Linda Hamilton

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Linda Hamilton
Hamilton at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 17, 2009.
BornLinda Carroll Hamilton
(1956-09-26)September 26, 1956
Salisbury, Maryland, U.S.
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Bruce Abbott (1982–1989; divorced; 1 son)
James Cameron (1997–1999; divorced; 1 daughter)
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This article is about the actress. For the international association football player, see Linda Hamilton (soccer).
Linda Hamilton
Hamilton at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 17, 2009.
BornLinda Carroll Hamilton
(1956-09-26)September 26, 1956
Salisbury, Maryland, U.S.
Years active1980–present
Spouse(s)Bruce Abbott (1982–1989; divorced; 1 son)
James Cameron (1997–1999; divorced; 1 daughter)

Linda Carroll Hamilton (September 26, 1956) is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in The Terminator and its sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Catherine Chandler in the 1987–1990 television series Beauty and the Beast, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy. Hamilton had a recurring role as Mary Elizabeth Bartowski on NBC's Chuck.

Early life[edit]

Hamilton was born in Salisbury, Maryland. Her mother was a Mayflower descendant. Hamilton's father, Carroll Stanford Hamilton, a physician, died when she was five, and her mother remarried to a police chief.[1][2][3] Hamilton has an identical twin sister (Leslie Hamilton Gearren), one older sister and one younger brother. She has said that she was raised in a "very boring, white Anglo-Saxon" family, and “voraciously read books” during her spare time.[2] Hamilton went to Wicomico Junior High (now Wicomico Middle School) and Wicomico High School in Salisbury, with her twin sister, Leslie. She studied for two years at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, before moving on to acting studies in New York City. While attending Washington College, Hamilton states her acting professor told her she had no hope of earning a living as an actress. In New York, she attended acting workshops given by Lee Strasberg.[4]


Hamilton's acting debut came first on television, followed by a major role as Lisa Rogers in the prime-time soap opera Secrets of Midland Heights (December 1980/January 1981). Her big-screen debut was in the thriller TAG: The Assassination Game (1982) and as a result, she was listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1982" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 34. She also shared a starring role in the CBS made for TV movie Country Gold, with Loni Anderson and Earl Holliman.

Hamilton played the lead role in Children of the Corn, based on the horror short story by Stephen King. The movie, which made $14 million at the box office,[5] was panned by critics.[6] Hamilton's next role was in The Terminator, opposite Michael Biehn, in 1984. The movie was an unexpectedly huge commercial and critical success.[7][8][9] Following The Terminator, Hamilton starred in Black Moon Rising, an action thriller with Tommy Lee Jones. She then returned to television as a guest-star in the mystery series Murder, She Wrote, scoring favorable reviews. Hamilton next starred opposite Ron Perlman in the TV series Beauty and the Beast. The series was critically acclaimed, and she received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Hamilton left the series in 1989 and it ended in 1990.

Hamilton returned to the big screen in 1990 with Michael Caine in Mr. Destiny and in 1991 with Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the sequel to The Terminator. The latter was a smash at the box office, grossing over $500 million, more than any other film of that year. Hamilton underwent intense physical training to emphasize the character's transformation from the first film.[10] Her identical twin sister Leslie Hamilton Gearren was Linda's double in Terminator 2. Hamilton received two MTV Movie Awards for her role in the film, one for Best Female Performance and the other for Most Desirable Female. She reprised the character, Sarah Connor, for the theme park attraction T2 3-D. In 1990, Hamilton was chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world. Following the success of the Terminator series, she hosted Saturday Night Live.

She returned to television in A Mother's Prayer (1995) playing a mother who lost her husband and is diagnosed with AIDS. For her performance in the film, which co-starred Kate Nelligan and Bruce Dern, Hamilton was awarded a CableACE Award for best dramatic performance and nominated for another Golden Globe in 1996. That same year, Hamilton filmed two motion pictures that were released one week apart in 1997: Shadow Conspiracy with Charlie Sheen and Dante's Peak with Pierce Brosnan. Shadow Conspiracy flopped at the box office, but Dante's Peak grossed $180 million and was one of the biggest commercial hits of the year. She received a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for female performance in Dante's Peak.

