Linda Hamilton is an American actress who is best known for her performance in “The Terminator” and its sequel “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” as Sarah Connor. She is known as one of the first female action heroes of Hollywood while earning the title ” body of the nineties”.
She has a husky voice and often plays strong characters mostly including the characters that are subjected to great difficulties and misfortune. But what about her own real story? She too has gone through difficulties before emerging victorious.
She went through depression and fought Bipolar disorder. On the offscreen, she is a fighter and always will be a fighter. Read to know about Linda Hamilton’s life story.
Linda Hamilton early life
Linda Hamilton was born on September 26, 1957. She was born in Salisbury, Maryland, United States. She was born into a regular Anglo-Saxon family and her parents were Carroll Stanford Hamilton and Barbara K. Holt.
She has an identical twin sister Leslie hamilton Gearan, and then an older sister and one younger brother. Her father was a doctor, and when she was just five years old he died. And then her mother married a police chief.
She belongs to a mixed ethnic background of English, Scottish, and Welsh.
The similarity with her sister disturbed little Linda So she did everything to be different from her “copy”. During her early days, she wanted to become an archeologist or firefighter. The sisters often participated in unskillful performances together. Her mindset felt like she was growing up in a dull environment and so she tried reading books whenever she had some free time.
She attended Wicomico Junior High and in addition, she attended Wicomico High School in Salisbury. She also studied for two years at Wahington College in Chestertown.
Her interest in acting
In 1979 Linden Hamilton graduated from Washington College in Chestertown. Both sisters went to Maryland to enter another College. This is when the young Linda made the final career choice and she headed to New York and took up acting courses by the famous Lee Strasberg.
She was an aspiring on-screen character, and Linda hamilton had some little TV roles. She debuted in theatrical productions of medium quality and in addition, she starred in the television series Search for Tomorrow.
To give another direction to her career, she moved to Hollywood. She worked with James Cameron in the television series Beauty and the Beast and became one of the stars of the fantasy genre.
The actress participated in the popular series Secrets of Midland Heights and got some recognition. 1982 brought the debut of the full-length movie Tag: The Assassination Game.
Linda Hamilton in Terminator
In 1984, Linda Hamilton worked with James Cameron in the film “The Terminator” with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and through this movie, she became a star. The project seemed to be fantastic and nobody expected it to become such a hit.
It was the turning point in the actress’s career. James Cameron chose Linda Hamilton for the part of Sarah Connor because she seemed talented enough to play both sides of the character. In the first movie, Sarah is just a regular everyday girl, but she soon has to gather the strength to fight Schwarzenegger’s bulky assassin.
From her audition work, she felt strongly that she does both poles of the character. She had to be interesting in the movies and so she had to not be somebody you would just dismiss. And then she had to have the strength and the courage for the final scenes.
For the second film, Linda trained and prepared herself. She became a kind of feminist icon and she really flourished in the role. There was a whole another level, not only of her as an actor but of Sarah as a character, as a planner, as somebody who’s incredibly disciplined and focused, physically strong.
The sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day was even more popular and grossed $520.8 million worldwide, winning four Academy Awards. After Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Hamilton surely became an action star, and that’s also due to her physical training.
It was easy for Hamilton to put on the muscle needed to play a survivor. The director admits Hamilton worked hard to transform Sarah into the legend that she now is. She trained really seriously for about five hours a day. Weights and movement, weapons training, and more.
People magazine included Linda Hamilton in the list of 50 Most Beautiful People in the world.
Linda Hamilton’s other movies
- Linda hamilton played the lead role in the American horror film ‘Children of the Corn’ in 1984. Although this movie was slammed by the critics, it made huge profits at the box office.
- In 1986, she appeared in the action film ‘Black Moon Rising’, with Tommy Lee Jones.
- She made a guest-star appearance in the crime drama television series “Murder, She Wrote.”
- She played another significant role in the fantasy-drama television series “Beauty and the Beast” in 1987, starring opposite Ron Perlman. Her performance in the series earned her ‘Emmy’ and Golden Globe nominations.
- She appeared in the fantasy comedy film “Mr. Destiny”.
- Linda Hamilton’s next significant role was in the film ‘A Mother’s Prayer’ (1995) where she portrayed the role of a woman diagnosed with AIDS who must make arrangements for the well-being of her only child. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
- In 1997, she appeared in two films, namely ‘Shadow Conspiracy’ and ‘Dante’s Peak.’ though the former was a box office failure, “Dante’s Peak,” was a huge commercial success.
- She starred in television shows like ‘Frasier’ and telefilms like ‘On the Line’ and ‘Robots Rising.’
- She also co-starred with Ron Perlman in the drama “Missing in America” in 2005 which premiered at the ‘Seattle International Film Festival’ in May of that year.
- She appeared frequently in the action-comedy/spy-drama television series “Mary Elizabeth Bartowski” in ‘Chuck.’ She also did a cameo role in Showtime’s dark comedy-drama series ‘Weeds.’
