Date Of Birth

November 15, 1940


Sam Waterston is an actor who has made a name for himself on stage and on both the big and small screen. Best known for playing Jack McCoy on the NBC television series Law & Order, as well as Sydney Schanberg in 1984’s The Killing Fields, he has received numerous awards throughout his career which spans over 40 years.

Waterson, whose theater credits include Hamlet and Much A Do About Nothing, first appeared in the 1965 film The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean. This was followed by a series of movie projects such as Generation, Who Killed Mary Whats’ername?, Interiors, Capricorn One, Sweet Revenge, Journey Into Fear and Rancho Deluxe.

In 1980, Waterson became active again on TV as he joined the cast of Oppenheimer. Subsequently, he appeared on QED, The Civil War as Abraham Lincoln, and I’ll Fly Away where he played Forrest Bedford for three years.

From 1994 to 2010, Waterson appeared on Law & Order, and occasionally on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Trial by Jury as his most famous character Jack McCoy. In 2012, he became part of the cast of The Newsroom as Charlie Skinner. At present, he is one of the cast members of Grace and Frankie.

Place of Birth

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Birth Name

Samuel Atkinson Waterston



Fun Facts

-He has one child with ex-wife Barbara Rutledge-Johns and three children with present wife Lynn Louisa Woodruff.

-He was friends with Bruce Lee.


Primetime Emmy:
1996 – Outstanding Informational Series, “Lost Civilizations”

Golden Globe Award:
1993 – Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Drama, “I’ll Fly Away”

Screen Actors Guild:
1999 – Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series, “Law & Order”


2015 Grace and Frankie (TV Series)
2012-2014 The Newsroom (TV Series)
2013 The Colbert Report (TV Series)
2013 Jo (TV Series)
2013 The Path to Violence (TV Series)
2011 President Lincoln’s Inauguration Re-enactment (TV Movie)
1994-2010 Law & Order (TV series)
2000-2010 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV series)
2007 Masters of Science Fiction (TV series)
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury (TV series)
2003 The Commission
2003 Le divorce
2002 The Matthew Shepard Story (TV movie)
2000 A House Divided (TV movie)
2000 Family Guy (TV series)
1997-1999 Homicide: Life on the Street (TV series)
1999 Great Books (TV series)
1998 Exiled (TV movie)
1998 Miracle at Midnight (TV movie)
1997 Shadow Conspiracy
1997 Thomas Jefferson (TV mini-series)
1996 The Proprietor
1995 The Journey of August King
1994 Serial Mom
1994 David’s Mother (TV movie)
1994 Assault at West Point: The Court-Martial of Johnson Whittaker (TV movie)
1994 The Enemy Within (TV movie)
1993 I’ll Fly Away: Then and Now (TV movie)
1993 Tales from the Crypt (TV series)
1991-1993 I’ll Fly Away (TV series)
1993 A Captive in the Land
1993 A Dog Race in Alaska (short)
1992 Warburg: A Man of Influence (TV mini-series)
1991 The Man in the Moon
1990 Lantern Hill (TV movie)
1990 Mindwalk
1990 The Civil War (TV mini-series documentary)
1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors
1989 Welcome Home
1989 The Nightmare Years (TV mini-series)
1988 The American Experience (TV series documentary)
1988 Lincoln (TV movie)
1988 Terrorist on Trial: The United States vs. Salim Ajami (TV movie)
1988 A Walk in the Woods (TV movie)
1987 September
1987 Devil’s Paradise
1987 Hallmark Hall of Fame (TV series)
1987 Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light (TV series)
1986 Flagrant d?sir
1986 Just Between Friends
1986 Amazing Stories (TV series)
1986 The Fifth Missile (TV movie)
1986 Hannah and Her Sisters
1985 Warning Sign
1985 Love Lives On (TV movie)
1985 Finnegan Begin Again (TV movie)
1984 The Killing Fields
1984 The Boy Who Loved Trolls (TV movie)
1983 Dempsey (TV movie)
1983 In Defense of Kids (TV movie)
1982 Games Mother Never Taught You (TV movie)
1982 Q.E.D. (TV series)
1982 Freedom to Speak (TV mini-series)
1980 Oppenheimer (TV mini-series)
1980 Heaven’s Gate
1980 Hopscotch
1980 Sweet William
1979 Eagle’s Wing
1979 Friendly Fire (TV movie)
1978 Interiors
1978 Capricorn One
1976 Sweet Revenge
1975 Journey Into Fear
1975 Rancho Deluxe
1974 Reflections of Murder (TV movie)
1974 The Great Gatsby
1973 The Glass Menagerie (TV movie)
1973 Much Ado About Nothing (TV movie)
1972 Savages
1972 Mahoney’s Estate
1971 NET Playhouse (TV series)
1971 Who Killed Mary Whats’ername?
1970 Cover Me Babe
1969/I Three
1969 Generation
1967 Fitzwilly
1967 N.Y.P.D. (TV series)
1966 Hawk (TV series)
1965 Dr. Kildare (TV series)
1965 The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean


6′ 1″ (1.85 m