Sam Waterston Roles

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on February 29, 2004
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Please tell me what you can about Sam Waterston of Law and Order. Has he ever been a lawyer? He is very good in his part.
—Mary B., Ohio

"I have no background in the law, but it appears Shakespeare did, and I have a background in Shakespeare," Waterston says. Actually, Waterston is just a very good actor. If you saw him in The Killing Fields, you'd be convinced he was a journalist (he was nominated for an Oscar for that performance) or if you saw him in Crimes and Misdemeanors, you'd think he made a pretty good rabbi. Born in Cambridge, Mass., Waterston started his acting career in New York theater, eventually moving on to movies and television. In addition to Jack McCoy on Law & Order, Waterston played a lawyer on the bygone series I'll Fly Away—winning a Golden Globe award for his work—so he is identified as a lawyer to a lot of the viewing public. "Some lawyers have told me there are many parallels to arguing a case and the creation and performing of drama," he says. "And don't forget, the name for the shape and organization of a dramatic story is 'the argument of the play.'" Waterston lives in Connecticut with his wife and children.