Sam Rockwell

PROFILE | NEWS

Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, the only child of two actors, Pete Rockwell and Penny Hess. The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When Sam was five years old, his parents separated, at which point he and his father moved to San Francisco, where he subsequently grew up, while summers and other times were spent with his mother in New York.

He made his acting debut when he was ten years old, alongside his mother, and later attended J Eugene McAteer High School in a program called SOTA. While still in high school, he got his first big break when he appeared in the independent film Clownhouse (1989). The plot revolved around three escaped mental patients who dressed up as clowns and terrorized three brothers home alone--Sam played the eldest of the brothers. His next big break was supposed to have come when he was slated to star in a short-lived NBC TV-series called Dream Street (1989), but he was soon fired.

After graduating from high school, Sam returned to New York for good and for two years he had private training at the William Esper Acting Studio. During this period he appeared in a variety of roles, such as the ABC Afterschool Specials (1972): Over the Limit (1990) (TV) and HBO's Lifestories: Families in Crisis (1992): Dead Drunk: The Kevin Tunell Story (Season 1 Episode 7: 15 March 1993); the head thug in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990); and a guest-star turn in an Emmy Award-winning episode of Law & Order (1990), while working a string of regular day jobs and performing in plays.

After a few smaller appearances in films such as Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998) and the modern version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999), in which he played Francis Flute, he had larger roles in two of the bigger hit movies to emerge: The Green Mile (1999) and Galaxy Quest (1999), wowing audiences and critics alike with his chameleon-like performances as a crazed killer in the former and a goofy actor in the latter.

More recently, he appeared in another string of mainstream films, most notably as Eric Knox in Charlie's Angels (2000) and as Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), while continuing to perform in smaller independent movies. After more than ten years in the business, Sam has earned his success. In 2018, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as a troubled police deputy in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017).

MOVIE CREDITS:
2002: Chuck Barris - Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
2007: Brad Cairn - Joshua
2008: Victor Mancini - Choke
2009: Bill - The Winning Season
1998: Sam - Safe Men
2009: Sam Bell - Moon
2005: Jim Crocker - Piccadilly Jim
2009: Darwin the Guinea Pig (voice) - G-Force
2014: Douglas Varney - Better Living Through Chemistry
2013: John Moon - A Single Shot
2005: Robin's Big Date
2013: Narrator (voice) - Schooled: The Price of College Sports
2015: Eric Bowen - Poltergeist
2015: Don Verdean - Don Verdean
2016: Mr. Right - Mr. Right
2018: Eddie - Blue Iguana
2020: Ivan (voice) - The One and Only Ivan
2009: Bronco / Brutus - Gentlemen Broncos
1996: The Kid - Box of Moonlight
2003: Frank Mercer - Matchstick Men
1997: Trent Burns - Lawn Dogs
2008: Glenn Marchand - Snow Angels
2010: Kenny Waters - Conviction
1998: Jerry - Jerry and Tom
2012: Billy Bickle - Seven Psychopaths
2001: Nate - BigLove
2019: Claiborne Paul Ellis - The Best of Enemies
1992: Louie - Jack and His Friends
Drunky - The Adventures of Drunky
The Heart
2017: Himself - Axis
2019: Watson Bryant - Richard Jewell
Merle Haggard - Untitled Merle Haggard Biopic
2007: Charley Ford - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2005: Zaphod Beeblebrox - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
2002: Pero - Welcome to Collinwood
1995: Rob - Glory Daze
1995: Matty - Mercy
2014: Craig Hunter - Laggies
2005: Nobody Wants Your Film
2017: Jason Dixon - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
2018: Silas Groves - Woman Walks Ahead
2017: Officer Witt - The Dark of Night
Untitled Ben Schwartz/Sam Rockwell Comedy
2001: Jimmy Silk - Heist
2008: James Reston Jr. - Frost/Nixon
2009: Robert - Everybody's Fine
2011: Doc - Cowboys & Aliens
2013: Aldo - Trust Me
2014: Justin Hammer - Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King
2014: Wayne - Loitering with Intent
1999: Guy Fleegman - Galaxy Quest
2010: Justin Hammer - Iron Man 2
2000: Eric Knox - Charlie's Angels
2015: Ray - Digging for Fire
2013: Owen - The Way Way Back
1997: Sonny - Arresting Gena
2019: Captain Klenzendorf - Jojo Rabbit
2005: Himself - Making of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'
1989: Randy - Clownhouse
1989: Al - Last Exit to Brooklyn
2011: Karl - The Sitter
2014: Himself - Showing Up
2008: Himself - The Assassination of Jesse James: Death Of An Outlaw
2018: Oilman - Blaze
2018: Himself/''Dixon'' - The Origins of Ebbing
2010: F--K
1992: Young Henry Collins - Happy Hell Night
1991: Gary - Strictly Business
1992: Jealous - Light Sleeper
1997: Tony - Drunks
2013: Gary - A Case of You
2010: Himself - Ultimate Iron Man: The Making of Iron Man 2
1994: Polish Guy - Somebody to Love
1999: 'Wild Bill' Wharton - The Green Mile
1992: Pauli - In the Soup
2018: Sam Bell - Mute
2020: Hickory (voice) - Trolls World Tour
2018: George W. Bush - Vice
2009: Himself - I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale
2005: Himself - Inside 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'
1996: Thug - Basquiat
2019: Himself - Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary
2002: Rick - 13 Moons
1999: Francis Flute - A Midsummer Night's Dream
2001: Hotel Clerk - Made
1994: One-eye Jimmy - The Search for One-eye Jimmy
1990: Head Thug - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1998: Darrow Entourage - Celebrity
1997: Man Eating (segment "Sax Cantor Riff") - Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground

TV CREDITS:
1997: Prince Street
2013: Bugsy Siegal - Drunk History
2015: Himself - The Late Late Show with James Corden
1975: Himself - Host - Saturday Night Live
2019: Bob Fosse - Fosse/Verdon
2015: Himself - Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter
1953: Himself - Best Supporting Actor winner - The Academy Awards
2014: Himself - Off Camera with Sam Jones
1990: Randy Borland - Law & Order