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), and later co-starred or appeared in such films as Little Women (1994), The American President (1995), Broken Arrow (1996), American Psycho (2000), and Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012).
Mathis was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Donald Mathis and Austrian-born actress Bibi Besch, and granddaughter of Austrian actress Gusti Huber. Her parents divorced when she was two years old, and Mathis was raised by her mother. She relocated with her mother to Los Angeles at the age of five. Mathis's 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 twelve.
Mathis began acting professionally at the age of 16. Her first job was a commercial for "Always Slender Pads - Just For Teens." She costarred 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 in an effort to change her image from sweet and innocent to strong-willed...
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