Sam Waterston Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (33) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 15 November 1940Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Birth NameSamuel Atkinson Waterston
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Sam Waterston was born on November 15, 1940 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA as Samuel Atkinson Waterston. He is an actor and producer, known for Law & Order (1990), The Killing Fields (1984) and The Man in the Moon (1991). He has been married to Lynn Louisa Woodruff since January 26, 1976. They have three children. He was previously married to Barbara Rutledge Johns.

Spouse (2)

Lynn Louisa Woodruff (26 January 1976 - present) (3 children)
Barbara Rutledge Johns (28 December 1964 - 16 September 1975) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Frequently portrays Abraham Lincoln (three times) and other Presidents of the United States.
Jack McCoy in the Law & Order (1990) franchise and Homicide: Life on the Street (1993).

Trivia (33)

Once lived in a house previously owned by New Yorker writer James Thurber.
Son of George Chychele Waterston aka G. Chychele Waterston or George C. Waterston (b. Leith, Scotland, 20 May 1904, d. Sharon, Connecticut, 13 May 1995), diplomat, linguist, and wife (m. Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 6 July 1935) Alice Tucker Atkinson (b. Brookline, Massachusetts, 10 December 1905, d. Sharon, Connecticut, 29 November 1993), and maternal grandson of musician Robert Whitman Atkinson (b. Heath Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, 14 December 1868, d. Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, 21 August 1934), Harvard 1891, and wife (m. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 5 March 1904) Elizabeth Bispham Page (b. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 27 March 1875, d. Middleborough, Massachusetts, January 1962).
He attended Groton Prep School and then entered Yale University on a scholarship (1958) where he studied French and History and graduated with a Bachelor's degree (1962). He spent his junior year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. After failing to quash the acting bug, he studied at the American Actors Workshop in Paris. After leaving Yale, he spent some months at the Clinton Playhouse. He resides in Connecticut with his wife.
Received an honorary degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut (2001).
Forrest Bedford, Waterston's character on I'll Fly Away (1991), was ranked #17 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].
Received an honorary degree (Doctor of Fine Arts) from the University of the South on October 12, 2004.
Is the official spokesperson for TD Waterhouse, the online investment company. He appears in most of their television commercials (2003/2004).
Was nominated for Broadway's 1994 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for playing Abraham Lincoln in a revival of Robert E. Sherwood's "Abe Lincoln in Illinois".
Ranked #23 on Tropopkin magazine's Top 25 Most Intriguing People [Issue #100].
Has appeared in episodes of four different series with Jerry Orbach: Law & Order (1990), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) and Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005).
Has appeared in episodes of three different television series with Jesse L. Martin: Law & Order (1990), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) and Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005).
Has appeared in episodes of four different series with Richard Belzer: Law & Order (1990), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) and Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005).
Has the distinction of starring on two television series in which he played a prosecutor -- District Attorney Forrest Bedford on I'll Fly Away (1991) and District Attorney Jack McCoy on Law & Order (1990).
Has appeared in five films with Stockard Channing: David's Mother (1994), The Room Upstairs (1987), Sweet Revenge (2001), The Matthew Shepard Story (2002) and Le divorce (2003). In the last two, they played husband and wife.
Both he and his Rancho Deluxe (1975) and Heaven's Gate (1980) co-star Jeff Bridges were Oscar nominated for Best Actor in 1984, for The Killing Fields (1984) and Starman (1984) respectively.
Winner of the 2003 Richard Nelson Current Award of Achievement, awarded annually by the Lincoln Forum.
Three of his children followed him into the show business industry: Elisabeth Waterston, Katherine Waterston and James Waterston.
Voices the television advertisement for "The Nation", a political commentary magazine with a progressive viewpoint. Included is the line "The Nation gives you that liberal media slant you can't get anywhere else.".
Has a summer home in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.
Was good friends with Bruce Lee.
Father-in-law of Louis Cancelmi.
Direct descendant of Richard Warren and wife Elizabeth Walker, Mayflower passengers.
Eight cousin three times removed of George Bush and four times removed of George W. Bush and eighth cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Father of four children: Elisabeth Waterston, Katherine Waterston and Graham Waterston with his wife, Lynn Louisa Woodruff and James Waterston with his ex-wife, Barbara Rutledge-Johns.
Has played the same character (Jack McCoy) on four different series and one TV movie: Law & Order (1990), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999), Law & Order: Trial by Jury (2005) and Exiled (1998).
Has played five U.S. Presidents: Abraham Lincoln three times, Lincoln (1988), The Civil War (1990) (voice only), and "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" on Broadway (1994); Thomas Jefferson (voice only) in Thomas Jefferson (1997); fictional President William Foster in The Enemy Within (1994); Theodore Roosevelt in Freedom to Speak (1983); and the unnamed fictional President in Shadow Conspiracy (1997).
Has appeared in 367 episodes of Law & Order (1990), more than anyone other than S. Epatha Merkerson.
Shared a $25-a-month Greenwich Village apartment in New York City with friend and fellow actor Tom Ligon in the early 1960s.
As of 2016, has appeared in two films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: The Killing Fields (1984) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986).
Has appeared in four films directed by Woody Allen: Interiors (1978), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), September (1987) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).
Has appeared in four films with Mia Farrow: The Great Gatsby (1974), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), September (1987) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). Of these four, only The Great Gatsby (1974) was not directed by Woody Allen. It was directed by Jack Clayton.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7040 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 7, 2010.
In The Enemy Within (1994) and Shadow Conspiracy (1997), he played fictional U.S. presidents who went under serious threats of being removed from office.

Personal Quotes (5)

[on lawyers] It's more fun to play one than to be one.
I came to New York in 1962 and it began to look like I might be able to make a living in 1972.
My father said "Success is like smoking. It's wonderful if you don't inhale." That was his own aphorism and I think it's the very best thing he could have said to me or anyone else on the subject.
If I have to be typecast, I'd like it to be Abraham Lincoln.
The truth is that, at any time in this business, you could fall off the end of the world.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page