Portland's Sam Elliott Nabs Oscar Nom for A Star Is Born

Before fame and fortune, Elliott graduated from David Douglas High School in 1962.

By Marty Patail January 22, 2019

Sam Elliott and Bradley Cooper at the 30th Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on January 17, 2019

One-time Northeast Portland teenager and current big-time Hollywood mustache-haver Sam Elliott has been nominated for an Oscar for his role as Bradley Cooper's brother in A Star Is Born. The movie picked up eight total nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actress. 

This is the first-ever Oscar nomination for the 1962 David Douglas High School alum, known as much for his mustache as for his soothing, baritone growl. His 50-plus-year career has included iconic roles in Tombstone, The Big Lebowski, and Road House. (Let's not forget his incredible turn as Ron Swanson's hippie counterpart on NBC's Parks & Rec.) When asked for his reaction to the Oscar nomination by, he joked, "I think the thing off the top of my head might be, ‘It’s about f*cking time.'"

Notably, should Elliott win, he would not be the first Oscar winner from David Douglas. According to the school's no-doubt unimpeachable Wikipedia page, that honor belongs to Dennis Gassner, a Canadian-born set designer nominated five times for his work on Barton Fink, Into the Woods, and Blade Runner 2049. He won an Oscar for Production Design for 1991's Bugsy.

Before Elliott was even cast in A Star Is Born, Cooper had modeled his character's gravelly voice on Elliott's. In a Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross, Cooper said: "And at some point I asked [my dialect coach] ... Where is Sam Elliott from? Because I can't quite place his accent and I had no idea he was from Sacramento, Calif. And then I learned that his mother is from Texas and was a huge influence on him, and so his voice—he has this accent that you can't quite place."

The 91st Academy Awards will take place on February 24.

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