Samantha Eggar
Samantha Eggar.jpg
Eggar in 1964
Victoria Louise Samantha Marie Elizabeth Therese Eggar

(1939-03-05) 5 March 1939 (age 84)
Hampstead, London, England
  • British
  • American
Years active1960–2012
Tom Stern
(m. 1964; div. 1971)
ChildrenNicolas Stern
Jenna Stern

Victoria Louise Samantha Marie Elizabeth Therese Eggar (born 5 March 1939) is a retired British-American actress. After beginning her career in Shakespearean theatre she rose to fame for her performance in William Wyler's thriller The Collector (1965), which earned her a Golden Globe Award, a Cannes Film Festival Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

She later appeared as Emma Fairfax in Doctor Dolittle (1967) and the American drama The Molly Maguires (1970). In the early 1970s Eggar moved to the United States and Canada, where she later starred in several horror films, including The Dead Are Alive (1972), The Uncanny (1977) and David Cronenberg's cult thriller The Brood (1979).

Eggar has also worked as a voice actress, as Hera in Walt Disney's Hercules (1997) and in several video games, including Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned and 007: Nightfire. Her television work includes roles on Fantasy Island and a recurring part as Charlotte Devane in the soap opera All My Children in 2000.[1]

Early life

Samantha Eggar was born Victoria Louise Samantha Marie Elizabeth Therese Eggar[2][3] on 5 March 1939[4] in Hampstead, London, to Ralph Alfred James Eggar (a brigadier in the British Army) and Muriel Olga Palache-Bouma, who was of Dutch and Portuguese descent.[5][6] The initials of the two triplets of given names form the initials of each of her parents' first lovers. Soon after her birth, her family moved to rural Bledlow, Buckinghamshire, during World War II, where she spent her childhood.[2]

Eggar was brought up as a Roman Catholic and educated at St Mary's Providence Convent in Woking, Surrey. Reflecting on her time at convent school, Eggar said: "The nuns didn't have too much success with me – I've always had a violent temper. In fact, once I almost killed one of the nuns."[3] At age 16 she began to go by the name Samantha.[2] Although Eggar expressed interest in acting at a young age, she was urged against a career in the theatre by her parents. She was offered a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts but instead studied fashion for two years at the Thanet School of Art.[3] After completing her studies she enrolled at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.[7]


Theatre and early work

Eggar began her acting career in several Shakespearean companies, notably playing Titania in a 1962 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Tony Richardson.[8] She also appeared on stage in a production of Douglas Seale's Landscape with Figures, where she was noticed by a talent scout, and from there was cast in the biographical film Dr. Crippen (1962) opposite Donald Pleasence.[9] Her second film role was in 1962 in The Wild and the Willing; in the same year she appeared on stage again as Olivia in a production of Twelfth Night by George Devine.[8]

In 1965 Eggar appeared in the thriller The Collector, directed by William Wyler, playing a kidnap victim. She received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won a Golden Globe award for her performance.[10] She was also awarded Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966.[11] On her role as Miranda in The Collector Eggar has said: "My biggest relationship on set was with William Wyler. The tension on set was real. And if the tension wasn't there – if I didn't exude precisely what he wanted – well, Willi just poured cold water over me."[12]

The following year Eggar starred in the comedy Walk, Don't Run (1966) with Cary Grant (his last motion picture) and Jim Hutton, followed by a lead role as Emma Fairfax in Richard Fleischer's musical adaptation of Doctor Dolittle (1967). In 1963 she played the lead role of Claire Avery in 'Marcia', a second-season episode of The Saint. After her appearance in The Saint Eggar did not appear on television for 10 years, instead focusing exclusively on feature films. These included The Molly Maguires (1970), in which she starred with Sean Connery, The Walking Stick, opposite David Hemmings, and The Light at the Edge of the World (1971), in which she starred with Kirk Douglas. Although she co-starred with Yul Brynner in the television series Anna and the King (1972) she did not make another television guest appearance until 1973, when she starred in the episode 'The Cardboard House' of the romantic anthology series Love Story. That same year she played Phyllis Dietrichson in a TV remake of the 1944 film Double Indemnity.[13]

