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Returning 'Law & Order' Star Sam Waterston Is Married to Former Model Lynn Louisa Woodruff — Meet Her

Esther NJeri
Jan 22, 2022
06:40 A.M.
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More than a decade after "Law & Order" was canceled in 2010 after 20 seasons, actor Sam Waterston will return to the set and reprise his famous role as District Attorney Jack McCoy. 


A character that expands and reflects others' abilities to understand the law, McCoy's became so popular he was declared a "Living Landmark" by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

And now, the star is back full-time on the show. Waterston says he did not expect his performance to impress the viewers as much as it did and was thrilled to return to his courtroom heroics.

Actor Sam Waterston (L) and wife Lynn Louisa Woodruff attend the 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 10, 2016 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images


"I was amazed at how great—and strange—it felt to step onto what looked exactly like the old sets, all brand-new, with dear old friends and cool new people." He said.

Based on the new teaser released by NBC on Thursday, the show will resume the previous plot, with the police investigating crimes while the D.A prosecutes the offenders. However, the new season will be set in a slightly different world and explore current topics and issues. 



When McCoy is not prosecuting offenders, he is a loving husband to Lynn Louisa Woodruff and a father of four. Waterston was previously married to Barbara Rutledge Johns, but they divorced after 11 years and one child.

The actor met his current wife in 1972 on a blind date in New York City, and they got married in 1976 when Woodruff was at the peak of her career. Even though her actual claim to fame came after she married Waterston, she was not new to the industry. 


She was a top fashion model in the '70s, gracing the covers of Cosmopolitan in January 1971, Vogue Italia in January 1972, and Vogue magazine in October 1973.

She worked with renowned designers such as Halston, Giorgio Di Sant'Angelo, Angel Estrada, and Willi Smith. After Waterston and Woodruff married, they had three children, Elisabeth, Katherine, and Graham.


Waterston has been in the industry since the early '90s, and it is no surprise that his children all followed in his footsteps. Waterston's third child Katherine is an actress, debuting her career with the 2007 "Michael Clayton."


Today, she's known for appearing on "Inherent Vice," "Alien: Covenant," "Where To Find Them," and "Fantastic Beasts." Besides being an actress, she is also a fashion enthusiast. Growing up, the actress often envied her mother.

The fashion sense of the '70s often appealed to her, even at an early age. She says she always felt that, unlike today, fashion back then was less constrictive and celebrated the female form more.

Looking back, Katherine confesses that her mother's beauty affected her. She always thought she would look like her mother once she grew up but later realized it would not happen.


Katherine says despite growing up with an actor father and a natural-born performer and storyteller mother, she had a happy and typical-enough childhood

Katherine's older sister Elisabeth has also made her mark in the industry, appearing in "Quantico," the 2008 "Good Dick," and "The Prince and Me." 

Actor Sam Waterston and his daughter Elizabeth attend the world premiere of "Beyond Borders" to benefit the Office of the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees at the Ziegfeld Theater October 20, 2003 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

James, Waterston's child with his first wife, has also inherited his father's acting talents and has appeared on several episodes of the "Law & Order" franchise. 

The youngest of the Waterston bunch is Graham, who is in the same industry, but contrary to his actor siblings, he is a writer and filmmaker. His work credits include producing "And It Was Good."