Sam Waterston (born November 15, 1940) is an American actor noted for his many motion picture roles, as well as his portrayal of Executive Assistant District Attorney John "Jack" McCoy on the long-running NBC television series Law & Order
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Waterston is equally at home on the stage, in movies, and on television. Waterston grew up at the Brooks School, a boarding school in North Andover, Massachusetts. He attended the Groton School (another prep school), Yale University, and the Sorbonne.
His first film was Fitzwilly in 1967. Other films include The Great Gatsby, Rancho Deluxe, Journey Into Fear, Capricorn One, Heaven's Gate, Hopscotch, The Killing Fields (nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor), Interiors, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors and Serial Mom.
Besides Law & Order, he other television roles include D.A. Forrest Bedford in I'll Fly Away.
Waterston continues to win accolades, he is a six time Emmy Award nominee, winner of Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild awards. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Killing Fields.
He is also on the Advisory Committee for the Lincoln Bicentennial, celebrating Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. Waterston, who takes an active interest in Lincoln, has portrayed Lincoln on stage and screen (The Civil War, Gore Vidal's Lincoln and Abe Lincoln in Illinois on Broadway).
An active humanitarian, Waterston also donates considerable time to organizations such as Refugees International, Citymeals-on-Wheels, The United Way, and The Episcopal Actor's Guild of America.