Sam Worthington

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Sam Worthington
Sam Worthington 2013.jpg
Worthington in 2013
Born (1976-08-02) 2 August 1976 (age 46)
NationalityAustralian, British
Alma materNational Institute of Dramatic Art
Years active2000–present
(m. 2014)

Samuel Henry John Worthington[1] (born 2 August 1976) is a British-Australian actor. He is best known for playing Jake Sully in Avatar, Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation, and Perseus in Clash of the Titans and its sequel Wrath of the Titans. He later took more dramatic roles, appearing in The Debt (2010), Everest (2015), Hacksaw Ridge (2016), The Shack (2017), Manhunt: Unabomber (2017), and Fractured (2019).

On television, he appeared in his native Australia as Howard in Love My Way and as Phillip Schuler in the television drama mini-series Deadline Gallipoli, for which he was also an executive producer. He voiced the protagonist, Captain Alex Mason, in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010), as well as its sequels Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012), and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018). In 2022, he starred in the true crime miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven.

In 2004, Worthington received Australia's highest film award for his lead role in Somersault.

Early life[edit]

Worthington was born to English parents in Godalming, Surrey, in South East England, and moved to Perth, Western Australia, when he was six months old. He grew up in Warnbro, a suburb of Rockingham. His mother, Jeanne J. (née Martyn), is a housewife, and his father, Ronald W. Worthington, is a power plant employee.[2] He has a sister, Lucinda.[3][4]

He attended John Curtin College of the Arts, a school specialising in the dramatic arts, located in Fremantle, Western Australia, where he studied drama but did not graduate. When he left the college, his father gave him $400 and sent him on a one-way trip to Cairns, Queensland, telling him to "work his way home". He began working on construction and odd jobs, eventually settling in Sydney. At age 19, while working as a bricklayer, he auditioned for the National Institute of Dramatic Art and was accepted with a scholarship.[5]



Worthington played a small role alongside Adam Garcia in the Aussie dance film Bootmen (2000).[6] He also played a lead role in the low-budget Aussie comedy Gettin' Square.[7][8]


Worthington had a major role in Somersault (2004), and played the lead in a modern Australian retelling of Macbeth (2006). He won the AFI Award for Best Lead Actor for his role in Somersault. He was well known in Australia for his role as Howard in the acclaimed Australian TV series Love My Way, in which he played the main love interest of the female lead.

Worthington's international film career began with a series of small roles in Hollywood production The Great Raid (2005), which was filmed in Australia. He auditioned for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale, but lost the role to Daniel Craig.[9] He starred in the Australian creature-feature film Rogue (2007), as a man named Neil, which gained a 100%% fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes.[10]


Worthington in 2010

In Terminator Salvation, Worthington played cyborg Marcus Wright, who assists humans despite their suspicions of him. Worthington's next project was the James Cameron-directed science-fiction film Avatar, in which he played Jake Sully, a paraplegic former U.S. Marine who finds himself at the centre of a war between his own species and the indigenous Na'vi people of the moon Pandora. The film became the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing more than $2.8 billion ($3.4 billion adjusted for inflation) in box-office receipts worldwide.[11] In November 2010, Worthington told GQ Australia[12] that he went to audition, but wasn't told what it was for and got annoyed. So he did his part, left, forgot about it – and was called back. "I was a bit pissed off, and I think that came across," he says. "I think Jim saw a spark and liked it because that's Sully's character – a guy who doesn't like to be bullied and a guy who just wants to set things right."[13]

He provided voice work for Captain Alex Mason, the protagonist in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops. Some gamers criticised Worthington's inability to mask his Australian accent, as in Avatar.[14] In November 2010, The Hollywood Reporter named Worthington as one of the young male actors who are "pushing – or being pushed" into taking over Hollywood as the new "A-List".[15]

He was selected as one of the entrants to the Who's Who in Australia 2011 edition.[16]

In 2012, Worthington starred in the sequel to Clash of the Titans, called Wrath of the Titans, alongside Liam Neeson. As in the first film, Worthington played the demigod and son of Zeus, Perseus. He also reprised his role as Alex Mason in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.[17] Also in 2012, Worthington starred as Nick Cassidy in Man on a Ledge, a suspense-thriller film directed by Asger Leth. Though the film received poor reviews from critics, Worthington's performance received praise, with The New Zealand Herald describing him as "suitably terrified".

