Sam Waterston Net Worth 2022, Age, Wife, Children, Height, Family, Parents, Movies, TV Shows

Sam Waterston net worth

Read the complete write-up of Sam Waterston net worth, age, wife, children, height, family, parents, movies, tv shows as well as other information you need to know.


Sam Waterston is an American actor, producer, and director. Waterston is known for his work in theater, television and film. Waterston, having studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and the American Actors Workshop, started his career in theater on the New York stage, appearing in multiple revivals of Shakespeare. In 1977, he starred in an off-Broadway production of Measure for Measure as Duke Vincentio alongside Meryl Streep and John Cazale at the Delacorte Theatre. Throughout Waterston’s theater career, he continued to appear alongside actors such as Raul Julia in Indians (1969), James Woods in The Trial of Catonsville Nine (1970), Liv Ullmann in A Doll’s House (1975), Jane Alexander in Hamlet (1975), and Glenn Close in Benefactors (1980). In 1993, he portrayed Abraham Lincoln onstage in Abe Lincoln in Illinois where he received a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for his performance.

Waterston has been nominated for multiple Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, British Academy Film Awards, and Emmy Awards, having starred in over 80 film and television productions during his 50-year career. He has also starred in numerous stage productions. AllMovie historian Hal Erickson characterized Waterston as having “cultivated a loyal following with his quietly charismatic, unfailingly solid performances.” Waterston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010 and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2012.

Early life

NameSam Waterston
Net Worth$25 million
OccupationActor, Producer, Director
Age81 years
First wifeBarbara Rutledge-Johns
Second wifeLynn Louisa Woodruff
Sam Waterston net worth 2022

Samuel Atkinson Waterston was born on November 15, 1940 (age 81 years) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. He is the third of four siblings (Roberta, George, and Ellen). His mother, Alice Tucker Atkinson, a landscape painter, was of English ancestry, and a descendant of Mayflower passengers. His father, George Chychele Waterston, was an emigrant from Leith, Scotland, and a semanticist and language teacher.


Sam Waterston played Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby in 1974 alongside Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, earning a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance. He also appeared in Woody Allen’s Interiors (1978), the Walter Matthau comedy Hopscotch, and Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (both in 1980). He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in Roland Joffe’s The Killing Fields (1984), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Waterston continued to appear in multiple Woody Allen films including Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), September (1987), and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989). He also appeared in The Man in the Moon (1991) alongside Reese Witherspoon in her feature film debut, John Waters’ Serial Mom (1994), and Oliver Stone’s Nixon (1995). More recently he appeared in Miss Sloane (2016) and On the Basis of Sex (2018).

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In 1973, one of his early television roles included a television film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, alongside Katharine Hepburn. Among a variety of other television roles, he is perhaps most known for his iconic starring role as Jack McCoy on the NBC television series Law & Order (1994–2010, 2022–), for which he received a Screen Actors Guild Award along with Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award nominations.

He also portrayed Abraham Lincoln in the miniseries Lincoln (1988). From 2012 to 2014, he portrayed Charlie Skinner in Aaron Sorkin’s political HBO drama series The Newsroom alongside Jeff Daniels. In 2017 he appeared in the Emmy Award-winning western limited series Godless on Netflix. He is currently starring in the Netflix comedy series Grace and Frankie (2015–present) alongside Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Martin Sheen.

The classically trained Waterston has numerous stage credits to his name. For example, he played an award-winning Benedick in Joseph Papp’s production of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and played the title role in Hamlet. Throughout Waterston’s theater career, he continued to act alongside the best theater had to offer. On October 13, 1969, he starred in Arthur Kopit’s play Indians on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The play was directed by Gene Frankel, and he acted alongside Stacy Keach as Buffalo Bill, Manu Tupou as Sitting Bull, Tom Aldredge, Kevin Conway, Charles Durning, Raul Julia. The play ran for 96 performances and 16 previews.

In 1977, he starred in an Off-Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure as Duke Vincentio alongside Meryl Streep and John Cazale at the Delacorte Theatre. In 1980, he starred in Benefactors alongside Glenn Close, Mary Beth Hurt, and Simon Jones at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway. In 1993, he portrayed Abraham Lincoln onstage in Abe Lincoln in Illinois where he received Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for his performance.

