Sam Rockwell is an American actor known for his performances in films such as Charlie’s Angels, The Green Mile, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
He was born on November 5, 1968, in Daly City, California. He made his stage debut at age 10, playing Humphrey Bogart in an improvised sketch opposite his mother. He attended the School of the Arts High School in San Francisco, although he dropped out. He nevertheless renewed his love for acting after finally graduating in another high school, and moved to New York after appearing in an independent film to further his career.
Rockwell’s first film was the Francis Ford Coppola-directed Clownhouse, released in 1989. He trained at the William Esper Studios in New York at age 18, while appearing in guest spots for television series such as NYPD Blue and Law & Order, as well as small roles in films like Last Exit to Brooklyn and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In 1994, he appeared in a Miller beer commercial, which finally enabled him to pursue acting full-time.
In 1996, he was cast as an eccentric man-child in the film Box of Moon Light. Rockwell believes that this has been a turning point in his career, as he received offers later on. He appeared in the 1997 film Lawn Dogs, which won him Best Actor plaudits from the Montreal World Film Festival and the Catalonian International Film Festival. In 1999, he played the villain “Wild Bill” Wharton in the film The Green Mile.
In 2002, Rockwell appeared in his biggest film role, as Chuck Barris in the film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. He won applause for the performance. He has also appeared in films such as 2000’s Charlie’s Angels, 2003’s Matchstick Men, 2005’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and 2007’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.