Sam Waterston Net Worth – How the Law & Order Star Built

Sam Waterston Net Worth

Sam Waterston is a renowned American actor known for his versatile performances on stage, screen, and television. With a career spanning more than five decades, Waterston has built a reputation as one of the most talented actors in the entertainment industry. But how much is Sam Waterston net worth, and how did he achieve his financial success?

In this article, we’ll dive into Sam Waterston’s life and career, explore his various business ventures and philanthropic efforts, and analyze his net worth to understand how he built his fortune.

Sam Waterston Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Sam Waterston has an estimated net worth of $20 million. But how did he accumulate such a fortune?

Acting is undoubtedly Waterston’s primary source of income. Throughout his long and successful career, he has appeared in numerous stage productions, movies, and TV shows. Critics and audiences alike have received high praise for his performances. However, that has undoubtedly contributed to his financial success.

Sam Waterston Net Worth

In addition to his acting career, Waterston has also dabbled in several entrepreneurial ventures. One of his most notable business ventures was The Great GoogaMooga, a food and music festival he co-founded with entrepreneurs in 2012. The festival was held in Brooklyn, New York, featuring various food and drink vendors and live musical performances. Unfortunately, the festival lasted only two years before being canceled due to poor attendance and financial losses.

Despite the setback with The Great GoogaMooga, Waterston has pursued other business ventures. He is the founder and CEO of Chocolate Springs Café, a chocolate shop and café in Lenox, Massachusetts. He is also a partner in a vineyard and winery in upstate New York.

Early Life and Career

Sam Waterston was born on November 15, 1940, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He grew up in a family of academics. And his family encouraged him to pursue a career in law or academia. However, Waterston belongs to the arts field and attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where he studied literature and drama.

After returning to the United States, Waterston attended Yale University and graduated with a degree in drama in 1962. He then studied at the American Actors Workshop in New York City and made his Broadway debut in 1964.

His stage performances marked Waterston’s early career, and he quickly gained recognition for his acting talent. He received a Tony Award nomination for his performance in the play “A Walk in the Woods” in 1988, and his performance in the space “Benefactors” in 1985 earned him an Obie Award.

Success on Stage and Screen

Waterston’s talent on stage led to several successful Broadway productions. In 1968, he appeared in “Lunch Hour,” which earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play. He starred in “A Walk in the Woods” in 1988, making him a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play.

Waterston’s success on stage also translated to the small screen. In 1994, he played Jack McCoy in the long-running NBC legal drama “Law & Order.” Waterston’s portrayal of the challenging yet compassionate district attorney. Also, audiences and critics praised him, earning him numerous Emmy Award nominations over the show’s 16-year run.

Sam Waterston Net Worth

Waterston’s success on TV also led to several movie roles. He starred in several notable films, including “The Great Gatsby” (1974), “The Killing Fields” (1984), and “The Man in the Moon” (1991).

Philanthropy and Activism

Waterston is famous for his acting career, business ventures, philanthropic efforts, and political activism. He strongly advocates for environmental issues and has supported several organizations, including Oceana and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Waterston is also a vocal critic of the current political climate in the United States. He has spoken out against President Trump. And his administration has been an active participant in several anti-Trump protests.

In addition to his political and social activism, Waterston also has various charitable causes. He is a board member of Refugees International, an organization that advocates for the rights and safety of refugees worldwide. He also has multiple fundraising efforts for organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the Children’s Health Fund.

Personal Life

Waterston is private, and little is famous about his personal life. He has been married twice and has four children. He currently resides in Connecticut with his wife, Lynn Louisa Woodruff.

Waterston is famous for his love of sailing and is an accomplished sailor. He has competed in several sailing races, including the prestigious Newport-Bermuda Race.


Sam Waterston’s contributions to the entertainment industry and his philanthropic efforts have left a lasting impact on the world. His talent as an actor has earned him numerous accolades and awards, and his dedication to social and environmental causes has made him a respected voice in the public sphere.


As Waterston continues to pursue his various business ventures and philanthropic efforts, it’s clear that he is not content to rest on his laurels. His passion for acting, activism, and entrepreneurship is a testament to his unwavering dedication and commitment to positively impacting the world.

Film and Television Career

While Waterston had achieved success on stage, it wasn’t until he landed his breakthrough role in the 1970 film “The Great White Hope” that he became a household name. In the movie, Waterston plays the role of Howard, a white man who falls in love with a black woman, played by Jane Alexander. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Waterston’s performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Following the success of “The Great White Hope,” Waterston went on to star in several films, including “The Killing Fields” (1984), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), and “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989). He also appeared in several TV shows, including “Law & Order” (1994-2010), where he played the role of Jack McCoy, a position that earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Waterston’s film and television career has spanned over five decades, and he has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, and Steven Soderbergh. His performances have earned him critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. And his acting talent has helped cement his place in American entertainment history.

Awards and Accolades

Sam Waterston’s talent as an actor has earned him numerous awards and accolades throughout his career. In addition to his Academy Award nomination for “The Great White Hope,” he has also received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his performances in TV shows such as “I’ll Fly Away” (1991-1993) and “The Newsroom” (2012-2014).

Waterston has also gained popularity for his contributions to the entertainment industry and philanthropic efforts. In 2010, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2015. He got the award of the Humanitarian Award from the Screen Actors Guild for his work with Refugees International.

FAQs on Sam Waterston Net Worth

What are some of Sam Waterston’s most famous roles?

Sam Waterston is famous for his roles in “The Great White Hope,” “Law & Order,” and “The Killing Fields.”

Has Sam Waterston won any awards for his acting?

Yes, Sam Waterston has received numerous awards and nominations throughout his career, including an Academy Award nomination for “The Great White Hope,” several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his television work, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his role in “Law & Order.”

How has Sam Waterston made his money?

Sam Waterston has made his money primarily through his acting career. And through his investments in real estate and other business ventures.

Is Sam Waterston involved in any philanthropic work?

Sam Waterston has several philanthropic organizations, including Refugees International, Oceana, and the World Wildlife Fund. He is also famous for his humanitarian efforts by the Screen Actors Guild.

Conclusion on Sam Waterston Net Worth

Sam Waterston has a net worth of $20 million. But his impact on the world goes far beyond his financial success. He has talent as an actor, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to social and environmental causes. Also, this has earned him a place in the annals of American entertainment history.

As he continues pursuing his passions and positively impacting the world, we can only imagine what the future holds for this accomplished actor and activist.

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Meet Rohan, a friendly lifestyle blogger who finds joy in writing captivating content and immersing himself in the world of movies and entertainment. Along with writing, he loves painting and trying out DIY projects. Join Rohan on his vibrant blog to explore the best of lifestyle and entertainment.


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