Hamilton has since appeared on the television shows Frasier (season 4 episode "Odd Man Out" as Laura) and According to Jim and has done more TV movies, including On the Line, Robots Rising, Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Couples, Point Last Seen, and The Color of Courage. Hamilton and her Beauty and the Beast costar Ron Perlman reunited in the 2005 post-Vietnam war drama Missing in America.

In 2009, she returned as Sarah Connor in Terminator Salvation, in voice-overs only. In 2010, she joined the cast of Chuck in the recurring guest role of Mary Elizabeth Bartowski, a CIA agent and long-missing mother of Chuck and Ellie.[11][12] She also appears as a guest star in the Showtime cable television show Weeds as the marijuana supplier for the show's main character (Mary-Louise Parker). In November 2011, she narrated the Chiller The Future of Fear horror documentary.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Hamilton has been married and divorced twice.[15] Her first marriage (1982-89) was to Bruce Abbott, who walked out on her when she was pregnant with their son Dalton.[16][17] In 1991, she moved in with film director James Cameron following his divorce from Kathryn Bigelow.[17] They had a daughter, Josephine, born in 1993.[16] She and Cameron married in 1997; but the marriage was short-lived, ending in a $50 million divorce settlement in 1999.[18]

Hamilton has described herself politically as a Democrat, but she voted for Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger, her Terminator co-star, in the 2003 California gubernatorial election after his campaign convinced her he was suitable for the job.[19]

In an October 2005 appearance on Larry King Live, Hamilton told the audience that she has bipolar disorder, which she said destroyed her marriage to Abbott, whom she admitted having abused verbally and physically, and eventually sought treatment.[15]


