Will Sampson

Active - 1975 - 1986  |   Born - Jan 1, 1935   |   Died - Jun 3, 1987   |   Genres - Drama, Culture & Society, Film, TV & Radio, Western, Adventure

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A full-blooded Muscogee-Creek Indian, Will Sampson spent most of his adult life as a successful artist. The towering Sampson was spotted at an art show by an assistant to actor/producer Michael Douglas; Douglas then cast Sampson in the important role of enigmatic sanitarium inmate Chief Bromden in the 1976 Oscar-winner One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It was the beginning of a ten-year acting career that would embrace both films (Buffalo Bill and the Indians, The Outlaw Josey Wales) and television. In the latter medium, Will Sampson had a recurring role on the Robert Urich private eye series Vegas (1978-1981), and starred as a taciturn Native American police officer in the 1977 TV pilot film Relentless.

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