Linda Hamilton
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Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton
Linda Hamilton by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Hamilton at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con
Linda Carroll Hamilton

(1956-09-26) September 26, 1956 (age 63)
Years active1980-present

Linda Carroll Hamilton (born September 26, 1956) is an American actress. She is best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in the Terminator film series and Catherine Chandler in the television series Beauty and the Beast (1987-1990), for which she was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy Award. She also starred as Vicky Baxter in the horror film Children of the Corn (1984), Doctor Amy Franklin in the monster film King Kong Lives (1986), and Mayor Rachel Wando in the disaster thriller film Dante's Peak (1997). Hamilton had a recurring role as Mary Elizabeth Bartowski on NBC's Chuck.

Early life

Hamilton was born in Salisbury, Maryland. Hamilton's father, Carroll Stanford Hamilton, a physician, died when she was five, and her mother later married 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' 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 Leslie, her twin. She studied for two years at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, before moving on to acting studies in New York City. Hamilton has said that her acting professor at Washington College 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 at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan on October 17, 2009

Hamilton's professional acting debut was on television and was 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 starred in the CBS made-for-TV movie Country Gold alongside Loni Anderson and Earl Holliman.

Hamilton played the lead role in Children of the Corn (1984), 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 (1984), opposite Michael Biehn. 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 television series Beauty and the Beast. The series was critically acclaimed, and she received Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations. Hamilton left the series in 1989 and it ended in 1990.

Hamilton returned to the big screen with Michael Caine in Mr. Destiny (1990) and with Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), 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 Award 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 series 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 co-star Ron Perlman reunited in the post-Vietnam war drama Missing in America (2005).

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 appeared as a guest star in the Showtime cable television series Weeds as the marijuana supplier for the series' main character (Mary-Louise Parker). In November 2011, she narrated the Chiller The Future of Fear horror documentary.[13][14]

In 2013, Hamilton appeared as Acacia, a Valkyrie, in "Delinquents", a third-season episode of the TV series Lost Girl, a role she would reprise in two subsequent episodes, "End of a Line" in the fourth season, and "Sweet Valkyrie High" in the fifth. She subsequently appeared in a recurring role on the Syfy series Defiance, beginning in that show's second season.[15] In 2019, she reprised her role as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate, her first starring role as the character since 1991, and also voiced the character in the video game Gears 5.[16]

Personal life

Hamilton has been married and divorced twice.[17] Her first marriage, from 1982 to 1989, was to Bruce Abbott, who left her when she was pregnant with their son (Dalton born 1989).[18] In 1991, she moved in with film director James Cameron. They had a daughter (Josephine Archer Cameron 26) in 1993.[18] She and Cameron married in 1997, ending in a $50 million divorce settlement in 1999.[19]

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.[20]

In an October 2005 appearance on Larry King Live, Hamilton discussed her depression and bipolar disorder, which led to violent mood swings and suicidal thoughts during her marriage to Abbott, and, in her view, caused the failure of both of her marriages. She also discussed how she eventually received therapy and medication to manage the condition.[17]

While filming Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Hamilton suffered permanent hearing damage in one ear when she fired a gun inside an elevator without using her ear plugs.[21]



Year Title Role Notes
1982 Tag: The Assassination Game Susan Swayze
1984 Children of the Corn Vicky
1984 The Stone Boy Eva Crescent Moon
1984 The Terminator Sarah Connor
1986 Black Moon Rising Nina
1986 King Kong Lives Amy Franklin
1990 Mr. Destiny Ellen Jane
1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day Sarah Connor
1994 Silent Fall Karen Rainer
1995 Separate Lives Lauren Porter/Lena
1997 Dante's Peak Rachel Wando
1997 Shadow Conspiracy Amanda Givens
1999 The Secret Life of Girls Ruby Sanford
2001 Skeletons in the Closet Tina Conway Direct-to-video movie
2005 Smile Bridget
2005 Missing in America Kate
2005 The Kid & I Susan Mandeville
2006 Broken Karen
2009 Terminator Salvation Sarah Connor
2009 Hard Times Cory Williams
2010 DC Showcase: Jonah Hex Madame Lorraine
2010 Refuge Amelia Philips
2016 A Sunday Horse Mrs. Walden
2017 Curvature Florence
2019 Terminator: Dark Fate Sarah Connor
2019 Easy Does It King George


