May 12, 1970 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Samantha Mathis (born May 12, 1970) is an American actress. The daughter of actress Bibi Besch, Mathis made her film debut in Pump Up the Volume (1990), opposite Christian Slater. She has co-starred in the films Little Women (1994), The American President (1995), Broken Arrow (1996), American Psycho (2000), and Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012).
Early life 
Mathis was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of the Austrian-born actress Bibi Besch, and granddaughter of Austrian actress Gusti Huber. Her parents divorced when she was two years old, and Mathis was raised by her mother. She relocated to Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California at the age of five. Mathis's mother discouraged her from pursuing acting, but growing up on locations, in theaters, and in acting classes, Mathis knew she wanted to act. She decided to become an actress at the age of twelve.
Mathis began acting professionally at the age of sixteen, her first job was a commercial for "Always Slender Pads - Just For Teens." She co-starred in the television series Aaron's Way and Knightwatch from 1988 to 1989. Her first starring role in a feature film was that of Nora in Pump Up the Volume (1990), opposite Christian Slater, whom she briefly dated at the time. Mathis dyed her natural blonde hair black for the role to change her image from sweet and innocent to strong-willed.
Mathis appeared in the television movies Extreme Close-up, 83 Hours 'til Dawn, and To My Daughter in 1990. Mathis and Slater had voice roles in the animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992). She next appeared in the comedy This Is My Life (1992), written and directed by Nora Ephron, playing an insecure teenager. Mathis appeared in the play Fortinbras in New York City in October 1992. Super Mario Bros. (1993), in which she played Princess Daisy from the popular Nintendo video game, was a box office bomb.
Mathis met actor River Phoenix on the set of the country music film The Thing Called Love (1993) and the two started a relationship. She was with Phoenix the night he died of a drug overdose after collapsing outside West Hollywood's Viper Room on Halloween, October 31, 1993; he died later at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. She made the film Jack and Sarah (1995), which was shot in London, in order to get out of the country after his death because of the large amount of press coverage.
Mathis appeared in Little Women, the 1994 film version of the novel by Louisa May Alcott, and How to Make an American Quilt (1995), both starring Winona Ryder, an actress she was often compared to early in her career. She then co-starred with Michael Douglas in The American President (1995), playing the assistant to the President of the United States. Mathis co-starred with Christian Slater again, along with John Travolta, in John Woo's Broken Arrow (1996). She took a little over a year off from acting after her mother died in 1996 from breast cancer.
Mathis later appeared in American Psycho (2000), a film adaptation Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 novel of the same name. She starred in Attraction (2000), and in The Simian Line (2001). She starred in the TNT television miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2001). Mathis starred with Thomas Jane in The Punisher (2004). She had a guest role on the ABC television show Lost as Olivia Goodspeed.
Mathis's film Lebanon, PA had its world premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. She appeared in an off-Broadway production of the play, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, at New York City's Westside Theatre in October 2011.
Awards and nominations 
She was nominated in 1995 for a Young Artist Award at the Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture for This Is My Life (1992) and in 2005 for a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Supporting Actress on Television for Salem's Lot (2004) (TV).
