Sam Waterston

In the June 1st New Yorker, a brief piece “Stormy Weather: Sam Waterston plays Prospero, at the Delacorte” by Hilton Als:


Illustration by Simón Prades

(Prades is a fascinatiing artist: a surrealistic illustrator.)

From Als:

This summer, the Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park kicks off its fifty-third season with Michael Greif’s rendition of “The Tempest” (previews begin May 27), starring Sam Waterston, as Prospero, and Louis Cancelmi, as Caliban. … (It is Waterston’s thirteenth production with the Public.) For years, the young Waterston was one of our more awkward leading men, skinny and elegant and troubled, with such pronounced features and expressive eyes that you could not look away. His Prospero will no doubt be infused with his characteristic romanticism, enhanced by the setting — for what could be more appropriate than the Delacorte’s venerable outdoor space to stage this work that feels as though it were written under the stars?

From Wikipedia:

Samuel Atkinson “Sam” Waterston (born November 15, 1940) is an American actor, producer and director. Among other roles, he is noted for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in The Killing Fields (1984), and his Golden Globe-nominated and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning role as Jack McCoy on the NBC television series Law & Order (1994-2010).

… The classically trained Waterston has numerous stage credits to his name. For example, he played an award-winning Benedick in Joseph Papp’s production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and played the title role in Hamlet. He continues live theater work during the summers, often seen acting at places like Long Wharf Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven.

[List of a great many film roles, covering a wide range of characters.]

Aside from Law & Order, other television roles include D.A. Forrest Bedford in I’ll Fly Away, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama Series in 1993.

An extraordinary career, still going on. (Waterston and I are essentially the same age; he’s two months younger than me. A humbling fact.)

I remember I’ll Fly Away with great affection From Wikipedia:

I’ll Fly Away is an American drama television series set during the late 1950s and early 1960s, in an unspecified Southern U.S. state. It aired on NBC from 1991 to 1993 and starred Regina Taylor as Lilly Harper, a black housekeeper for the family of district attorney Forrest Bedford (Sam Waterston), whose name is an ironic reference to Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877), the founder of the Ku Klux Klan. As the show progressed, Lilly became increasingly involved in the Civil Rights Movement, with events eventually drawing in Forrest as well.

Waterston and Taylor in January 2010:


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