Move to United States

In 1973, Eggar moved to the United States, settling in Los Angeles, and appeared first in television, guest-starring in episodes of Starsky & Hutch and Columbo, the latter with Peter Falk and Theodore Bikel in the episode 'The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case'. She would go on to star in a number of horror films, including The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (1970), The Dead Are Alive (1972), A Name for Evil (1973), The Uncanny (1977), David Cronenberg's cult sci-fi film The Brood (1979), and Demonoid Messenger of Death (1981). In 1980, she filmed the Canadian slasher film Curtains, released in 1983.[14]

She also appeared as Maggie Gioberti in 'The Vintage Years', the pilot for the drama Falcon Crest, but was replaced by Susan Sullivan when the series went into production.[3] She appeared twice on The Love Boat, first charming ship's captain, Merrill Stubing (played by Gavin McLeod), as fortune-teller Mary-Louise Murphy in 2 March 1979's 'A Funny Valentine'. Her second sailing, in 'Touchdown Twins', which was aired on 14 February 1981, was as Meg Chase, the mother of Billy (played by Philip Brown (actor)) whose friend Frank (played by Vincent Van Patten) develops a crush on Eggar's character. She appeared in the drama Dark Horse (1992), followed by the superhero film The Phantom (1996). In 1997, she provided the voice of Hera in Disney's animated film Hercules; she would also supply the voice for the subsequent television series. Eggar also had a role in the sci-fi thriller The Astronaut's Wife (1999), which starred Johnny Depp.

She has appeared as the wife of Captain Jean-Luc Picard's brother Robert on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and as Sarah Templeton, the wife of Speaker of the House Nathan Templeton (Donald Sutherland), on the short-lived television series Commander in Chief, which starred Geena Davis. In the year 2000, she had a brief run as Charlotte Devane in the American soap opera All My Children. In 2003, she appeared in the first season of Cold Case, episode 14 ("The Boy in the Box") as Sister Vivian. In 2009, she played the mother of Jack and Becky Gallagher in season 1, episode 11 ("Lines in the Sand") of the Fox television series Mental.

Personal life

In 1964 she married actor Tom Stern and the couple have two children: film producer Nicolas Stern (b. 1965),[15] and actress Jenna Stern (b. 1967).[16] Eggar and Stern divorced in 1971.

Eggar holds dual UK and American citizenship.[17] She is retired and resides in Los Angeles.[12]



Year Title Roles Notes
1962 Dr. Crippen Ethel Le Neve
The Wild and the Willing Josie
1963 Doctor in Distress Delia Mallory
1964 Psyche 59 Robin
1965 Return from the Ashes Fabienne 'Fabi' Wolf
The Collector Miranda Grey Also known as The Butterfly Collector
Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Sant Jordi Award for Best Performance in a Foreign Film
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actress
1966 Walk, Don't Run Christine Easton
1967 Doctor Dolittle Emma Fairfax
1970 The Molly Maguires Miss Mary Raines
The Walking Stick Deborah Dainton The first use of the tune Cavatina in a feature film
The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun Danielle Lang ("Dany")
1971 The Light at the Edge of the World Arabella
1972 The Dead Are Alive Myra Shelton
1973 A Name for Evil Joanna Blake
1974 All the Kind Strangers Carol Ann
1976 The Seven-Per-Cent Solution Mary Morstan Watson
1977 The Uncanny Edina Hamilton
Welcome to Blood City Katherine
Why Shoot the Teacher? Alice Field
1978 The Greatest Battle Annelise Ackermann
1979 The Brood Nola Carveth Nominated – Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress
1980 The Exterminator Dr. Megan Stewart
1981 The Hot Touch Samantha O'Brien
Demonoid Messenger of Death Jennifer Baines
1983 Curtains Samantha Sherwood
1987 Love Among Thieves Solange
1991 Ragin' Cajun Dr. May
1992 Dark Horse Mrs. Curtis
Round Numbers Anne
1994 Inevitable Grace Britt
1996 The Phantom Lily Palmer
1996 Everything to Gain Diana Keswick
1997 Hercules Hera Voice
1998 Loss of Faith Insp. Strong Television film
1999 The Astronaut's Wife Dr. Patraba