He continues live theater work during the summers, often seen acting at places like Long Wharf Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven. Waterston appeared as Polonius in the 2008 Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet. His performance received excellent reviews in The New York Times and many other newspapers around the country, particularly in the northeast. In 2015, Waterston appeared as Prospero in a Shakespeare in the Park production of The Tempest, directed by Michael Greif.

Other projects

Sam Waterston debuted as Executive Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy in the fifth season of the television series Law & Order in 1994. He played the role of McCoy, who would eventually become District Attorney, through the series finale in 2010, and has reprised the role throughout the Law and Order franchise. Upon the show’s cancellation, Waterston was the second longest-serving cast member (behind S. Epatha Merkerson), having reprised his role through 16 seasons. Due to the success of the New York–based TV series, Waterston and his fellow longtime Law & Order castmate Jerry Orbach were declared “Living Landmarks” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

Waterston has appeared as a celebrity contestant on Jeopardy! twice. In his first appearance, which aired on May 1, 1997, Waterston faced off against his castmates Carey Lowell and Benjamin Bratt and won the game, raising $23,800 for Refugees International, an organization that advocates for better treatment of displaced people around the world.

He made his second appearance on November 10, 2006, taking on Kathryn Erbe of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Christopher Meloni of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Waterston finished in second place behind Meloni with a total score of $12,000, but was awarded $25,000 for his charities as a runner-up. In addition to supporting Refugees International, Waterston also donated part of his price to the environmental group Oceana.

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Sam Waterston made a popular cameo appearance on an episode of Saturday Night Live as himself, extolling the virtues of Old Glory Insurance, meant to protect the elderly from robot attacks. Waterston returned to television in 2012 as cable news president Charlie Skinner in The Newsroom, an HBO series by Aaron Sorkin. In 2015, Waterston joined the cast of the Netflix series Grace and Frankie, starring alongside Martin Sheen, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Waterston supported Tomlin and Fonda in demanding higher salaries than the supporting actors, saying, “I think they’re being cheated.”

On February 12, 2009, Sam Waterston joined the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College orchestra and chorus, along with the Riverside Inspirational Choir and NYC Labor Choir, in honoring Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday at the Riverside Church in New York City. Under the direction of Maurice Peress, they performed Earl Robinson’s “The Lonesome Train: A Music Legend for Actors, Folk Singers, Choirs, and Orchestra” in which Waterston depicted Abraham Lincoln.

House and political views

Sam Waterston is a board member of Oceana. In 2012, Waterston received the Goodermote Humanitarian Award from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for his longtime support of refugees around the world. Waterston is a practicing Episcopalian. He was a spokesman for the Unity08 movement, which unsuccessfully sought to run a non- or bipartisan presidential ticket in the 2008 presidential election. Waterston has stated that he was a Democrat until he left the party in disgust following the airing of Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Daisy” election advertisement in 1964. However, he endorsed Democratic President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012, and is currently a registered Democrat.

Waterston is a longtime friend and fan of the Mark Morris Dance Group and hosted the television presentation of Mozart Dances on PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center on August 16, 2007. However, Waterston has a summer home in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. On October 18, 2019, Waterston was arrested with Grace and Frankie co-star Jane Fonda for protesting the government’s approach to climate change outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.


Sam Waterston is currently married to Lynn Louisa Woodruff, they had their wedding in 1976. Waterston remarried, his second wife Lynn Louisa Woodruff who is a former model in 1976. The couple has three children, daughters Katherine Waterston and Elisabeth Waterston, who are also actresses, and a son, Graham Waterston. However, he was married to his first wife, Barbara Rutledge-Johns, they divorced in 1975. They have one son, James Waterston, also an actor.

Sam Waterston net worth

How much is Sam Waterston worth? Sam Waterston net worth is estimated at around $25 million. His main source of income is from his career as an actor, producer and director. Waterston successful career has earned him some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy cars trips. He is one of the richest and influential actors in the United States. However, in 2021, Sam Waterston was cast in the revival Law & Order, reprising his role as District Attorney Jack McCoy. He appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the show.