Sam Bottoms

Sam Bottoms

Highest Rated: 100% Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

Lowest Rated: 42% Winter Passing (2005)

Birthday: Oct 17, 1955

Birthplace: Santa Barbara, California, USA

Sam Bottoms grew up in a family of actors. All three of his brothers have tried their hand at the craft, with brother Timothy ("Johnny Got His Gun," "The Last Picture Show") the most well known. Sam's career, however, was distinguished by Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic "Apocalypse Now," in which he played the California surfer turned riverboat gunner, Lance B. Johnson. The role of a So-Cal surfer was not far from Bottoms' real-life background; he had grown up as a surfer in Santa Barbara. Bottoms portrayed Johnson as a wide-eyed, eager-to-please greenhorn whose innocence seems to serve as his protection in the hostile jungle. Bottoms got his first acting job when he followed his brother down to the set of "The Last Picture Show." He was spotted hanging around, and wound up in the picture as Billy, the speech-impaired street sweeper. Bottoms also appeared in a couple of Clint Eastwood Westerns, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and "Bronco Billy." He never really got to work on another film at the level of "Apocalypse Now," but he did have a solid career that, in later years, centered on television. He played Cal Trask in the TV miniseries version of "East of Eden" and guest-starred on episodes of "21 Jump Street," "Murder, She Wrote," and "NYPD Blue," among others. He died of a brain tumor at the age of 53.

Highest rated movies

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now Redux
The Outlaw Josey Wales
Bronco Billy
Looking Through Lillian




75% 57% Sherrybaby Dad Swanson (Character) $198.4K 2006
42% 61% Winter Passing Brian (Character) $106.6K 2005
45% 36% Havoc Lt. Maris (Character) - 2005
61% 58% Shopgirl Dan Butterfield (Character) $10.3M 2005
60% No Score Yet Looking Through Lillian Unknown (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet 72% The Unsaid Joseph Caffey (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet 25% Shadow Fury Mitchell Madsen (Character) - 2001
No Score Yet No Score Yet Joseph's Gift Robert Keller (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet My Neighbor's Daughter Dennis Cromwell (Character) - 1997
No Score Yet 30% Snide & Prejudice Therapist Schaub (Character) - 1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet Project Shadowchaser III Kody (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Trust James Baker (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet 34% Dolly Dearest Elliot Wade (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet North of Chiang Mai Unknown (Character) - 1992
100% 94% Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse Unknown (Character) - 1991
No Score Yet 69% Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas Producer - 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet Ragin' Cajun Legs (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet 50% The Witching of Ben Wagner Mr. George `'Dad'` Wagner (Character) - 1990
No Score Yet 0% After School Father Michael McCarren (Character) - 1988
44% 55% Gardens of Stone Lt. Webber (Character) $4.4M 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet Island Sons Sam Faraday (Character) - 1987
No Score Yet 50% Hunter's Blood David Rand (Character) - 1987
No Score Yet No Score Yet In 'n' Out Murray Lewis Jr. (Character) - 1986
No Score Yet 29% Prime Risk Bill Yeoman (Character) - 1985
75% 48% Bronco Billy Leonard James (Character) - 1980
No Score Yet 6% Up From the Depths Greg Oliver (Character) - 1979
98% 94% Apocalypse Now Lance (Character) $78.8M 1979
93% 91% Apocalypse Now Redux Lance Johnson (Character) - 1979
No Score Yet No Score Yet Stories of the Bible Joseph (Character) - 1978
90% 91% The Outlaw Josey Wales Jamie (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cage Without a Key Buddy Goleta (Character) - 1975
No Score Yet 58% Zandy's Bride Mel Allan (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet Savages Ben Campbell (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet 0% Class of '44 Marty (Character) - 1973


83% 83% NYPD Blue David Lewis (Guest Star) 2004
No Score Yet 66% Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1989 1991
No Score Yet 100% 21 Jump Street Unknown (Guest Star) 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet East of Eden Unknown (Character) 1981