Year Title Roles Notes
1961 Rob Roy Diana Vernon Recurring
1963 The Saint Claire Avery Episode: "Marcia"
1972 Anna and the King Anna Leonowens Recurring
1973 Love Story Ruth Wilson Episode: "The Cardboard House"
Double Indemnity Phyllis Dietrichson Miniseries
1977 Family Norah McKay Season 3, Episode 10: "Labours of Love"
Columbo Vivian Brandt Episode: "The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case"
Starsky and Hutch Charlotte Episode: "Starsky and Hutch on Playboy Island"
1978 Fantasy Island Helena Marsh Episode: "Return/The Toughest Man Alive"
1978 Hawaii Five-O Episode: "Horoscope for Murder" Agnes DuBois
1978 Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women Billie Burke TV movie
1979 The Love Boat Mary-Louise Murphy Episode: "A Funny Valentine"
1979 Fantasy Island Helena Marsh Episode: "The Wedding"
1981 The Love Boat Meg Chase Episode: "Touchdown Twins"
1983 For the Term of his Natural Life Julie Vickers Miniseries
Hart to Hart Gillian Rawlings Episode: "Long Lost Love"
1984 Murder, She Wrote Marta Quintessa Episode "Hooray for Homicide"
Magnum, P.I. Laura Bennett Episode "Fragments"
1985 Tales of the Unexpected Gwen Carter Episode "People Don't Do Such Things"
1986 Stingray (TV series) Camila Episode "Echos"
1990 A Ghost in Monte Carlo Jeanne Miniseries
Star Trek: The Next Generation Marie Picard Episode "Family"
1991 The Legend of Prince Valiant Queen Guinevere Voice; recurring
1993 L.A. Law Camille Bancroft Episode "Where There's a Will"
1998–99 Hercules Hera Voice; 7 episodes
2000 All My Children Charlotte Devane 20 episodes
2005 Commander in Chief Sara Templeton Recurring
2009 Mental Margo Stroud 2 episodes
2012 Metalocalypse Whale (voice) Recurring

Stage credits

Year Title Role Director Venue Notes
1959 Landscape with Figures Douglas Seale Olympia Theatre; Theatre Royal, Brighton; Grand, Wolverhampton [8]
1962 A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania Tony Richardson Royal Court Theatre [8]
1962 Twelfth Night Olivia George Devine Royal Court Theatre [8][18]
1985 The Lonely Road Irene Herms Christopher Fettes Yvonne Arnaud Theatre; Old Vic Theatre [8][19]
1985 The Seagull Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina Charles Sturridge Oxford Playhouse; Theatre Royal, Bath [8][20]
1992 Auntie Mame Vera Karin Baker Candlewood Playhouse, New Fairfield, Connecticut [8][21]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1965 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress The Collector Won
1965 Laurel Award New Faces, Female 4th place
1966 Dramatic Performance, Female The Collector Nominated
1966 Female Star 14th place
1966 Golden Globe Best Actress, Drama The Collector Won
1966 Academy Award Best Actress Nominated
1966 Sant Jordi Award Best Performance in a Foreign Film Won
1980 Genie Award Best Performance by a Foreign Actress The Brood Nominated



  1. ^ "Samantha Eggar Biography". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Cooper 2015, p. 105.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Private Life and Times of Samantha Eggar". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Samantha Eggar". The British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  5. ^ Hal Erickson (2016). "Samantha Eggar Biography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Eggar, Samantha 1939–". Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television. Gale Research Company. 2004. ISBN 978-0787670986 – via
  7. ^ Cooper 2015, p. 106.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Cooper 2015, p. 120.
  9. ^ Cooper 2015, p. 107.
  10. ^ "Samantha Eggar". Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  11. ^ "All Awards". Awards 1965. Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Collecting Life: An Interview with Samantha Eggar". The Terror Trap. July 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  13. ^ MacKellar 2006, p. 371.
  14. ^ Nowell 2010, p. 232.
  15. ^ "Nicolas Stern was born on September 12, 1965 in Los Angeles County, California". California Birth Index. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  16. ^ "Jenna L Stern was born on September 23, 1967 in Los Angeles County, California". California Birth Index. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Samantha Celebrates Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee". Samantha Eggar: Official Website. April 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2017. I am now an American citizen, but my heritage is indomitable.
  18. ^ "Performance Details – Twelfth Night (Devine, English Stage Company, February 1962)". AHDS: Performing Arts. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Production of The Lonely Road". Theatricalia. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  20. ^ Borny 2010, p. 162.
  21. ^ Klein, Alvin (9 August 1992). "THEATER; Candlewood Brings Back 'Mame'". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 January 2017.