Sam Rockwell

Academy Award-winning film actor Sam Rockwell became known for his critically acclaimed roles in films like "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017), and "Vice" (2018). Born in Daly City, California, Rockwell grew up primarily in San Francisco. His parents, who were both struggling actors in their own right, divorced when he was 5. As a boy, Sam would spend summers in New York with his mom and live with his dad in California during the school year. While attending high school in San Francisco, Rockwell nabbed a small part in an independent film. From there he was hooked, and after graduation he packed his bags and headed east to New York to make it as an actor. To pay his bills while he pursued acting in the Big Apple, Rockwell took a series of odd jobs, including restaurant busboy and private investigator's assistant. All the while he was landing small roles in films like "Strictly Business" (1991), "Light Sleeper" (1992), and "Jack and His Friends" (1992). Then in 1994 Rockwell appeared in a nationwide beer commercial and was financially secure enough to pursue acting fulltime. He continued making a name for himself with big parts in smaller films like "Box of Moonlight" (1996) and "The Call Back" (1998), as well as small parts in big films like "The Green Mile" (1999) and "Charlie's Angels" (2000). Then in 2002 Rockwell nabbed his breakout role playing Chuck Barris, host of "The Gong Show," in the George Clooney-directed dark comedy "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002). Rockwell's performance earned widespread praise, and before long he was appearing in bigger studio films like "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (2007), "Frost/Nixon" (2008), and "Iron Man 2" (2010). By the late 2010s, after over two decades in the business, Rockwell was finally beginning to receive recognition from the Academy for his work. He won his first Oscar in 2018 for his supporting role in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," and the following year, in 2019, was nominated for an acting Oscar for a second time for his part as President George W. Bush in the Adam McKay-directed Dick Cheney biopic "Vice" (2018).