Worthington portrayed Jim Fitzgerald in the Discovery Channel television series, Manhunt: Unabomber.[18]

In 2019, Worthington starred as Ray Monroe in the Netflix thriller film Fractured.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Worthington and wife Lara on the 2014 AACTA Awards red carpet

Worthington has said that when he was about 30, he sold most of his possessions and ended up with around $2,000 to his name. He says he bought a car with the proceeds and was living in it before he auditioned for Avatar.[20] He then found a place to live.[21]

On 18 October 2013, Worthington had confirmed rumours of a relationship with fellow Australian, model Lara Worthington (née Bingle).[22][23] They married on 28 December 2014 and had a son in 2015.[24] In 2016, Bingle and Worthington had their second child, another son.[25] In 2020, the couple announced the birth of their third child, another son.[26]

Worthington is a Christian.[27]

Legal issues[edit]

Worthington in 2013

On 23 February 2014, Worthington was arrested in New York City for assault, after punching a paparazzo, Sheng Li, who followed Bingle to get a "perfect picture". Video footage of the incident depicts Worthington referring to Bingle as his "wife", furthering speculation about the pair's marital status.[28] Worthington was initially released on a desk appearance ticket, while Li was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, assault, and harassment.[29]

On 26 February 2014, Worthington appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court, where he was ordered to stay away from Li for six months. The case was adjourned until 8 May 2014, with the actor to face charges of assault in the third degree, attempted assault, and harassment.[30]

On 1 April 2014, Li blamed Bingle for starting the fight and called for her to be arrested.[31] Later that month, Worthington secured a conditional discharge deal on a misdemeanour assault charge, therefore, avoiding any jail time, while the charges against Li were dismissed "in the interest of justice".[32] Li then filed a $3.7 million civil lawsuit against Worthington, which was settled out of court before going to trial in September 2015.[33]



Year Title Role Notes
2000 Bootmen Mitchell Okden
2001 A Matter of Life Our Hero Short film
2002 Hart's War Corporal B.J. "Depot" Guidry
Dirty Deeds Darcy Ryan
2003 Gettin' Square Barry "Wattsy" Wirth
2004 Enzo - Short film; Director, Writer, Music and Cinematography
Somersault Joe
Thunderstruck Ronnie
2005 The Great Raid Private First Class Lucas
Fink! Able
2006 Macbeth Lord Macbeth
2007 Rogue Neil Kelly
2009 Terminator Salvation Marcus Wright
Avatar Jake Sully / Tom Sully
2010 Clash of the Titans Perseus
Last Night Michael Reed
Love & Distrust Miles Segment: "Blue Poles"
The Debt Young David Peretz
2011 Texas Killing Fields Detective Mike Souder
2012 Man on a Ledge Nick Cassidy
Wrath of the Titans Perseus
2013 Drift J.B.
2014 Sabotage DEA Agent James "Monster" Murray
Cake Roy Collins
The Keeping Room Moses
2015 Paper Planes Jack Webber
Kidnapping Freddy Heineken Willem Holleeder
Everest Guy Cotter
2016 Hacksaw Ridge Captain Glover
2017 The Shack Mack Philips
The Hunter's Prayer Stephen Lucas
2018 The Titan Rick Janssen
2019 Fractured Ray Monroe
2021 Lansky David Stone
The Last Son Isaac Lemay
2022 9 Bullets Jack
Alphas Not yet released[34] TBA Post-production
Avatar: The Way of Water Not yet released Jake Sully
2024 Avatar 3 Not yet released
2026 Avatar 4 Not yet released Filming
TBA The Georgetown Project Not yet released Joe Post-production
TBA Horizon Filming
Not yet released Denotes works that have not yet been released


Year Title Role Notes
2000 JAG Dunsmore Episode: "Boomerang: Part 1"
Water Rats Phillip Champion Episode: "Able to Leap Tall Buildings"
Blue Heelers Shane Donovan Episode: "Bloodlines"
2004 Love My Way Howard Light 10 episodes
2005 The Surgeon Dr. Sam Dash 8 episodes
2006 Two Twisted Gus Rogers Episode: "Delivery Man"
2015 Deadline Gallipoli Phillip Schuler 4 episodes; miniseries
Executive producer
2017 Manhunt: Unabomber Jim Fitzgerald Main role, 8 episodes
2022 Under the Banner of Heaven Ron Lafferty Miniseries

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Call of Duty: Black Ops Alex Mason
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II
2018 Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Specialist HQ and Blackout Character

