Sam Trammell

Recent Role:

Star on All Mistakes Buried


5/15/1971, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Rate Person
97 votes
  • Credits
  • Biography
  • Sam Trammell is an American film, television, and Tony-nominated stage actor probably best known as Sam Merlotte, the mysterious diner owner on the HBO series True Blood. A Southerner just like his character on the show, Sam grew up in Charleston, West Virginia where he completed his early education. He majored in Semiotics and studied French philosophy, film theory among other disciplines at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also spent some time in France enrolled at the University of Paris, studying similar courses. As time went by, Sam was beginning to undergo burnout from studying Semiotics and had a vague idea on what to do next when an actor/musician friend encouraged him to audition for the New Plays Festival in Brown. He performed in his first play before he graduated from college. Trammell then moved to New York in pursuit of a career in acting. While he made his film debut as a TV talk show intern in The Hotel Manor Inn (1994) and primetime debut in the 1996 CBS/Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation Harvest of Fire, Sam was initially recognized as a New York City theater actor, who made his Off-Broadway debut as a compulsive gambler on Dealer's Choice. Throughout the late '90s, he continued to appear in numerous Off-Broadway and Broadway plays in New York. On television, Sam played the fast-talking ex-con Sonny Dupree on the short-lived ABC dramedy Maximum Bob (1998) and Liam McCallister, the youngest son of an Irish Catholic family on the axed NBC drama Trinity (1998). In Showtime's Going to California (2001-2002), he appeared as Kevin 'Space' Lauglin, one of the leads on the show. In the few years that followed, he has had guest-starring roles in several regular and cable network series such as House, Bones, CSI:NY, Dexter, and Medium. In 2008, Trammell won the role of Merlotte, the Bon Temps business owner who has an unrequited affection for Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin), on the vampire drama True Blood.moreless



    Birth Place:

    New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

  • Photos (5)
  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (13)

    • Sam Trammell: I was in a Starbucks and one of the baristas sort of was looking at me and came up really timidly and asked if I was Sam Trammell. 'Yeah, it's just me. I live right down the street. I'm nothing special, but I'm really flattered that you're so impressed.

    • Sam Trammell: (on growing up in Louisiana; in a 2009 interview) I remember it being pretty big. I went back a few years ago and it's just so tiny. I remember playing kick-the-can right before dusk. It was such a great neighborhood to grow up in. I also remember going to Mardi Gras parades and just yelling at the people, 'Give me something, mister!' That was what I was taught to yell. I think that's what all the kids yelled back then. I remember the doubloons and the beads. It was really fun, really exciting.

    • Sam Trammell: I'm a real fan of realism, that's what I like, and my problem with theater is that you have to play to the back seats. You have to be a little louder than you usually would be. So it's not totally realistic. You try to be as real as you can but that some times gets in your way.

    • Sam Trammell: (about the strangest thing that's happened on the set of "True Blood") We were driving out in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana to shoot a scene on a Lake last year. We turned a corner and I realized we were in a town my great Aunts and Uncles grew up in. 13 were buried in the grave there. In the scene, I ended up running naked across land once owned by my great, great Grandfather.

    • Sam Trammell: If I was immortal I'd probably take a day off and just chill out–no need to rush.

    Show More Quotes

    Trivia (12)

    • In October 2009, Trammell (Sam Merlotte on True Blood) lost out to Twilight's Taylor Lautner for Spike TV's Scream Breakthrough Performance award.

    • Sam's middle name is Foote. He is a distant relative of actress Shelby Foote, who starred in the 1990 PBS documentary The Civil War.

    • Theatrical Credits: • The Cover of Life as Tommy; Hartford, Connecticut (1992-1993) • The Rose Tattoo as Understudy for Jack; Circle in the Square Uptown,New York City (1995) • A Lie of the Mind as Frankie; One Dream Theatre (1995) • Dealer's Choice as Carl; Manhattan Theatre Club Stage II, New York City (1997) • My Night with Reg as Eric; New Group, Intar Hispanic American Theatre, New York City (1997) • Ah, Wilderness! as Richard; Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Lincoln Center,New York City (1998) • If Memory Serves as Russel Burke/Adam Burke; Promenade Theatre, NewYork City (1999) • Kit Marlowe Estelle R. Newman Theatre, Public Theatre, New York City (2000) • Ancestral Voices; Lincoln Center Theatre, New York City • appeared in productions at Barrington Stage Festival, Delaware Theatre Company, Wilmington, Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, Connecticut, Manitoba TheatreCenter, New York Stage and Film Theatre, New York City, Rushmore Festival, and Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown, Massachusetts

    • Film and TV Movie Credits: • Childhood's End (1997) as Greg Chute • Wrestling with Alligators (1998) as Will • Followers (2000) as John Dietrich • Anonymous Rex (2004) as Vincent Rubio • What If God Were the Sun? (2007) as Jeff • Miracle of Phil (2008) as Taylor

    • Trammell attended Overbrook Elementary and John Adams Middle School, both in Charleston, Virginia. He graduated from George Washington High School, also in Charleston.

    Show More Trivia