Sam Trammell (born May 15, 1971) is an American stage, film and television actor. He is best known for his role as Sam Merlotte in the HBO vampire series, True Blood, which saw him nominated for a 2009 Scream Award for "Breakout Performance - Male." Sam Trammell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. When he was a child, his family moved to Charleston, West Virginia. Trammell graduated from George Washington High School. He furthered his studies at Brown University and the University of Paris Sam Trammell has worked in theater, on-Broadway, off-Broadway, film and television. He is an accomplished New York stage actor whose credits include a Tony nominated performance in "Ah, Wilderness!" at Lincoln Center. Off-Broadway, he starred in "Dealer's Choice (play)", "My Night With Reg", "If Memory Serves", "Ancestral Voices", and most recently, "Kit Marlowe" at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, where he received outstanding reviews. Trammell's big break came when he landed the role of "Sam Merlotte" on HBO series True Blood.