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- Samantha Mathis
- Manhattan NY
- United States
Mathis was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of actress Bibi Besch, and granddaughter of actress Gusti Huber. Her parents divorced when she was 2 years old, Mathis was raised by her mother. She relocated to Los Angeles, California at the age of 5. Mathis' mother discouraged her from pursuing acting, but growing up on locations, in theaters, and in acting classes, Mathis knew she wanted to act. She is also a vegetarian.
Samantha Mathis Career
Mathis began acting professionally at the age of sixteen, her first job was a commercial for "Always Slender Pads - Just For Teens". Her first starring role in a feature film was that of Nora in Pump Up the Volume (1990), opposite Christian Slater, whom she briefly dated at the time. She appeared in the television movies Extreme Close-Up, 83 Hours 'Til Dawn, and To My Daughter in 1990. Mathis and Slater also had voice roles in the animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992). She next appeared in the comedy This Is My Life (1992), written and directed by Nora Ephron, playing an insecure teenager. Mathis appeared in the play Fortinbras in New York City in October 1992. Her film Super Mario Bros. (1993), where she played Princess Daisy from the popular Nintendo video game Super Mario Bros., was a box office bomb.
Mathis met actor River Phoenix on the set of the country music film The Thing Called Love (1993) and the two started a relationship. She was with him the night that he fell unconscious from a drug overdose on the sidewalk outside West Hollywood's Viper Room on Halloween, October 31, 1993; he died later at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. She made the film Jack and Sarah (1995), which was shot in London, in order to get out of the country after his death because of the large amount of press coverage.
Mathis appeared in Little Women, the 1994 film version of the novel by Louisa May Alcott, and How to Make an American Quilt (1995), both starring Winona Ryder, an actress she was often compared to early in her career. She then co-starred with Michael Douglas in The American President (1995), playing the assistant to the President of the United States. Mathis co-starred with Christian Slater again, along with John Travolta, in John Woo's Broken Arrow (1996). She took a little over a year off from acting after her mother died in 1996.
She later starred opposite Christian Bale and Reese Witherspoon in the critically acclaimed film American Psycho (2000), directed by Mary Harron, an adaptation of the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel American Psycho. She starred opposite Gretchen Mol, Tom Everett Scott and Matthew Settle in Attraction (2000), and in The Simian Line (2001), opposite William Hurt, Lynn Redgrave and Harry Connick, Jr. She starred in the TNT television miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2001), with Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen and Julianna Margulies. Mathis later re-united with co-star John Travolta for The Punisher (2004). Mathis has a recurring role on the ABC television show, Lost as Dharma Initiative teacher, Olivia Goodspeed.