- She also played prominent cameo roles in the Canadian supernatural drama television series ‘Lost Girl’ and in the American science fiction western drama television series ‘Defiance.’
Linda Hamilton awards
In 1990, ‘People magazine named her one of the “50 Most Beautiful People in the world”. She was named one of the 12 “Promising New actors of 1982” in John Willis’ Screen World, Vol. 34.
She received two ‘MTV Movie Awards’ including ‘Best Female Performance’ and ‘Most Desirable Female’, also in the film ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ in 1992.
Her performance in the television film ‘A Mother’s Prayer’ in 1995 won her a ‘CableACE Award for best dramatic performance. It also helped her earn a ‘Golden Globe nomination in 1996.
She received the ‘Blockbuster Entertainment Award’ for her performance in ‘Dante’s Peak,’ for ‘Favorite Actress which was an Action/Adventure’ in 1998.
She won the ‘Golden Satellite Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Award in 2000 for ‘The Colour of Courage.’
She won the ‘DVD Exclusive – Video Premiere Best Supporting Actress Award’ in 2001 for ‘Skeletons in the Closet’.
Her personal life
Linda Hamilton got married to Bruce Abbott in 1982 and they had one child together, a son Dalton. But when she was pregnant she got separated from him in 1989.
Then she at that point was in love with James Cameron and wedded him in 1991. They had a daughter called Josephine in 1993 but got separated in 1999. The separation was dependent upon much media consideration in view of the 50 million dollar settlement.
Linda Hamilton in depression
Linda Hamilton was away from the spotlight and was living a personal hell. She was involved in a private battle, which was a lifelong struggle with manic depression. She was actually going through Bipolar disorder.
She was haunted by painful memories of her childhood in which she remembers her parents found her beating a puppy with a stick when she was 5. Ever since then that horrible incident of beating a precious soul with a stick. And she felt that it was pretty much the way her life went.
She also hated resembling her identical twin sister and took drastic measures to rebel. She even cut off her long eyelashes in high school. As Linda lost control, she comforted herself with food and ate her way to 170 pounds to look different from her twin sister.
Although Linda in her early 20s found her passion in acting and moved to Hollywood, depression shadowed her every move.
She started to break down and she started doing anything that could do to get her confidence up like turning to drugs, and alcohol use, and she medicated with lots of cocaine in her early life.
It was due to her reckless and unpredictable behavior, her first marriage was ruined to actor Bruce Abbott. When Linda became pregnant, Bruce couldn’t take the ups and downs any longer. He was living in fear with her and left her saying that she was a bully. She was devastated and alone.
Her life had begun to spin out of control. It was then she got the call to co-star in Terminator 2. So she became addicted to exercise instead of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. She felt it to be a better time for her to get up every morning and exercise and start to feel stronger, turning herself into this fighting machine.
Even after Linda got married to Terminator director James Cameron, her depression continued and was causing trouble in their relationship, too. She was out of control and she fought everything about his life.
Her second marriage was beginning to break. After their daughter was born, her depression conjured up hallucinations about her children. She couldn’t leave the house without images of them suffering in harm. Also because of her public divorce, the pressures of stardom, and her high-profile relationship proved too much to bear.
How she managed to overcome it?
It was her children who helped her take control of her bipolar depression. It was because of her children she use to wake up and say that she need to be an adult and she is not going to scare her children.
For 20 years, it had all been about her, where she had to fight to make herself feel better. She fought to manage her bad feelings, emotions, and thoughts. She was fighting medication for years and it had helped regulate her depression for almost 10 years. It took her a long time to get her life back.
She gave up alcohol and adopts a holistic approach to healthcare for the mentally unwell. When she started taking anti-depressants she didn’t initially stick with them, but then she was paying attention to her health.
Linda Hamilton’s other issues
While filming Terminator 2: Judgment Day, she suffered permanent hearing damage in one ear. Linda Hamilton had removed her earplugs and Schwarzenegger fired a shotgun inside an elevator. As a result, she still suffers from permanent hearing loss in one of her ears, although at least it’s not both of them.
Leslie Hamilton Freas, her twin sister died on August 22, 2020, at the age of 63.
Even in the acting world, she had several problems with producers, directors, and colleagues. It is because of her breach, disobedience, and bad attitude in the recording sets. Due to such reasons, her name and reputation began to be stained and she was displaced from several productions.
These situations were due to her bipolar disorder which was diagnosed later.
In order to help others feel less alone, she decided to go public with her experiences. She feels that it is important to stand as an advocate for the mentally ill. Her journey has been so full of struggle and she wants to be able to offer some help and some general ideas to people that really need it the most.
Linda Hamilton is a successful actress known for Sarah Connor in The Terminator movie. She went through many hardships and difficulties in life and especially suffered from Bipolar disorder. Due to this, she had to face problems in the film industry and marriage life.
But she tried her best to get over it. And she is a motivation that you can overcome hardships and achieve in life.
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