Sam Waterston’s portrayal of charismatic, tough District Attorney Jack McCoy, in Wolf Films/Universal Network Television’s Law & Order, has earned three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, the 1999 Screen Actors Guild Award, a Screen Actors Guild nomination in 1998 and a Golden Globe nomination in 1995.
Waterston received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for The Killing Fields, three Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award for I’ll Fly Away, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Most Promising Newcomer for the “Nick Carraway” role in The Great Gatsby. He was awarded an Emmy as host of the ten-part NBC informational series Lost Civilizations, and, in England, has received numerous BAFTA nominations.
Waterston’s extensive film credits include Woody Allen’s films Interiors, Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors, John Waters’ Serial Mom, Hopscotch and Heaven’s Gate and two Anthony Harvey films; Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie with Katharine Hepburn, Michael Moriarty, and Joanna Miles and Eagles Wing with Martin Sheen and Harvey Keitel. He starred opposite Jeff Bridges in Tom McGuane’s Rancho Deluxe and with Reese Witherspoon in Man in the Moon. On television, he played “Oppenheimer” in mini-series of the same name, produced and starred opposite Jennifer Beals and Lisa Gay Hamilton in the cable movie A House Divided, and portrayed Abraham Lincoln opposite Mary Tyler Moore in Gore Vidal's television mini-series, Lincoln. Waterston starred in the NBC movie, The Matthew Shepard Story, opposite Stockard Channing and his recent films include The Commission with Martin Landau and Le Divorce with Kate Hudson, Glenn Close and Stockard Channing.
Waterston earned a Tony Award nomination as Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York, and an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for his “Benedick” in Much Ado About Nothing. His stage work includes the New York Shakespeare Festival, productions As You Like It, Cymbeline, Measure for Measure and Hamlet. In 2000 Waterston played “James Tyrone” in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night, with his son James as “Edmund” at Syracuse Stage, with John Slattery and Elizabeth Franz. In 2003 Waterston starred in the world premiere production of David Rabe’s The Black Monk at the Yale Repertory Theater. In 2004 Waterston returned to The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park in a reprise production of Much Ado About Nothing, portraying “Leonato” opposite his daughter, Elisabeth (The Prince and Me) starring in the “Hero” role. Most recently, Waterston appeared as “Polonius” in Michael Stuhlbarg’s Hamlet.
Waterston is a graduate of Yale University and currently serves on the board of Oceana, the world’s preeminent ocean conservation organization. Waterston lives in Connecticut with his wife. Their children James, Elisabeth, and Katherine, are a new generation of ever more successful actors, playing important roles on stage in New York, as well as on film and television. Their son Graham is a writer and director. They have two grandchildren.