Sam Roland Heughan (/ˈhjuːən/; born 30 April 1980) is a Scottish actor, best known for his acclaimed role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz series Outlander, for which he has received a People's Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor. A Saturn Award for Best Actor on Television out of five nominations, and a nomination for the Critics Choice Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer in 2003, for his performance in the play Outlying Islands, performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs. Heughan received an honorary doctorate "in recognition for his outstanding contribution to acting and charitable endeavors" from the University of Stirling in June 2019. His second honorary doctorate in recognition of his artistic success and his charitable work was bestowed by the University of Glasgow in July 2019.
Heughan was born on 30 April 1980 in Balmaclellan, in the historical county of Kirkcudbrightshire in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. At the age of five, he moved to nearby New Galloway where he attended Kells Primary School. During this time, he lived in converted stables in the grounds of Kenmure Castle. Moving to Edinburgh at the age of twelve, he attended James Gillespie's High School for a year and then moved to the Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School until the end of the sixth year. He subsequently spent two years working and travelling, before enrolling at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow, graduating in 2003. During his schooling, he performed in numerous plays, including The Twits at Citizens Theatre, an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment, Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, Aeschylus' Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound, and Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Prior to his graduation, in 2002, Heughan was one of four students chosen to represent RSAMD at the BBC Carlton Hobbs radio talent competition.