Date of Birth: May 12, 1970
Samantha Mathis was born in New York in 1970 to aspiring actress Bibi Besch. As an infant, her first acting job was a commercial for baby products. Her parents divorced when she was only three, leaving her exposed to the film industry. Mathis's TV-series debut occurred in 1988, when she won the role of Merlin Olsen's daughter in the two-month wonder Aaron's Way. She could later be found among the supporting cast of another dramatic series, Knightwatch, which survived for three months.
Mathis's first feature film was Pump Up the Volume (1990) opposite her on- and off-screen love at the time, Christian Slater. Her performance as the misfit girlfriend of the ham-radio operator was an excellent early impression of her talent. The two joined forces again when they provided the voices for the main characters in the animated tale, FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992).
Less aesthetically pleasing (but undoubtedly higher salaried) was Mathis' turn as the kidnapped Princess Daisy in Super Mario Bros. (1993). Wanting to forget the Super Mario film, which was quickly becoming a disaster, she moved on to play Miranda Presley in The Thing Called Love (1993). Since she starred in the movie, many expected that she would get top billing, but that honor went to River Phoenix, her on- and off-screen love at the time.
Although she had been hit hard by the death of her boyfriend River Phoenix in 1993, Mathis was quick to get back to her acting career and her next film, Little Women was released in late 1994. She played grown up Amy March.
Now grown up herself, Mathis moved on to more demanding roles, such as the part of Terry Carmichael in the action-packed film Broken Arrow (1996) and the title role of Jane, an HIV positive woman in Sweet Jane (1998).