For many people, the beautiful and talented Linda Hamilton is best-known as Sarah Connor in the popular franchise of The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996, short film). Aside from the commercial success, Hamilton’s performance received critical appreciation and she was handed a Saturn Award and two MTV Movie Awards. She also played several award-winning roles like Rosemary Holmstrom in the TV film A Mother’s Prayer (1995, won a CableACE Award and earned a Golden Globe nomination), Rachel Wando in the drama adventure Dante’s Peak (1997, netted a Blockbuster Entertainment Award), Anna Sipes in The Color Of Courage (1999, nabbed a Golden Satellite Award) as well as Tina Conway in the crime thriller Skeletons in the Closet (2001, took home a DVD Exclusive Award). She will soon appear in the upcoming big screen thriller Broken (2006), as Karen. Directed by Alan White, the movie will also feature Heather Graham and Jeremy Sisto.
Outside the limelight, heavy smoker Hamilton inherited her father’s health problems, bipolar disorder, which causes a manic-depressive illness. Although she initially refused any drug therapy, since age 30 she has been consuming anti-depressants to control her illness. 5’ 6 inches tall Hamilton is a big fan of football, horses, books, ice cream and Scrabble games.
Hamilton has been married three times. She was once married to actor Peter Horton, actor Bruce Abbott, and director James Cameron. From the marriages, she has two children, son Dalton Abbott (father: Bruce Abbott) and daughter Josephine Archer Cameron (father: James Cameron).
Childhood and Family:
In Salisbury, Maryland, Linda Carroll Hamilton was born on September 26, 1956. After her father’s death in a car accident in 1961, her mother married a police chief. Linda had an identity crisis when she was 16 due to her wish to be different from her sister, a six minute-younger identical twin named Leslie Hamilton Gearren (registered nurse).
“I wanted to be ugly. I became the intellectual, the thinker, as opposed to my sister the cheerleader. I was voted class snob.” Linda Hamilton
Working with a Salisbury children theatre group alongside her twin, Linda soon found her passion for acting. After graduating from high school in 1974, she took two acting classes at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, where she performed in a couple of student productions. Two years later, she decided to quit and relocated to New York. She then studied Method Acting at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Institute.
As for her romantic life, Hamilton has been married three times. She was once married to actor Peter Horton, actor Bruce Abbott, and director James Cameron. Linda and Bruce share a son, Dalton Abbott (born on October 4, 1989) and Linda and James share a daughter named Josephine Archer Cameron (born in 1993). Currently, Linda and her children reside in Malibu.
A Mother’s Prayer
“Acting decided to have its way with me. I loved it; I always loved it. I did children’s theater when I was young. No particular talent for it, I might add. You know, I have a twin sister, so they hired my twin sister and me to do this play. I’m sure they thought it was really cute to have the Hamilton twins playing the same role. I discovered my passion for acting then.” Linda Hamilton
After her participation in children’s theater, Linda Hamilton received acting experience in high school when she became the assistant to the drama coach and directed a school play. In college, she performed in a number of student productions like John Million’s “Prometheus Bound” and Elmer Rice’s “The Adding Machine.” She also once joined a Chestertown theater group named the Kent Players and took part in such plays as the stage version of Henry Fielding’s “Tom Jones,” Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” and Arthur Miller’s “A View From The Bridge.”
In 1979, Hamilton headed to California where she soon debuted on the small screen with a guest spot in the series “Shirley,” and landed a starring turn as Wafer in her big screen debut, Night-Flowers. The following year, she appeared on TV film for the first time with the supporting part as Anne Samoorian, a cheerleader trapped in the mid-life crisis of her mother’s ex-boyfriend, in Reunion (1980). It was followed by her first regular role in the short-lived TV series “Secrets of Midland Heights” (1980), as Lisa Rogers. She acquired leading parts in the silver screen thriller Tag: The Assassination Game (1982, played Susan Swayze) and in the made-for-TV drama Secrets of a Mother and Daughter (1983, as Susan Decker).
Hamilton gained more popularity when director James Cameron cast her in the signature role of Sarah Connor, an assassination target of a futuristic robot, in the sci-fi action The Terminator (1984), where she costarred with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Beihn. After having roles in such films as Secret Weapons (1985, TV, starred as Elena Koslov/Joanna) and King Kong Lives (1986, played Amy Franklin), the rising actress took a female leading role as Catherine Chandler, a District Attorney assistant forming a relationship with a lion-man, in the drama series “Beauty and the Beast” (1987-1989). Delivering a fine portrayal, Hamilton received two Golden Globe nominations. Amid the series, she was also seen as Claire Madison, whose son suffered from AIDS, in the TV drama Go Toward the Light (1988).
The beautiful actress again had a big screen hit when she reprised her signature role of Sarah Connor in the sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). For her magnificent acting, Hamilton took home several awards like a Saturn and an MTV Movie for Best Actress, as well as an MTV Movie for Most Desirable Female. The character was so famous that she was hired to voice her character for the video game of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1992), along with Arnold Schwarzenegger. She was then seen costarring opposite Richard Dreyfuss in the drama thriller Silent Fall (1994).
Hamilton continued her triumphant journey in acting with the turn as the HIV-infected mother Rosemary Holmstrom in the TV film A Mother’s Prayer (1995), in which her performance netted a CableACE and earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Following James Cameron’s third sequel of T2 3-D: Battle Across Time (1996, short film), the gifted actress won a Blockbuster Entertainment for her outstanding performance as Rachel Wando in the drama adventure Dante’s Peak (1997). On the small screen, she starred as Jean Martin in On the Line (1998) before having the Golden Satellite-winning turn as Anna Sipes in the 1999 The Color Of Courage. In 2000, the actress went back to the stage with the titular role in the LA stage production of “Laura.” The next year, she took the part of Tina Conway in the crime thriller movie Skeletons in the Closet and nabbed a DVD Exclusive for Best Actress. Next up for Hamilton, she was seen in such movies as Silent Night (2002, TV), the short film Wholey Moses (2003) and Jonah (2004, had the role of June). She also guest starred as Melissa in the sitcom “According to Jim” (2005), starring James Belushi.
Recently, Hamilton played Roselyn Moore in the first and second episode of the new TV series titled “Thief” (2006). She will also appear in the upcoming big screen thriller Broken (2006), as Karen. Directed by Alan White, the movie will feature Heather Graham and Jeremy Sisto.
- DVD Exclusive: Video Premiere Award - Best Supporting Actress, Skeletons In The Closet, 2001
- Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, The Color Of Courage, 2000
- Blockbuster Entertainment: Favorite Actress - Action/Adventure, Dante’s Peak, 1998
- CableACE: Actress in a Movie or Miniseries, A Mother’s Prayer, 1995
- MTV Movie: Best Female Performance, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1992
- MTV Movie: Most Desirable Female, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1992
- Saturn: Best Actress, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1992