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Shirley Gloria Episode: "Teddy Roosevelt Slept Here"
1980 Reunion Anne Samoorian Television movie
1980 Rape and Marriage: The Rideout Case Greta Rideout Television movie
1980-1981 Secrets of Midland Heights Lisa Rogers 10 episodes
1982 King's Crossing Lauren Hollister 10 episodes
1982 Country Gold Josie Greenwood Television movie; air date: November 23, 1982[22]
1984 Hill Street Blues Sandy Valpariso 4 episodes
1985 Secret Weapons Elena Koslov Television movie
1986 Murder, She Wrote Carol McDermott Episode: "Menace, Anyone?"
1986 Club Med Kate Television movie
1987-1989 Beauty and the Beast Catherine Chandler 46 episodes
1988 Go Toward the Light Claire Madison Television movie
1991 Saturday Night Live Host Episode: "Linda Hamilton/Mariah Carey"
1995 A Mother's Prayer Rosemary Holstrom Television movie
1997 Frasier Laura Episode: "Odd Man Out"
1998 On the Line Det. Jean Martin Television movie
1998 Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Couples Marie Taquet Television movie
1998 Point Last Seen Rachel Harrison Television movie
1998 The Color of Courage Anna Sipes Television movie
1998 The New Batman Adventures Susan Voice role in one episode: "Chemistry"
1998-1999 Hercules Nemesis Voice only in two episodes: "Hercules and the King for a Day" (1998) and "Hercules and the Romans" (1999)
1999 Batman Beyond Dr. Stephanie Lake Voice role in one episode: "Meltdown"
2000 Sex & Mrs. X Joanna Scott Television movie
2000 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command Dr. Furbanna 3 episodes
2001 Bailey's Mistake Liz Donovan Television movie
2001 A Girl Thing Rachel Logan Television movie
2002 Silent Night Elisabeth Vincken Television movie
2003 Wholey Moses Valerie Short film
2004 Jonah June Short film
2005 According to Jim Melissa Evans Episode: "Lean on Me"
2006 Thief Roselyn Moore 2 episodes
2006 Home by Christmas Julie Bedford Television movie
2008-2009 The Line Carol 11 episodes
2010 Weeds Linda 3 episodes
2010-2012 Chuck Mary Elizabeth Bartowski 12 episodes
2013 Bad Behavior Margaret Television movie
2013 Lost Girl Acacia 2 episodes
2013 Air Force One Is Down United States President Harriet Rowntree Television miniseries
2014 Bermuda Tentacles Admiral Hansen Television movie
2014-2015 Defiance Pilar McCawley 6 episodes
2017 Shoot Me Nicely Layla Television short

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2019 Gears 5 Sarah Connor Voice

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Work Result
1992 Saturn Award Best Actress Terminator 2: Judgment Day Won[]
1998 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress--Action/Adventure Dante's Peak Won[23]
1995 CableACE Awards Actress in a Movie or Miniseries A Mother's Prayer Won[]
2001 DVD Exclusive Awards Video Premiere Award Best Supporting Actress Skeletons in the Closet Won[]
1988 Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series--Drama Beauty and the Beast Nominated[]
1989 Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series--Drama Beauty and the Beast Nominated[]
1996 Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV A Mother's Prayer Nominated[]
1992 MTV Movie Awards MTV Movie Award Best Female Performance Terminator 2: Judgment Day Won[]
1992 MTV Movie Awards MTV Movie Award Most Desirable Female Terminator 2: Judgment Day Won[]
2000 Satellite Awards Golden Satellite Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture The Color of Courage Won[]
2019 Prêmio Carburador de Prata Best Ederly Terminator: Dark Fate Won[]


  1. ^ "Linda Hamilton Biography (1956-)". Film Reference. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ a b Pfefferman, Naomi (May 16, 2002). "The 'Jewish' Side of Linda Hamilton". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
  3. ^ "Philadelphia Inquirer: Search Results". Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "Linda Hamilton biography". Retrieved 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 2010.
  8. ^ "The Top Movies, Weekend of November 9, 1984". The Numbers. Retrieved 2010.
  9. ^ "'The Terminator' surprises the critics; is a top grosser". Tri City Herald. November 30, 1984. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "Making of Terminator 2". Empire Magazine. September 1991. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ Hibberd, James (July 24, 2010). "Linda Hamilton joins 'Chuck'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2010.
  12. ^ "Linda Hamilton Returns to 'Chuck' for the Series Finale". Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ "The Future of Fear" Archived 2012-01-15 at the Wayback Machine. Chiller TV. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
  14. ^ Zimmerman, Samuel. "Chiller contemplates 'THE FUTURE OF FEAR'". Fangoria. November 23, 2011
  15. ^ Seikaly, Andrew (April 10, 2014). "Linda Hamilton Tapped for Season Two of Syfy's 'Defiance'". Variety. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  16. ^ Shanley, Patrick (June 9, 2019). "'Terminator: Dark Fate,' 'Gears 5' Crossover Unveiled". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "CNN Larry King Live Interview with Linda Hamilton (transcript)". 2005-10-14. Retrieved 2008.
  18. ^ a b Linda Hamilton Biography - Yahoo! Movies Archived 2014-03-01 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Forbes: Michael Jordan's Divorce Most Costly Ever". Fox News. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2008.
  20. ^ "Linda Hamilton: 'I Voted for Scwarzenegger'". 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2010.
  21. ^ Julius, Marshall. "Linda Hamilton : Interview". Blockbuster LLC. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved . To this day I have serious hearing loss in one ear. We were shooting a scene in an elevator and I'd forgotten to put my earplugs in.
  22. ^ "Garage Sale Finds: What was on TV November 20th through 26th, 1982 (TV Guide Magazine reproduction)". GarageSalin. Retrieved 2015.
  23. ^ "Awards for Linda Hamilton". imdb. Retrieved 2013.

External links

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