Sam Heughan

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Sam Heughan
Outlander premiere episode screening at 92nd Street Y in New York 08 (crop).jpg
Heughan in 2014
Sam Roland Heughan

(1980-04-30) 30 April 1980 (age 38)
Alma materRoyal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama
Years active2001–present

Sam Roland Heughan (/ˈhjuːən/; born 30 April 1980) is a Scottish actor, best known for his acclaimed role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz series Outlander, for which he has received four nominations for the Saturn Awards, and a nomination for the Critics Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer in 2003, for his performance in the play Outlying Islands, performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs. He also starred in the 2018 action-comedy film The Spy Who Dumped Me.

Education and early life[edit]

Heughan at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con promoting Outlander

Heughan was born on 30 April 1980 in Balmaclellan, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. At the age of five, he moved to nearby New Galloway where he attended Kells Primary School. During this time, he lived in converted stables in the grounds of Kenmure Castle.[1] Moving to Edinburgh aged 12,[2] he attended James Gillespie's High School for a year and then moved to the Edinburgh Rudolph Steiner School till the end of the sixth year. He subsequently spent two years working and travelling,[1] before enrolling at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow, graduating in 2003. [3]


While he was still a student, Heughan appeared in Outlying Islands, a play by Scottish playwright David Grieg. The play premiered in Edinburgh, Scotland, at the Traverse Theatre. It then moved to the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, in London. Heughan was eventually nominated for a Laurence Oliver Award for Most Promising Performer for his performance.

In 2004, he appeared in the miniseries Island at War, a WWII drama about the German occupation of the Channel Islands. The following year, he appeared in several episodes of the Scottish soap opera River City. Over the next few years, Heughan appeared in a number of made for TV movies, including A Very British Sex Scandal (2007) and Breaking the Mould (2009). He also made appearances in a number of television series, including Midsomer Murders, Rebus, and Party Animals.

In 2009, Heughan landed a recurring role as Scott Nielson, the boyfriend of Nurse Cherry Malone and secret drug dealer in the BBC soap opera Doctors.[4]

The following year, Heughan starred as the title character in the direct to video Young Alexander The Great, which was filmed in Egypt.

In 2010, Heughan played Hugh Tennent, founder of Tennent's Lager, in a series of comical commercials, which won a number of awards at the Scottish Advertising Awards.

In 2011, he played Prince Ashton in the Hallmark Channel film A Princess for Christmas.[5] That same year, he starred in BBC drama First Light based on Geoffrey Welland's WWII memoir of the same name.

In 2012, he starred as Batman in the touring stage show Batman Live.[5] During this time he made the news for his assistance in a real-life citizen's arrest.[6]

In 2013, Heughan was cast as Jamie Fraser on the Starz period drama series Outlander.[5] He was the first cast member officially announced, to great praise by the author of the series, Diana Gabaldon, who said, "That man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart. Having seen Sam Heughan not just act, but be Jamie, I feel immensely grateful to the production team for their painstaking attention to the soul of the story and characters."[7]

In 2014, Heughan appeared in several independent films such as the mystery-thriller Emulsion and the comedy Heart of Lightness, in which Heughan appeared with two of his future Outlander co-stars; Laura Donnelly, who plays Jamie's sister, Jenny Murray, and Rosie Day, who played Mary Hawkins in the second season.

Outlander premiered in 2014, and was an immediate hit, with strong ratings and a positive critical response. It was renewed for a second season, which aired in April 2016, and on 1 June 2016 it was announced that Starz would renew it for a third and fourth season. The third season premiered to strong ratings in September 2017, and in May 2018 the network once again renewed the series for a fifth and sixth season.[citation needed]

In 2016, Heughan was named Barbour's first Global Brand Ambassador.[8]

In 2018, The Spy Who Dumped Me, a comedy that Heughan filmed during an Outlander hiatus, was released. It was also announced that he would play a role in Bloodshot, an adaptation of the best selling comic book in the Valiant universe.

Charity and politics[edit]

Sam Heughan was a supporter of Scottish independence during the 2014 independence referendum.[9][10]

Heughan attributed much of his early success to his participation in youth theatre and, in August 2014, became a patron for YTAS (Youth Theatre Arts Scotland). He supports the charitable organisation's mission, 'to transform lives through youth theatre by providing inspiring participatory opportunities for young people in Scotland.'[11]

In 2015, Heughan started his own charitable foundation My Peak Challenge[12], which allows participants a sense of community and support as they work toward personal goals, while at the same time raising money for charity.

