Linda Hamilton Biography

Linda Hamilton photo

Born: September 26, 1956

Born September 26, 1956 in Salisbury, Maryland, Linda Hamilton is an actress best known for her portrayal as Sarah Connor in the Terminator movie franchise.

When Linda was just five, her father, Carroll Stanford Hamilton, passed away. Her mother later remarried a police chief. Linda is one of four siblings in her family— with one older sister, one young brother and a twin sister named Leslie Hamilton Gearren.

After attending high school at Wicomico High School in Salisbury, Linda studied for two years at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, before leaving for New York to attend acting workshops given by Lee Strasberg.

Linda had her first acting credit in the indie drama Night-Flowers (1979), but began to make a name for herself on the soap opera Secrets of the Midland Heights (1980-81), playing Lisa Rogers. She would continue to build up her resumé on television with the TV movies Reunion(1980), Country Gold (1982), Wishman (1983), and Secrets of a Mother and Daughter (1983), as well as guest appearances on TV series such as Shirley, King’s Crossing and Hill Street Blues.

In 1982 she starred opposite Robert Carradine in the action thriller Tag: The Assassination Game, as Susan Swayze. Her first big break came in 1984 when she starred in James Cameron’s The Terminator alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Biehn. That same year she also starred in Fritz Kiersh’s adaptation of Children of the Corn. The following years would see her split time between TV and Hollywood with TV movies Secret Weapons, Club Med and Go Toward the Light and big screen projects sich Black Moon Rising (1986) and King Kong Lives (1986).

Linda reached a new career high in 1987 when she was cast in a starring role on the contemporary TV adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. In the crime drama set in Manhattan, Linda starred opposite Ron Perlman’s Beast as Assistant District Attorney Catherine Chandler, a role that earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination as well as two Golden Globe nominations.

Following Beauty and the Beast’s three season run, Linda returned to the big screen in Mr. Destiny (1990) opposite Michael Caine, and a return to Sarah Connor, the role that made her a household name in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). The following years saw her split time again between TV films and Hollywood movies while also expanding her repertoire by lending her voice talents to animated shows.

Linda joined the DC Animated Universe by lending her voice talents to the animated series The New Batman Adventures, as well as Batman Beyond and its film Batman Beyond: The Movie (both 1999). Furthering her voice acting career she joined Disney animated series Hercules and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command as a recurring character.

The rest of the 2000s would see Linda take a step back, taking supporting roles in lower profile projects before again returning to TV with the 2009 crime series The Line. On the film side she made an uncredited return to the Terminator franchise by recording new dialogue for McG’s Terminator Salvation sequel. Longtime fans finally found a new beloved role for Linda as she starred in a recurring role for the hit series Chuck as the titular character’s mother Mary Elizabeth Bartowski.

Linda would continue her resurgence, appearing in recurring roles on TV series such as Air Force One Is Down, Defiance, and Lost Girl.

Finally, Linda fully embraced a return to the Terminator franchise with a substantial role as Sarah Connor Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), which would provide proper closure for the character that has helped define her career.

Linda has a son with her first husband, actor Bruce Abbott to whom she was married for seven years (1982 to 1989). She also has a daughter with second husband, director James Cameron, but the marriage ended after only two years, in 1999, although they'd been together for many years before they were married.

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