck. The sexual scene was very arousal but showing the chest hair...finished the job as all I am going to say.

and I'll just sit here quietly and continue to worship Katherine Ross from afar.

I was totally in love with her from the moment I saw her on screen in The Graduate. She made me seriously wonder if I was perhaps actually straight.

after falling fur sam while watching "Frogs" over and over again on CBS's late friday night movie, i HAD to see "Lifeguard" when the commercials started being broadcast. i went to see it on aug 1, 1976 @ 3pm--and stayed halfway thru the 5pm show (you could do that back in those days). this movie, and sam, had an impact on me that lasts to this day, also.
so it's a minor point that the movie's release was 1976 and not '75. your heartfelt testimony is a credit to the teenidol, the actor, and the man--not to mention the woman he shares his life with.

Lifeguard changed my life too. I was 15 and no way any high school boy could ever be as gorgeous and have a smile like Sam's. Hence my succession of romances with older men until I found my very own version of my ideal. We 've been married for 18 years now.

A few years ago I wrote a little story called "Sam Elliott Changed My Life". I think you can Google it if you are interested. By the way, I still worship Sam too. My husband and I each have a list of celebrities we find dare I say sponge worthy. It works for us.

Thanks for the nice read. I have to pop in my DVD of "Lifeguard".