Sam Bottoms

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Sam Bottoms
Samuel John Bottoms

(1955-10-17)October 17, 1955
DiedDecember 16, 2008(2008-12-16) (aged 53)
  • Actor
  • film producer
Years active1971–2007
Spouse(s)Susan Arnold (1980–1987; divorced)
Laura Bickford (2002–2008)

Samuel John Bottoms (October 17, 1955 – December 16, 2008) was an American actor and producer.

Early life[edit]

Bottoms was born in Santa Barbara, California, the third son of James "Bud" Bottoms (a sculptor and art teacher) and Betty (Chapman), both of whom survive him. He was the brother of actors Timothy Bottoms (born 1951), Joseph Bottoms (born 1954) and Ben Bottoms (born 1960).[1][2]


When Bottoms was 16 years old, he was on the set of The Last Picture Show, in which his older brother Timothy starred, when the director Peter Bogdanovich decided to give him a screen test. He ended up in the movie as the character of Billy, who has no spoken lines but plays a pivotal role in the drama. Five years later, Bottoms appeared with Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Bottoms may be best remembered for his role as surfer Lance B. Johnson, a Navy Gunner's Mate stationed on a river boat in Francis Ford Coppola's 20th century opus, Apocalypse Now. Bottoms acquired hookworm during the chaotic production in the Philippines, and the parasite "wrecked his liver".[3]


At age 53, Bottoms died of glioblastoma multiforme, a type of brain tumor, on December 16, 2008.[4] He was cremated and his ashes given to his widow.[5]



  • Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas (1991)


  1. ^ Ben Bottoms at IMDb
  2. ^ Sam Bottoms
  3. ^ Biskind, Peter (December 13, 2011). Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 352. ISBN 978-1439126615.
  4. ^ "Sam Bottoms dies at 53; actor appeared in 'Apocalypse Now,' 'Last Picture Show'". Los Angeles Times. December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Wilson, Scott (August 19, 2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3d ed.). McFarland. ISBN 978-1476625997 – via Google Books.

External links[edit]