A Native American actor of the Creek Nation, Sampson's "big break" came from his memorable role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) opposite Jack Nicholson. He was also starred opposite Clint Eastwood in the western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). He had supporting roles in Orca (1977), The White Buffalo (1977) and Fish Hawk (1979). In 1986, he co-starred in Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) as a Native American shaman. He died of complications from kidney failure and malnutrition during heart and lung replacement surgery in 1987 and was buried on the reservation where he grew up.
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