WILL SAMPSON
MUSCOGEE CREEK

2023 – ENTERTAINMENT

(1933-1987) Will Sampson, Muscogee Creek, was an actor, artist, and rodeo competitor before passing away in 1987. Sampson’s most notable roles were as Chief Bromden in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and as Taylor the Medicine Man in the horror film Poltergeist II. He had a recurring role on the TV series Vega$ as Harlon Twoleaf, and starred in the movies Fish Hawk, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Orca. He also played Crazy Horse in The White Buffalo with Charles Bronson and the archetypal Elevator Attendant in Nicolas Roeg’s 1985 film, Insignificance. Early in his career, Sampson appeared in the production of Black Elk Speaks with the American Indian Theater Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where other Native American actors such as Wes Studi and Randolph Mantooth have appeared in stage productions. Sampson received the Canadian Genie Award in 1980 for “Best Performance by a Foreign Actor” in the film, Fish Hawk. He also advocated for Native actors to play Native roles in movies. Sampson founded the “American Indian Registry for the Performing Arts” for Native American actors. He also served on the registry’s Board of Directors.