Samuel Henry John Worthington was born August 2, 1976 in Surrey, England. His parents, Jeanne (Martyn) and Ronald Worthington, a power plant employee, moved the family to Australia when he was six months old, and raised him and his sister Lucinda in Warnbro, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia.
Worthington graduated from NIDA (Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art) in 1998 at the age of 22. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of "Arthur Wellesley" in his first professional role in the Belvoir Street Theatre production "Judas Kiss" (directed by Neil Armfield). He then went on to work in Australian television on such shows as Water Rats (1996) and "Backburner" and then on the American TV show JAG (1995)'s 100th episode (Boomerang: Part 1).
Worthington made his film debut in the highly acclaimed Australian movie Bootmen (2000), a film about a troop of "tap dogs". Minor roles proceeded in Hart's War (2002) and A Matter of Life (2001) before he was cast in another hai