Best Known For
Sam Trammell's most recognizable role to date is playing Sam Merlotte on HBO's True Blood.
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While studying at Brown University, Sam Trammell got his first acting role in an off-Broadway play. He would go on to other stage roles, including a 1988 revival of the Eugene O'Neill comedy Ah, Wilderness!, which earned a Tony nomination. Before snagging the buzzworthy role of bar owner Sam Merlotte on True Blood, Trammell acted on the big screen as well as on the small screen on hits like Bones and Dexter.
Actor Sam Trammell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 29, 1969. Trammell attended junior high and high school in Charleston, West Virginia. Always an intelligent youth, Trammell grew up harboring dreams of becoming an astrophysicist. After high school, he attended Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he studied philosophy. During his undergraduate years, Trammell played in a band and hung out with an artsy crowd that eventually led him to acting.
At the coaxing of a friend, Trammell auditioned for a play written by a Brown graduate student. He got the part and the play eventually went off-Broadway. He quickly abandoned his plans for graduate school, pursuing a full-time acting career in New York after graduation. The way Trammell tells it, "I just got lucky. I moved there, took some classes, got an agent and that was it."
While Trammell's friend gave him the push he needed to get into acting, his regimented character proved particularly well suited to the rough-and-tumble career path of a professional actor. He describes himself as a careful person who is extremely thoughtful about the roles he takes, yet completely dedicated once he dives into a project.
Trammell continued to act in plays on and off Broadway, quickly making inroads on the stage that would eventually lead to Hollywood. Finally arriving in Los Angeles in 1994, he made his film debut in a movie called The Hotel Manor, where he played an intern on a TV talk show. Trammell continued to put in the work needed to break into TV, winning minor roles on rather forgettable daytime television shows and Hallmark movies.
After a few years of this, Trammell went back to his theatrical roots and appeared in a clutch of plays that would attract critical acclaim. His performance in the 1998 revival of Eugene O'Neill comedy Ah, Wilderness! at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center garnered him a Tony nomination.
Toggling back to the small-screen, Trammell played an ex-con in an offbeat ABC comic drama called Maximum Bob. His next role was in NBC's Trinity, where he played the youngest son in a sprawling Irish Catholic Family. In 1999, he made a few more appearances on stage in If Memory Serves and Ancestral Voices. In 2000, he ended the year with a hit performance in Kit Marlowe, an off-Broadway production about the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe, where Trammell played the protagonist's male lover.
The next five years were dedicated primarily to roles in independent films and appearances in a slew of hit TV series such as House, Judging Amy, Bones, Cold Case and Dexter.
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The American television series True Blood, created and produced by Alan Ball, premiered in 2008 and quickly developed a cult following of fans with a thirst for the supernatural. Based on Charlain Harris’ book series The Southern Vampire Mysteries, the Emmy Award-winning TV show follows an otherworldly cast of characters including telepaths, shapeshifters, werewolves and vampires. Here are some of the actors who have sunk their teeth into True Blood roles.
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