Sep. 26th, 1956
Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Linda Hamilton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Linda Carroll Hamilton (born September 26, 1956) is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Catherine Chandler in the 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.
Hamilton was born in Salisbury, Maryland. Her mother was a Mayflower descendant and her father, Carroll Stanford Hamilton, was a physician. Hamilton's father died when she was five, and her mother remarried to a police chief. Hamilton has an identical twin sister (Leslie Hamilton Gearren), one older sister and one younger brother. 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.
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 (1980). Her theatrical 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.
Hamilton played the lead in Children of the Corn, based on the horror short story by Stephen King. The movie, which made $14 million at the box office, was panned by critics. Hamilton's next role was in The Terminator, co-starring 'Arnold Schwarzenegger' and Michael Biehn, in 1984. The movie was an unexpectedly huge commercial and critical success. 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. 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. 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.
She returned to television in A Mother's Prayer (1995). 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 been married twice. She married her first husband, actor 'Bruce Abbott', on December 18, 1982. In 1989, Abbott and Hamilton separated while she was pregnant with their son Dalton.
While filming Terminator 2 in 1991, Hamilton began a relationship with director 'James Cameron', whom she had met seven years earlier when he directed her in the first Terminator film. They had a daughter, Josephine, born in 1993. She and Cameron eventually married in 1997, but the marriage was short-lived, ending in a $50 million divorce settlement in 1999.
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.
In an October 2005 appearance on Larry King Live, Hamilton revealed she has bipolar disorder, which she said destroyed her marriage to first husband Bruce Abbott, whom she admitted having abused verbally and physically, and eventually sought treatment. She also has stated that despite internet rumors to the contrary, she was never married to Peter Horton.
- Read for the part of Joanne Galloway in _A Few Good Men (1992)_ (qv). The part went to 'Demi Moore' (qv) instead.
- Has worked with both actors who were the main heroes of the Predator movies: 'Arnold Schwarzenegger' (qv) in two Terminator movies (_The Terminator (1984)_ (qv) and _Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)_ (qv)), and 'Danny Glover' (qv) in _Missing in America (2005)_ (qv).
- She reprised her _Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)_ (qv) character, Sarah Connor, for the theme-park attraction _T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996)_ (qv), a short film shot in a new 3-D process that makes the film appear to jump out at you.
- She was a method acting student at the 'Lee Strasberg' (qv) Institute.
- After her role in _Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)_ (qv), she learned that she made such an impression as the pumped and ferociously tough Sarah Connor that she was typecast into being offered only roles for similarly tough characters.
- 'James Cameron (I)' (qv) offered her the role of Molly Brown in _Titanic (1997)_ (qv) (ultimately played by 'Kathy Bates (I)' (qv)), but she declined.
- Auditioned for the role of Capt. Kathryn Janeway on _"Star Trek: Voyager" (1995)_ (qv).
- In the original screenplay of _The Terminator (1984)_ (qv), the character she played, Sarah Connor, was 19 years old. It was decision of 'James Cameron (I)' (qv) to make the character somewhat older to fit into Hamilton's age. In real life, Linda was 27 when filming started and turned 28 before the film was released.