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Sam WANAMAKER Edit Profile

actor and film and theatre director

Sam WANAMAKER, American actor and film and theatre director. 1990, To Cast a Shadow 1990. Leisure interest: art.


Wanamaker, Sam was born on June 14, 1919 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Son of Maurice and Molly (Bobele) Wanamaker.


Drake University, Iowa, and Goodman Theatre, Chicago.


Director Jewish People's Institute, Chicago 1930-1940. Radio acting New York 1940-1941. Acted in Cafe Crowm 1941 and Counterattack 1942, Broadway.

United States Army 1942-1945. Actor and director since 1946. Artistic Director New Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool 1957-1959.

Three-picture* contract with M.G.M. 1968. Acted in and directed Joan of Lorraine (Broadway) 1946. Acted in My Girl Tisa 1947, Christ in Concrete 1949, Denning Drives North 1951.

Directed Gentlemen from Athens 1948, Goodbye my Fancy 1949, Caesar and Cleopatra, Revival of Gardsman. Acted in and/or directed Winter Journey, The Shrike, The Rainmaker, Threepenny Opera, The Big Knife. A Hatful of Rain, A View from the Bridge, Reclining Figure, Othello, The Rose Tattoo 1959, A Far Country 1961.

Acted in film Taras Bulba 1962. Directed on Broadway plays Children from Their Games (Irwin Shaw) 1962, Case of Libel (Louis Nizer) 1963, A Murderer Among Us (Louis Nizer) 1963. Directed at Covent Garden opera King Priam (Tippett) 1963, Forza del Destino (Verdi) 1963.

Acted in film Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines 1964. Directed and acted in Macbeth, Goodman Theatre, Chicago 1964. Acted in film The Spy Who Came in From the Cold 1965.

Directed or acted in TV films The Defenders, For the People, Gunsmoke, The Baron 1962-1966. Acted in and/or directed (TV) The Day the Fish Came Out 1966, Warning Shot 1966, and TV films Custer, Hawk, Lassiter, Cimmarron Strip, Court Martial, The Champions, Lancer 196667. Director The Chinese Visitor 1968, The File of the Golden Goose 1968, The Executioner 1969, Catlow 1969-1970.

Founder Globe Playhouse Trust and World Centre for Shakespeare Studies 1970-1971. Producer War and Peace (opening production Sydney Opera House) 1973, John Player Season at Bankside Globe Playhouse 1972-1973, Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations Southwark Cathedral 1972-1973. Acted in films The Law, The Spiral Staircase, produced Dickens, Shakespeare and Bankside Summer Festivals 1974, acted in film The Sell Out, directed film Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger 1975, acted in film The Voyage of the Damned 1975.

Billy Jack Goes to Washington, Billion Dollar Bubble, Impossible Dream (BBC), Blind Love (Granada TV) 1976. Directed film Colombo (NBC), opera Ice Break (Tippett), Covent Garden, acted in TV films Blind Love 1976, The Holocaust (also director) 1977, The Return of the Saint (also director) 1978, Charlie Muffin 1979, The Family Business 1981. Acted in films Death on the Nile 1978, From Hell to Victory 1978.

Director Chicago Lyric Opera Gala 1979. Acted in films Private Benjamin 1980, The Competition 1980, The Ghost Writer (BBC) 1982, The Aviator 1983, Irreconcilable Differences 1984, The Berrengers (TV series NBC) 1984. Directed opera Aida, San Francisco 1981, King Priam, Covent Garden, London 1985, acted in Elegy for a Lady (BBC) Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (narrator, BBC) 1985, film Raw Deal 1985, TV films Embassy (NBC) 1985, Deceptions (CBS) 1985, Two Mrs Granvilles (NBC TV) 1986, Superman IV (film) 1986, Baby Boom (film) 1986, Tosca (opera) 1986, Sadie and Son (NBC TV) 1987, Judgment in Berlin (MGM) Secret Ingredient (Columbia) 1987, Baby Boom (NBC TV series) 89, The Shell Seekers 1989, Guilt by Suspicion 1990, A Time to Remember 1990, To Cast a Shadow 1990.


  • book

  • Other Work

    • Radio actor, New York, 1940-1941. Also acted in Cafe Crown and Counterattack. Actor, director, 1946-1993, artistic director New Shakespeare Theatre, Liverpool, England, 1957-1959.Principal acting roles include: My Girl Tisa, 1947, Christ in Concrete, 1949, Denning Drives North, 1951. Films include Taras Bulba, 1962, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, 1964, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, 1965, The Law, 1974, Spiral Staircase, 1974, The Sell-Out, 1976, Voyage of the Damned, 1976, Billy Jack Goes to Washington, 1977, From Hell to Victory, 1978, Death on the Nile, 1978, Private Benjamin, 1980, The Competition, 1980, Irreconcilable Differences, 1984, Raw Deal, 1986, Baby Boom, 1987, A Time to Remember, Guilty by Suspicion, 1991, Pure Luck, 1991, City of Joy, 1991. Director film Sinbad & the Eye of the Tiger, 1977.Actor, producer: play The Watergate Tapes. Director opera The Ice Break. Actor, director plays Joan of Lorraine, 1946, The Winter Journey, The Shrike, The Rainmaker, Threepenny Opera, The Big Knife, A Hatful of Rain, A View From the Bridge, Reclining Figure, Othello, The Rose Tattoo, A Far Country, 1961, Macbeth, 1964.Director plays Gentlemen From Athens, 1948, Goodby My Fancy, 1949, Caesar and Cleopatra, Revival of Gardsman, Children From Their Games, 1962, Case of Libel, 1963. Director operas King Priam, 1963, Forza del Destino, 1963. Director and/or actor television series Cimmarron Strip, television films The Day the Fish Came Out, 1966, Warning Shot, 1966, The Eliminator, 1967, Custer, The Hawk, Lassiter, Court Martial, The Champions, The Chinese Visitor, 1968, The File of the Golden Goose, 1968, The Executioner, My Kidnapper, My Love, 1980, The Killing of Randy Webster, 1981, Berengers, Baby Boom, 1988.Actor, director television shows Holocaust, 1977, Return of the Saint, 1978. Actor Blind Love, 1976. Founder, executive director Globe Playhouse Trust Limited, World Centre for Shakespeare Studies Limited.Actor, director numerous films, tv productions, theatre plays and opera productions, Britain, United States, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, 1975-1993.


1990, To Cast a Shadow 1990. Leisure interest: art.


  • Other Interests



Married Charlotte Holland, 1940 (deceased January 1997). 3 children.

Maurice Wanamaker

Molly (Bobele) Wanamaker

Charlotte Holland