Sam Elliott began his acting career on the stage; his film debut was in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Long perceived as personifying the American cowboy, most opportunities to act in Westerns have come via television, in projects such as The Sacketts, The Shadow Riders, Travis McGee, The Quick and the Dead, The Yellow Rose, Buffalo Girls, The Desperate Trail and Rough Riders. He played Brig. Gen. John Buford in the feature Gettysburg. Subsequent films include Tombstone, We Were Soldiers, Hulk, Thank You for Smoking, The Golden Compass and Up in the Air.