In September of 2016, he took part in the Great North Run to raise funds for Bloodwise, which he has supported since 2011,[13][14] and became president of Scotland Bloodwise.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Small Moments N/A Short film
2010 Young Alexander the Great Alexander
2011 A Princess for Christmas Ashton Prince of Castlebury
2013 Emulsion Ronny Maze
2014 Heart of Lightness Lyngstrand
2016 When the Starlight Ends Jacob
2018 The Spy Who Dumped Me Sebastian Henshaw
2020 Bloodshot Corporal Harlan 'So Long' Shifflet Post-production
TBA SAS: Red Notice Tom Buckingham Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Island at War Philip Dorr Miniseries; 5 episodes
2005 River City Andrew Murray 3 episodes
2006 The Wild West John Tunstall Miniseries; episode: "Billy the Kid"
2007 Midsomer Murders Ian King Episode: "King's Crystal"
2007 Party Animals Adrian Chapple 2 episodes
2007 A Very British Sex Scandal Edward McNally Television film
2007 Rebus Peter Carr Episode: "Knots and Crosses"
2009 Breaking the Mould: The Story of Penicillin Dr Charles Fletcher Television film
2009 Doctors Scott Nielson 21 episodes
2010 First Light Geoffrey 'Boy' Wellum Television film
2010 Any Human Heart Lieutenant McStay Episode 2
2011 A Princess for Christmas Prince Ashton of Castlebury Television film
2014–present Outlander Jamie Fraser Male lead


Year Title Role Theatre
2002 Outlying Islands John Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London
2005 Knives in Hens[4][16] Pony William TAG Theatre Company, Glasgow
2007 The Vortex[17] Tom Veryan Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
2007 Hamlet[17] Guildenstern, Fortinbras Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
2007 The Pearlfisher[17] Roderick, Eddie the Gaffer Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
2008 Romeo and Juliet[17] Paris Dundee Repertory Theatre
2008 Macbeth[17] Malcolm, murderer Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
2009 Plague Over England[17] Gregory Duchess Theatre, West End
2011–12 Batman Live[17] Batman Touring show
2012 King John King John Oran Mor theatre

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2018 Lego DC Super-Villains Mirror Master (voice)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
2003 Outlying Islands Laurence Olivier Awards Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer Nominated
2014 Outlander TV Guide Awards Favourite Duo (shared with Caitriona Balfe) Won
2015 The Anglophile Channel Awards Favorite British Artist of the Year Won
Best Actor in a Television Series Won
Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor on Television Nominated[18]
EWwy Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Won
Gold Derby TV Awards Drama Lead Actor Won
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor Nominated
The Anglophile Channel Awards Favorite British Artist of the Year Won
Best Actor in a Television Series Won
Saturn Awards Best Actor on Television Nominated[19]
BAFTA Scotland Best Actor Television Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor Won
Saturn Awards Best Actor on a Television Series Nominated
2018 Saturn Awards Best Actor on a Television Series Nominated


  1. ^ a b "'Outlander' star loses himself in highlander character". 4 August 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Outlander's Sam Heughan on Actor's Nomadism, Scotland, and His Travel Bucket List". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Sam Heughan: In the Limelight". Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Sam Heughan infosite". Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "Sam Heughan Cast as Jamie Fraser in Starz and Sony's Outlander". 9 July 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Batman Live star Sam Heughan becomes real life superhero as he helps catch alleged thief". Daily Record. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  7. ^ Munn, Patrick (9 July 2013). "Sam Heughan Cast As Lead In Starz's Drama Series 'Outlander'". TVWise. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Introducing Sam Heughan - Barbour's First Global Brand Ambassador". Barbour. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Outlander star Sam Heughan: Scottish independence worth the 'gamble'". HeraldScotland.
  11. ^ "What we do - Youth Theatre Arts Scotland". Youth Theatre Arts Scotland. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  12. ^ Outlander star Sam Heughan wants YOU to reach peak fitness for charity in 2015,, 3 December 2016
  13. ^ "Great North Run". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  14. ^ Sam Heughan and Bloodwise,, 3 December 2016
  15. ^ Scottish actor Sam Heughan becomes Scotland President for Bloodwise,, 17 November 2016
  16. ^ "Knives in Hens - 2005 Tour". Archived from the original on 5 September 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "Sam Heughan". London Theatre Database. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  18. ^ Kelley, Seth (3 March 2015). "Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  19. ^ Bryant, Jacob (24 February 2016). "Star Wars, Mad Max, Walking Dead Lead Saturn Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 24 February 2016.

External links[edit]