Academy Award winner Sam Rockwell comes from an acting family. Both of his parents were also actors, although his childhood was punctuated by divorce and a major move. He was raised mostly by his father.
Rounding out Rockwell’s family is his long-time girlfriend, Leslie Bibb. He has been dating Leslie Bibb for almost 11 years. The couple does not have children. Sam Rockwell is an only child.
Rockwell was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Dixon in the acclaimed movie, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. He took home the supporting actor Oscar, and he told an endearing story in his acceptance speech about his father taking him to the movies. That has a lot of people wondering more about Sam Rockwell’s family.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Leslie Bibb Has Attributed the Couple’s Strong Relationship to ‘Good Sex’
Sam Rockwell and Leslie Bibb first started dating in 2007, according to Page Six. Asked how the couple, who are not married, have managed to make it last when so many Hollywood relationships fail, Bibb responded “Good sex.”
However, Rockwell had another idea. He said the relationship boiled down to good communication, Page Six reports. When Rockwell won a Golden Globe, Bibb recalled to Page Six: “I could have strangled him, I hugged him so hard. I was crying, I was all of it. I don’t know, I just didn’t expect them to say his name, and it’s so long coming for Sam.”
Rockwell gushed about Bibb from the podium. Sam Rockwell thanked his beloved girlfriend, Leslie Bibb, when he won the award.
2. Sam Rockwell Was Born in California to Parents Who Were Actors
Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, “the child of two actors, Pete Rockwell and Penny Hess,” according to IMDB. His childhood was not without some tumult, as he is a child of divorce.
“The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan,” reported IMDB. “When Sam was five years old, his parents split up, at which point he and his father moved to San Francisco, where he subsequently grew up, while summers and other times were spent with his mother in New York.”
He started acting at age 10 and went to an arts high school. According to The Guardian, Rockwell is an only child “used to living in his head. His childhood was odd. Acting was perhaps in his genes. His parents, Pete and Penny, were both actors when they lived in boho New York in the early Seventies… His parents split when he was five and he went to San Francisco to live with his dad, who gave up acting to become a breadwinner. He was a union organizer and later a graphic artist.”
3. Rockwell’s Father Acted in Some Major Hollywood Films
Pete Rockwell, Sam’s father, has also found some success in Hollywood. “Pete Rockwell is an actor, known for Changeling (2008), Frost/Nixon (2008) and The Club of Unique and Lonely Minds. He was previously married to Penelope Ann Hess,” reports IMDB.
Pete Rockwell left a proud comment about his son’s movie on a New York Times review. “I loved this movie, and intend to see it again,” Rockwell wrote. “My son, Sam, won a Golden Globe for playing Jason Dixon. I think I would still love the movie if another actor had played Dixon…But not quite as much.”
The comment took off on Twitter, with many Twitter users praising Rockwell’s dad for being a caring father.
4. Rockwell Often Performed on Stage With His Mother Growing Up
If it weren’t for Rockwell’s mom, Penny Hess, also being an actress, Rockwell might never have found a career in Hollywood. Acting alongside his mother is how he got his start, although Hess never broke through to become a household name.
“The child of divorced parents, he lived with his father, Pete, in San Francisco, and spent summers with his mother, Penny Hess, in New York. He often appeared on stage with Hess, but when he dropped out of a performing arts school, it looked like a future in acting wasn’t for him,” reported Dazed.com of Sam Rockwell’s career roots. The New York Times described Rockwell as having a “footloose upbringing.”
Rockwell’s mother was a struggling actress, according to The Guardian, who also performed singing telegrams for a living. The British news site said that his mother is now a painter.
5. Rockwell Has Said He Doesn’t Want Children
Despite the longevity of their relationship, Sam Rockwell and Leslie Bibb do not have children together. Rockwell has indicated that children are not likely to be in the cards for the couple.
“I definitely don’t want to become a parent. It’s not my bag,” he told the Guardian, adding, “It’s weird, I don’t get children, I don’t quite understand it. I think being an only child means you learn to live in your own world…But also, children are a lot of work. I have so much respect for parents. I suppose the end result is I feel I have too much to do.”