Samantha Mathis is an American actress and trade union leader who serves as the Vice President, Actors/Performers of SAG-AFTRA. Samantha Mathis was born in New York, to Donald Mathis and Austrian-born Bibi Besch, an aspiring actress at the time. Her maternal grandmother was actress Gusti Huber.
Her first acting job was in a commercial for baby products with her mother. Since her parents divorced when she was only three years old, Samantha was very exposed to the acting industry from a very young age, which made her almost destined to become an actress. Samantha’s first feature film was Pump Up the Volume (1990) opposite her on- and off-screen love at the time, Christian Slater.
Mathis met actor River Phoenix on the set of The Thing Called Love (1993) and the two started a relationship. She was with Phoenix on October 31, 1993, the night he died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital of a drug overdose after collapsing outside West Hollywood’s Viper Room.
n 2013, Mathis played psychiatrist Alice Calvert on the CBS television series Under the Dome, based on a novel by Stephen King. In 2014, she joined the cast of the FX horror drama series The Strain as Justine Feraldo, a New York City councilwoman for Staten Island.