Educated at Yale and the Sorbonne, Sam Waterston is far more than the "general purpose actor" he was pegged to be by one well-known film historian. A respected player on the stage, screen, and television, Waterston has cultivated a loyal following with his quietly charismatic, unfailingly solid performances.
After beginning his career on the New York stage -- where he has continued to perform throughout his long career -- Waterston made his film debut in The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean in 1966. For a long time, his film career was not nearly as remarkable as his work on the stage and television, although non-New York audiences were made acutely aware of the depth and breadth of Waterston's talents when, in 1973, he starred in the television adaptation The Glass Menagerie (appearing alongside Katherine Hepburn) and -- also on TV -- in Tony Richardson's A Delicate Balance. The following year, the actor further impressed television audiences when he starred as Benedick in the CBS TV adaptation of Joseph Papp's staging of Much Ado About Nothing.