Sam Rockwell

Actor / Producer / Director

Birthdate – November 5, 1968 (55 Years Old)

Birthplace – Daly City, California, USA

Sam Rockwell has built an intriguing career as a reliably creative actor capable of delivering many shades to characters who often exist on the fringes of socially accepted behavior. He is the definition, in many ways, of the classic working actor: With a resume slowly built in numerous American indie films, he has graduated to the Hollywood big leagues over the past two decades in a remarkable range of movies and performances, culminating in the rare coup of double Oscar nominations for Vice (2018)—as George W. Bush–and his winning turn in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Over Ebbing, Missouri (2018).

Rockwell’s characters can also operate on the right side of the law, as in his turn as a British inspector in See How They Run (2022) with Saoirse Ronan and Adrien Brody. He’s added to this range as a voice actor for animated features, such as DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys (2022) and Augenblick Studios’ The Adventures of Drunky (release date not announced) with Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Coogan, and Nina Arianda. 

Shuttling between Left and Right Coast divorced parents as an only child, Rockwell followed in their footsteps as an actor. He experienced the typical syndrome of unsteady acting work until Tom DiCillo’s Box of Moonlight (1996), where his colorful performance earned strong reviews and industry notice. He worked with other key indie directors like Julian Schnabel (Basquiat (1996), Richard Shepard (Mercy (1995))), John Duigan (Lawn Dogs (1997), and Alexandre Rockwell (Louis & Frank (1998)), culminating with Woody Allen’s Celebrity (1999) opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, Kenneth Branagh, and Judy Davis. 

With The Green Mile (1999), in which Rockwell played one of his baddest of bad guys, Rockwell launched a remarkable string of screen appearances in a savvy mix of studio and prestige projects, ranging from Galaxy Quest (1999) and Charlie’s Angels (2000) to David Mamet’s Heist (2001) with Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito; George Clooney’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) in a stunning portrayal of spy/gameshow host Chuck Barris; Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men (2002) with Nicolas Cage; the film version of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), with Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey, Zooey Deschanel, and John Malkovich; and Andrew Dominik’s magnificent Western with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007). 

Through this period, Sam Rockwell’s prolific roster of credits included supporting work in such major studio projects as Frost/Nixon (2008), Marvel’s Iron Man 2 (2010), Tony Goldwyn’s Conviction (2010) with Hilary Swank and Melissa Leo; and Cowboys & Aliens (2011), with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Before Three Billboards, Rockwell first collaborated with playwright-director Martin McDonagh on Seven Psychopaths (2012) with Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, and Abbie Cornish. Rockwell has fluidly jumped between edgy comedies and dramas—often with the same film–including Mr. Right (2015) with Anna Kendrick and Tim Roth, and most notably in  Three Billboards with Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson.

Less noticed is the array of performances of actual and living figures Rockwell has portrayed, from Chuck Barris, outlaw Charley Ford, and George W. Bush, to Bob Fosse (in the acclaimed mini-series, Fosse/Verdon (2019) with Michelle Williams) and Watson Bryant in Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell (2019), as well as his upcoming portrayal of Merle Haggard in writer-director Robin Bissell’s untitled biopic about the creator of the “Outlaw” sound in country music.     

Rockwell then performed in three consecutive voice roles in three animated features, two from DreamWorks Animation/Universal Pictures: the Walt Dohm-directed jukebox musical comedy, Trolls World Tour (2020), and as a lead in the Pierre Perifel-directed heist comedy, The Bad Guys (2022). Rockwell’s third animated feature performance was another lead in Disney’s fantasy drama, The One and Only Ivan (2020), with cast members Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, and Bryan Cranston.

Sam Rockwell starred in the British comic mystery, See How They Run (2022), co-starring Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, Harris Dickinson, and David Oyelowo, and released by Searchlight Pictures. Rockwell then joined the colorful ensemble of producer-director Matthew Vaughn’s spy action comedy, Argylle (2024), starring Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Catherine O’Hara, Dua Lipa, Ariana DeBose, Cranston, John Cena, Richard E. Grant, and Samuel L. Jackson, and backed by Apple Original Films with Universal Pictures and Apple TV+ as distributors in theaters and on streaming.

Rockwell took on another voice role in director/writer/producer/co-star John Krasinski’s live-action/animated fantasy, IF (2024), (whose title refers to Imaginary Friend), with such fellow voice actors as Steve Carell, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Jon Stewart, Christopher Meloni, Richard Jenkins, Awkwafina, and Vince Vaughn, and a live-action cast including Ryan Reynolds, Cailey Fleming, Fiona Shaw, and Bobby Moynihan, and released by Paramount Pictures.

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Personal Details

Born in the Bay Area and raised in his early years in San Mateo, Sam Rockwell’s acting parents, Pete and Penny Rockwell moved the family to New York City when he was age two. He was an only child. His parents divorced when he was five, and his father then raised him in San Francisco and summer with his mother in New York City, where he joined his mother in improv comedy sketches in East Village comedy clubs. He has been in a relationship with actor Leslie Bibb since 2007. His height is 5’ 8”.



Eric Bowen (2015)

Richard Jewell

Watson Bryant (2019)

The Best of Enemies

C.P. Ellis (2019)

The Sitter

Karl (2011)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Dixon (2017)


George W. Bush (2018)


Aidan Wilde (2024)

See How They Run

Inspector Stoppard (2022)

The Bad Guys

Wolf (2022)

Jojo Rabbit

Captain Klenzendorf (2019)

Woman Walks Ahead

Silas Groves (2018)


Oilman (2018)


Guardian Dog (2024)


Matty (2025)

Some Facts About Sam Rockwell

Confirmed Bachelor: Sam Rockwell has never been married, and has publicly stated that he’s not interested in being a father.

Theatre Life: Rockwell has kept a robust life in the theatre, performing in plays by Harold Pinter, Edward Albee, Martin McDonagh, Lanford Wilson, David Mamet, and Brad Fraser.



Winner, Best Supporting Actor, Academy Awards (2018); Nominee, Best Supporting Actor, Academy Awards (2018); Winner, Best Supporting Actor, BAFTA Awards (2018); Nominee, Best Supporting Actor, BAFTA Awards (2018); Winner, Best Actor Silver Bear, Berlin Film Festival (2002); Winner, Best Supporting Actor, Golden Globes (2018); Three-times nominee, Screen Actors Guilds Awards (2000, 2009, 2020); Winner, Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture, Screen Actors Guild Awards (2018); Winner, Best Actor, Television or Limited Series, Screen Actors Guild (2020).