Law and Order
Sam Waterston
Jack McCoy
Date of birth
November 15, 1940
Place of birth
Cambridge, Massachusetts
IMDb profile

Samuel Atkinson Waterston is an actor who played Executive ADA Jack McCoy (later District Attorney) on Law & Order. He replaced Michael Moriarty as the series' Executive ADA, and later Fred Dalton Thompson as DA of the series. He first appeared in the Season 5 episode "Second Opinion". He exited the series during Season 23 and was replaced by Tony Goldwyn.

Waterston also appeared in the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes "Entitled", "Blinded" and "The Undiscovered Country", and in the Law & Order: Trial by Jury episodes "The Abominable Showman" and "Skeleton". He also appeared in the franchise's only movie, Exiled: A Law & Order Movie.

Apart from Law & Order, Waterston guest-starred as Jack McCoy in the Homicide: Life on the Street crossover episodes "Baby, It's You: Part 2" and "Sideshow: Part 2".

For his role on Law & Order, Waterston was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and a 1995 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series, and he won a 1999 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. He was also declared a "Living Landmark" by the New York Landmarks Conservancy in 2002, along with fellow cast member Jerry Orbach.

Sam Waterston provided the voiceover for Abraham Lincoln in Ken Burn's The Civil War. He also replaced his former Law & Order co-star Steven Hill as a spokesperson for TD Ameritrade.

Before Law & Order, he had starred on the TV series I'll Fly Away (with Regina Taylor) and the movies Capricorn One (with James Brolin and Elliott Gould) and Serial Mom (with Kathleen Turner, Matthew Lillard, Patricia Dunnock, and John Waters). After Law & Order, he went on to star on the TV shows The Newsroom (with John Gallagher, Jr., Thomas Sadoski, David Harbour, and Alison Pill) and Grace and Frankie (with Ethan Embry). In 2013, he appears as David Zifkin in René Balcer's created French crime drama Jo with French actor, Jean Reno in the Episode: "Le Marais" (the show also stars Jill Hennessy, Wunmi Mosaku, and Sean Pertwee).

His eldest son, James Waterston, guest-starred as four different characters on Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

He is the father-in-law of actor Louis Cancelmi, the brother of actress Annie Parisse, who played Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia, who married his daughter Elisabeth Waterston, who plays his daughter Rebecca McCoy in the twenty-second finale.