|1990||Pump Up the Volume||Nora Diniro|
|1992||This Is My Life||Erica Ingels|
|1992||FernGully: The Last Rainforest||Crysta (voice)|
|1993||The Music of Chance||Tiffany|
|1993||Super Mario Bros.||Princess Daisy|
|1993||The Thing Called Love||Miranda Presley|
|1994||Little Women||Adult Amy March|
|1995||Jack and Sarah||Amy|
|1995||How to Make an American Quilt||Young Sophia Darling Richards|
|1995||The American President||Janie Basdin|
|1996||Broken Arrow||Terry Carmichael|
|1996||Museum of Love||Stephanie||Short film|
|1998||Waiting for Woody||Gail Silver||Short film|
|2000||The Simian Line||Mae|
|2000||American Psycho||Courtney Rawlinson|
|2004||The Punisher||Maria Castle|
|2005||Kids in America||Jennifer Rose|
|2006||Believe in Me||Jean Driscoll|
|2009||The New Daughter||Cassandra Parker|
|2009||Apple Pie and Coffee||(voice)||Short film|
|2010||Buried||Linda Conroy (voice)|
|2010||Order of Chaos||Jennifer|
|2011||Good Day for It||Sarah Bryant|
|2011||Camilla Dickinson||Rose Dickinson||Post-production|
|2012||Atlas Shrugged: Part II||Dagny Taggart|
|1988||Circle of Love||Roseanne Miller||TV movie|
|1988||Aaron's Way||Roseanne Miller||14 episodes|
|1988-1989||Knightwatch||Jacqueline 'Jake' Monroe||9 episodes|
|1989||CBS Summer Playhouse||Mary Dunne||Episode: "American Nuclear"|
|1989||Cold Sassy Tree||Lightfoot McClendon||TV movie|
|1990||Extreme Close-Up||Laura||TV movie|
|1990||83 Hours 'Til Dawn||Julie Burdock||TV movie|
|1990||To My Daughter||Anne Carlston||TV movie|
|1999||Freak City||Ruth Ellison||TV movie|
|1999||The Outer Limits||Marie Wells||Episode: "The Shroud"|
|1999-2000||Harsh Realm||Sophie Green||4 episodes|
|2001||First Years||Ann Weller||9 episodes|
|2001||Night Visions||Diane Ballard||Episode: "The Passenger List/Bokor"|
|2001||The Mists of Avalon||Gwenhwyfar||TV movie|
|2002||Becoming Glen||TV movie|
|2002||PBS Hollywood Presents||Lisa Morrison||Episode: "Collected Stories"|
|2003||The Twilight Zone||Rachel Stark||Episode: "Into the Light"|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Hilary Barclay||Episode: "Control"|
|2004||Salem's Lot||Susan Norton||TV movie|
|2005||Fathers and Sons||Jenny||TV movie|
|2005||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Dr. Christine Ansel||Episode: "Saving Face"|
|2006||Secrets of a Small Town||Samantha Steele||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2006||House||Maria Palko||Episode: "Clueless"|
|2006||Nightmares & Dreamscapes||Karen Evans||Episode: "The Fifth Quarter"|
|2006||Absolution||Bettina Lloyd||TV movie|
|2007||A Stranger's Heart||Callie Morgan||TV movie|
|2007||Lost||Olivia Goodspeed||Episode: "The Man Behind the Curtain"|
|2007||Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day||Young Pauline 'Posey' Benetto||TV movie|
|2009||Grey's Anatomy||Melinda Prescott||3 episodes|
|2009||Royal Pains||Amy Hill||Episode: "Wonderland"|
|2010||Unanswered Prayers||Lorrie Beck||TV movie|
|2011||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Donna||Episode: "The Hero"|
- Craven, Jonathan (March 1996). "Sam I am" (interview). Bikini.
- Hensley, Dennis (December 1995). "Elementary Mathis". Detour.
- Matsumoto, Jon (September 1, 1990). "Acting's in Samantha Mathis' Blood: Mom's and Grandmom's Too". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on August 31, 2009.
- Malkin, Nina (June 1992). "This is my Life". Seventeen. pp. 4, 82-83.
- Gussow, Mel (October 14, 1992). "Theater in Review". The New York Times. Retrieved on April 24, 2008.
- Pearce, Garth (June 1996). "Why I Still Grieve For River." OK! Weekly.
- Thompson, Bob (October 15, 1995). "Patch in to Mathis". The Toronto Sun.
- Sheridan, Patricia (April 30, 2007). "Samantha Mathis". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on April 24, 2008.
- Hetrick, Adam (October 5, 2011). "Dee Hoty and Samantha Mathis Join Love, Loss, and What I Wore Oct. 5". Playbill. Retrieved on October 30, 2011.