1980ShirleyGloriaEpisode: "Teddy Roosevelt Slept Here"
1980ReunionAnne SamoorianTelevision movie
1980Rape and Marriage: The Rideout CaseGreta RideoutTelevision movie
1980–1981Secrets of Midland HeightsLisa Rogers10 episodes
1982King's CrossingLauren Hollister10 episodes
1982Tag: The Assassination GameSusan Swayze
1983Trading Placescameo
1984Children of the CornVicky
1984The TerminatorSarah Connor
1984Hill Street BluesSandy Valpariso4 episodes
1984The Stone BoyEva Crescent Moon
1985Secret WeaponsElena KoslovTelevision movie
1986King Kong LivesDr. Amy Franklin
1986Black Moon RisingNina
1986Murder, She WroteCarol McDermottEpisode: "Menace, Anyone?"
1987–1989Beauty and the BeastCatherine Chandler46 episodes
1988Go Toward the LightClaire MadisonTelevision movie
1990Mr. DestinyEllen Jane
1991Terminator 2: Judgment DaySarah Connor
1991Saturday Night LiveHostEpisode: "Linda Hamilton/Mariah Carey"
1993FrasierClaireEpisode: "Odd Man Out"
1994Silent FallKaren Rainer
1995A Mother's PrayerRosemary Holstrom
1995Separate LivesLauren Porter/Lena
1996T2 3-D: Battle Across TimeSarah ConnorShort film
1997Dante's PeakMayor Rachel Wando
1997Shadow ConspiracyAmanda Givens
1997FrasierLauraEpisode: "Odd Man Out"
1998On the LineDet. Jean MartinTelevision movie
1998Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two CouplesMarie TaquetTelevision movie
1998Point Last SeenRachel HarrisonTelevision movie
1998The Color of CourageAnna SipesTelevision movie
1998–1999HerculesNemesisVoice only in two episodes: "Hercules and the King for a Day" (1998) and "Hercules and the Romans" (1999)
1999The Secret Life of GirlsRuby Sanford
2000Skeletons in the ClosetTina Conway
2000Sex & Mrs. XJoanna ScottTelevision movie
2000Buzz Lightyear of Star CommandDr. Furbanna3 episodes
2001Bailey's MistakeLiz DonovanTelevision movie
2001A Girl ThingRachelTelevision movie
2002Silent NightElisabeth VinckenTelevision movie
2003Wholey MosesValerieShort film
2004JonahJuneShort film
2005According to JimMelissa EvansEpisode: "Lean on Me"
2005Missing in AmericaKate
2005The Kid & ISusan Mandeville
2006ThiefRoselyn Moore2 episodes
2006Home by ChristmasJulie BedfordTelevision movie
2008–2009The LineCarol11 episodes
2009Hard TimesCory
2009Terminator SalvationSarah Connor(Voice only) Uncredited
2010WeedsLinda2 episodes
2010DC Showcase: Jonah HexMadame Lorraine
2010–2012ChuckMary Elizabeth Bartowski12 episodes
2013Bad Behavior
2013Lost GirlAcacia2 Episodes
2014Bermuda TentaclesAdmiral HansenTelevision movie
2014DefiancePilar McCawley3 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations
1992Saturn AwardBest ActressTerminator 2: Judgment DayWon[20]
1998Blockbuster Entertainment AwardsFavorite Actress—Action/AdventureDante's PeakWon[20]
1995CableACE AwardsActress in a Movie or MiniseriesA Mother's PrayerWon[20]
2001DVD Exclusive AwardsVideo Premiere Award Best Supporting ActressSkeletons in the ClosetWon[20]
1988Golden Globe AwardsBest Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series—DramaBeauty and the BeastNominated[20]
1989Golden Globe AwardsBest Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series—DramaBeauty and the BeastNominated[20]
1996Golden Globe AwardsBest Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TVA Mother's PrayerNominated[20]
1992MTV Movie AwardsMTV Movie Award Best Female PerformanceTerminator 2: Judgment DayWon[20]
1992MTV Movie AwardsMTV Movie Award Most Desirable FemaleTerminator 2: Judgment DayWon[20]
2000Satellite AwardsGolden Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion PictureThe Color of CourageWon[20]


  1. ^ "Linda Hamilton Biography (1956–)". Film Reference. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b Pfefferman, Naomi (May 16, 2002). "The ‘Jewish’ Side of Linda Hamilton". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Linda Hamilton biography". Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  5. ^ " Children of the Corn (1984)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Children of the Corn (1984)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Terminator – Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ "The Top Movies, Weekend of November 9, 1984". The Numbers. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  9. ^ "'The Terminator' surprises the critics; is a top grosser". Tri City Herald. November 30, 1984. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Making of Terminator 2". Empire Magazine. September 1991. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ Ausiello, Michael "'Chuck' scoop: Mama Bartowski to be played by... Sarah freakin' Connor!". Entertainment Weekly. July 24, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  12. ^ Hibberd, James "Linda Hamilton joins ‘Chuck’". The Hollywood Reporter. July 24, 2010. Retrieved July 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ "The Future of Fear". Chiller TV. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  14. ^ Zimmerman, Samuel. "Chiller contemplates 'THE FUTURE OF FEAR'". Fangoria. November 23, 2011
  15. ^ a b "CNN Larry King Live Interview with Linda Hamilton (transcript)". 2005-10-14. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  16. ^ a b Linda Hamilton Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  17. ^ a b Sewards, Lisa (February 5, 2011). "My Rollercoaster Marriage To The Crazy Genius Behind Avatar". Daily Mail.
  18. ^ "Forbes: Michael Jordan's Divorce Most Costly Ever". Fox News. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  19. ^ "Linda Hamilton: 'I Voted for Scwarzenegger'". 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Awards for Linda Hamilton". imdb. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 

External links[edit]