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title Result
2000 AFI Award Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Bootmen Nominated
2002 FCCA Award Best Supporting Actor – Male Dirty Deeds Won
2004 AFI Award Best Actor in a Leading Role Somersault Won
FCCA Award Best Actor – Male Somersault Won[35]
IF Award Best Actor Somersault Won
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Fresh Face Male Terminator Salvation Nominated
Australians in Film Breakthrough Award Australians in Film[36] Avatar
2010 Saturn Award Best Actor Avatar Won
AACTA Awards Best Actor Avatar Won
Empire Award Best Actor Avatar Won
Giffoni Award Won
Kid's Choice Awards Cutest Couple (shared with Zoe Saldana) Avatar Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Fight (shared with Stephen Lang) Avatar Nominated
Best Kiss (shared with Zoe Saldana) Avatar Nominated
ShoWest Award Male Star of the Year Won
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Fight (shared with Stephen Lang) Avatar Nominated
Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi Avatar Won
Choice Movie Actor: Fantasy Clash of the Titans Nominated


  1. ^ "Incident 123082579" (PDF). E! Online. Atlanta, Georgia, Police Department. 3 November 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Avatar first reviews, Sam Worthington next Hollywood star in the making". The Daily Telegraph. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
  3. ^ Lipworth, Elaine (4 February 2012). "Sam Worthington on 'Man on a Ledge'". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Jeanne J. Worthington". MyHeritage. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Sam Worthington Interview for Terminator". 21 May 2009. Archived from the original on 8 October 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Film Victoria – Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Getting Square". 16 October 2003. Archived from the original on 31 August 2006. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
  9. ^ "Bard arse". The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 September 2006.
  10. ^ "Rogue". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  12. ^ "Sam Worthington". GQ. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014.
  13. ^ "Sam Worthington - GQ". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2017., GQ Australia November 2010, Sam Worthington
  14. ^ "How an Australian Man Nearly Ruined Black Ops for Me".
  15. ^ Blank, Emily; Schutte, Lauren. "Hollywood's A-List Redefined". (slide 9 of 10 in slideshow) The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
  16. ^ "Who's Who pack now boasts Siddle, Hamish and Andy and the Masterchef judges". 9 December 2010.
  17. ^ John Gaudiosi (13 November 2012). "'Call of Duty: Black Ops II': Treyarch's Dave Anthony on Directing Sam Worthington, Michael Keaton (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  18. ^ McLennan, Cindy (28 March 2017). "Manhunt: Unabomber: Scripted Discovery Series Debuts in August". TV Series Finale.
  19. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (12 November 2018). "Sam Worthington Set as Lead in Brad Anderson-directed Netflix Film". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  20. ^ "Watch The Jay Leno Show Online at Hulu". Hulu.
  21. ^ "I was living in my car before 'Avatar': Sam Worthington".
  22. ^ "Aussie actor 'smitten' with Bingle".
  23. ^ "Sam Worthington says he is smitten with new squeeze Lara Bingle".
  24. ^ Anya Leon (27 March 2015). "Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle Welcome Son Rocket Zot". People. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  25. ^ Ellie McDonald (1 November 2016). "CONFIRMED! Lara and Sam Worthington have welcomed their second son". Woman's Day. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Lara Worthington confirms she's pregnant with her third child and it's a boy!".
  27. ^ "Actor Sam Worthington Says 'The Shack' Helped Him Understand Relationship With God (Interview)".
  28. ^ "So are Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle really married?". Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  29. ^ "'Avatar' actor Sam Worthington arrested in NYC". Yahoo. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  30. ^ "Sam Worthington ordered to stay away from photographer". Sydney Morning Herlad. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  31. ^ "Photographer blames 'Avatar' star's girlfriend for starting fight". Reuters. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  32. ^ Peter Mitchell (9 May 2014). "Paparazzo walks free as Sam Worthington assault case dropped". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  33. ^ Ebony Bowden (4 September 2015). "Sam Worthington settles $5 million lawsuit with photographer over scuffle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  34. ^ Collinson, Gary (4 March 2020). "Sam Worthington to star in Shark vs Killer Whale thriller Alphas". Flickering Myth. Retrieved 5 July 2022.
  35. ^ "Urban Cinefile FCCA AWARDS 2004 WINNERS".
  36. ^ "Australians in Film Breakthrough Awards". Australians in Film. Archived from the original on 3 July 2012.

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