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Will Sampson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 27 September 1933Okmulgee, Oklahoma, USA
Date of Death 3 June 1987Houston, Texas, USA  (complications from heart and lung transplant surgery)
Height 6' 5" (1.96 m)

Mini Bio (1)

A Native American actor of the Creek Nation, Sampson's "big break" came from his memorable role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) opposite Jack Nicholson. He was also starred opposite Clint Eastwood in the western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). He had supporting roles in Orca (1977), The White Buffalo (1977) and Fish Hawk (1979). In 1986, he co-starred in Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) as a Native American shaman. He died of complications from kidney failure and malnutrition during heart and lung replacement surgery in 1987 and was buried on the reservation where he grew up.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Blythe379@cs.com

Trivia (7)

Father of Tim Sampson.
Was a member of the Creek Nation.
Founder of the American Indian Registry for the Performing Arts.
According to an episode of The Yellow Rose (1983), he was 6' 7".
He is said to be the third victim of the legendary "Poltergeist Curse". Sampson starred in Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), and during filming he allegedly claimed that the production was haunted. He supposedly used Native American rituals to bless sets and locations to stave off the curse. Regardless, the legend holds that he became another victim of the curse, dying of complications during heart and lung surgery a year after the film's release. Other supposed victims of the curse include Dominique Dunne, who was murdered shortly after the release of Poltergeist (1982), Julian Beck who died of stomach cancer during filming of Poltergeist II, and Heather O'Rourke, who died of complications from Crohn's Disease before Poltergeist III (1988) was released.
He is buried within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation boundaries. Craig T. Nelson, Poltergeist co-star, happened to be passing through the area and wanted to pay his respects. He drove around for 4 or 5 hours trying to find the cemetery when he finally stopped at a corner store and asked where Will Sampson was buried. As it turned out, the man standing next to Nelson in the store was Sampson's cousin, and told Nelson he'd show him the spot. It was cicada season, and Nelson remembers the buzzing was overwhelming. He approached Sampson's grave and said something to the effect of "Hey Will, its Craig". Within three or four seconds, Nelson recalls, the sound of the cicadas tapered off and stopped entirely.
In 1977, appeared in two movies that set man against beast, both very reminiscent of Jaws (1975): Orca (1977) and The White Buffalo (1977).

Personal Quotes (1)

Hollywood writers and directors are still using 'em for livestock. They somehow just can't seem to bring it around to give the truth about Indians.

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