Sam Wanamaker

Actor, Director, Producer
Distinguished looking, left-leaning actor who came to the screen in 1948 after considerable experience as an actor/director on the Chicago and Broadway stage. During the "Red Scare", Wanamaker appeared in "Give Us This ... Read more »
Born: 06/13/1919 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (48)

Bloodlines: Murder in the Family 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

D.W. Griffith: Father of Film 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Narrator

Wild Justice 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Guilty By Suspicion 1991 (Movie)

Felix Graff (Actor)

Pure Luck 1991 (Movie)

Highsmith (Actor)

The Shell Seekers 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Baby Boom 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Secret Ingredient 1989 (Movie)

Morley (Actor)

Judgment in Berlin 1988 (Movie)

Bernard Hellring (Actor)

Baby Boom 1987 (Movie)

Fritz Curtis (Actor)

Superman IV: the Quest for Peace 1987 (Movie)

David Warfield (Actor)

Raw Deal 1986 (Movie)

Luigi Patrovita (Actor)

Deceptions 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Embassy 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Aviator 1985 (Movie)

Bruno Hansen (Actor)

Irreconcilable Differences 1984 (Movie)

David Kessler (Actor)

The Ghost Writer 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

De l'enfer a la Victoire 1983 (Movie)

Ray McDonald (Actor)

Private Benjamin 1980 (Movie)

Teddy Benjamin (Actor)

The Competition 1979 (Movie)

Andrew Erskine (Actor)

Death on the Nile 1978 (Movie)

Rockford (Actor)

Holocaust -- The Story of the Family Weiss 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Voyage of the Damned 1976 (Movie)

Carl Rosen (Actor)

Billy Jack Goes to Washington 1975 (Movie)

Bailey (Actor)

The Sell Out 1975 (Movie)

Harry Sickles (Actor)

Danger Route 1966 (Movie)

Lucinda (Actor)

Warning Shot 1966 (Movie)

Frank Sanderman (Actor)

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold 1965 (Movie)

Peters (Actor)

Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines 1965 (Movie)

George Gruber (Actor)

The Man in the Middle 1964 (Movie)

Major Kaufman (Actor)

Taras Bulba 1962 (Movie)

Filipenko (Actor)

The Criminal 1962 (Movie)

Mike Carter (Actor)

The Battle of the Sexes 1959 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Always Remember I Love You (TV Show)

Actor

Berrenger's (TV Show)

Actor

Embassy (Movie)

Ambassador Arthur Ingram (Actor)

Heartsounds (TV Show)

Actor

I Was a Mail Order Bride (TV Show)

Actor

Killer Rules (TV Show)

Actor

Mousey (TV Show)

Actor

My Girl Tisa (Movie)

Mark Denek (Actor)

Our Family Business (TV Show)

Actor

Running Against Time (TV Show)

Actor

Sadie and Son (TV Show)

Actor

The Law (TV Show)

Actor

The Secret (Movie)

Nick Delaney (Actor)

The Spiral Staircase (TV Show)

Actor

The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (TV Show)

Actor
Director (12)

Grand Deceptions 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Director

Columbo 1971 - 1980 (Tv Show)

Director

Return of the Saint 1978 - 1980 (Tv Show)

Director

The Defenders 1961 - 1965, 1971 - 1980 (Tv Show)

Director

David Cassidy -- Man Undercover 1978 - 1979 (Tv Show)

Director

Mrs. Columbo 1978 - 1979 (Tv Show)

Director

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger 1977 (Movie)

(Director)

Catlow 1970 (Movie)

(Director)

The Executioner 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

The File of the Golden Goose 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

My Kidnapper, My Love (TV Show)

Director

The Killing of Randy Webster (TV Show)

Director

Biography

Distinguished looking, left-leaning actor who came to the screen in 1948 after considerable experience as an actor/director on the Chicago and Broadway stage. During the "Red Scare", Wanamaker appeared in "Give Us This Day" (1949), directed in London by Edward Dmytryk, a blacklisted member of the Hollywood Ten and after appearing in another film in England remained there to avoid any possible repercussions for his political commitments. After appearing in two British productions, however, he found that the tentacles of the Hollywood blacklist reached across the Atlantic, making it impossible for him to continue working in film.

Wanamaker subsequently made a name for himself as an actor, director and producer of Shakespeare and contemporary fare on the British stage and founded the Globe Playhouse Trust. He returned to the USA in 1961 and resumed his screen career with notable performances as the Russian agent in "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" (1965), as Moses Weiss in TV's "Holocaust" (1978) and ironically as a lawyer who tries to convince his clients to name names to HUAC in Irwin Winkler's Hollywood blacklist drama, "Guilty By Suspicion" (1991).

A veteran director for stage and TV ("The Defenders", "Columbo", "Hart to Hart"), Wanamaker's occasional directorial outings for film yielded mostly unexceptional results.

Relationships

Morris Wanamaker

Father

Molly Wanamaker

Mother

Charlotte Holland

Wife
married in 1940 until his death in January 1997

Jan Sterling Actor

Companion
had relationship with Wanamaker from c. 1960

Jessica Wanamaker

Daughter
survived him born c. 1953

Zoe Wanamaker Actor

Child
Born on May 13, 1949 survived him

Abby Wanamaker

Daughter
survived him

EDUCATION

The Goodman School of Drama

Chicago , Illinois

Drake University

Des Moines , Iowa

Milestones

1984

TV series regular on "Berringers"

1977

Founded (also executive director) Globe Playhouse Trust Ltd. And World Centre for Shakespeare Studies Ltd., UK

1974

Named director, Southwark Summer Festival, UK

1968

Feature directing debut, "The File of the Golden Goose" (Great Britain)

1961

Returned to USA

1953

Co-produced first play (also actor), "The Shrike", London

1952

London stage debut, "Winter Journey"

1951

US Government tried to serve him with subpoena to appear before the HUAC committee; remained in England

1948

Broadway directing debut, "Goodbye My Fancy" (also actor)

1948

Screen acting debut in "My Girl Tisa"

1946

Rose to prominence in stage production of "Joan of Lorraine"

1941

Broadway acting debut, "Cafe Crown"

1936

In Chicago worked as actor-director in summer stock, also with the Shakespearean Theatre Group and the Chicago Civic Repertory Theatre

Served in US Armed Forces

Directed productions for the Jewish Peoples Institute

Worked as radio actor in NY

Served as artistic director, New Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool, UK

Legally became a British resident

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