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Samantha Mathis
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Samantha Mathis (born May 12, 1970) is an American actress. The daughter of actress Bibi Besch, Mathis made her film debut in Pump Up the Volume (1990).

Early life

Mathis was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, the daughter of actress Bibi Besch, and granddaughter of actress Gusti Huber. Her parents divorced when she was 2 years old, and Mathis was raised by her mother. She relocated to Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California at the age of 5. Mathis' mother discouraged her from pursuing acting, but growing up on locations, in theaters, and in acting classes, Mathis knew she wanted to act.She decided to become an actress at the age of 12.

Career

Mathis began acting professionally at the age of sixteen, her first job was a commercial for "Always Slender Pads - Just For Teens". She co-starred in the television series Aaron's Way and Knightwatch from 1988 to 1989. Her first starring role in a feature film was that of Nora in Pump Up the Volume (1990), opposite Christian Slater, whom she briefly dated at the time. Mathis dyed her natural blonde hair black for the role to change her image from sweet and innocent, to strong willed.

Mathis appeared in the television movies Extreme Close-Up, 83 Hours 'Til Dawn, and To My Daughter in 1990. Mathis and Slater had voice roles in the animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992). She next appeared in the comedy This Is My Life (1992), written and directed by Nora Ephron, playing an insecure teenager Mathis appeared in the play Fortinbras in New York City in October 1992. Super Mario Bros. (1993), where she played Princess Daisy from the popular Nintendo video game, was a box office bomb.

Mathis met actor River Phoenix on the set of the country music film The Thing Called Love (1993) and the two started a relationship. She was with Phoenix the night he died of a drug overdose after collapsing outside West Hollywood's Viper Room on Halloween, October 31, 1993; he died later at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. She made the film Jack and Sarah (1995), which was shot in London, in order to get out of the country after his death because of the large amount of press coverage.

Mathis appeared in Little Women, the 1994 film version of the novel by Louisa May Alcott, and How to Make an American Quilt (1995), both starring Winona Ryder, an actress she was often compared to early in her career. She then co-starred with Michael Douglas in The American President (1995), playing the assistant to the President of the United States. Mathis co-starred with Christian Slater again, along with John Travolta, in John Woo's Broken Arrow (1996). She took a little over a year off from acting after her mother died in 1996.

She was later in American Psycho (2000), directed by Mary Harron, an adaptation of the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. She starred opposite Gretchen Mol, Tom Everett Scott and Matthew Settle in Attraction (2000), and in The Simian Line (2001), opposite William Hurt, Lynn Redgrave and Harry Connick, Jr. She starred in the TNT television miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2001), with Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen and Julianna Margulies. Mathis starred with Thomas Jane in The Punisher (2004). Mathis had a guest role on the ABC television show Lost as Dharma Initiative member Olivia Goodspeed; her character was supposed to play a larger role in Season 5 as the wife of Horace Goodspeed, although for unknown reasons she did not appear and her character was removed altogether.

Mathis's film, Lebanon, PA, had its world premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.

Awards and nominations

She was nominated in 1995 for a Young Artist Award at the Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture for This Is My Life (1992) and in 2005 for a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Supporting Actress on Television for 'Salem's Lot (2004) (TV).

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