|Portrayed by||James Hyde|
|Created by||James E. Reilly|
|First appearance||July 5, 1999|
|Last appearance||August 7, 2008|
|Book appearances||Hidden Passions|
Chief of police|
Security guard (former)
Harmony, New England
Sam, the eldest son of a former Harmony Police Chief, would also become a Harmony police chief. Sam has a much younger brother named Hank Bennett who is not much older than Sam's eldest son. Growing up, Sam was best friends with T.C. Russell and is still close with him to this day.
When Sam was a teenager he fell for Ivy Winthrop, the daughter of Governor Harrison Winthrop whom he met while he worked as a lifeguard. Sam went away one summer to work on one of the boats of Ivy's father so he could afford to marry Ivy. Sam's letters to Ivy were intercepted by Ivy's father, and she began to think that Sam had forgotten about her and was seeing other women while she was away. She began to date Alistair Crane's son Julian. The Winthrops had respectability, and the Cranes had money and the two patriarchs thought their children marrying was far superior to Ivy marrying a Bennett. Ivy married Julian, realizing that night that he did not love her but had been pressured into the marriage by his father. She ran off to find comfort in the arms of Sam, and they consummated their love. Soon after, Ivy gave birth to Sam's son Ethan, but she passed him off as Julian's son. She stayed with Julian because Sam had no money. Ivy and Julian would go on to have three children together: Fancy Crane, Fox Crane and Pretty Crane, but Ivy loved Ethan the most and doted on him because he was Sam's.
Sam left Harmony for several years and went to Boston where he saved a woman named Grace Standish from a fire; she later suffered from amnesia. The two fell in love, married and had three children of their own Noah Bennett, Kay Bennett and Jessica Bennett. They were together for about 20 years.
Ivy and Sam saw each other for the first time since 1974 in July 1999. Ivy decided to come back into Sam's life and did everything in her power to break up Grace and Sam. The revelation that Ethan was actually Sam's son caused friction in Sam and Grace's marriage, as well as causing Grace's miscarriage due to her shock at the news. Ivy blackmailed photographer David Hastings into pretending to be the religious Grace's first husband, from before the fire. While Hurricane Peggy hit Harmony, Ivy helped Sam to place the beacon back on the lighthouse to save the teenagers, including the Bennett girls, who were on Warlock Island for a school trip. Ivy was struck by lightning, fell and became paralyzed. Grace left Sam and went away with David believing he was her first husband. In time, Sam and Ivy reconnected and after Julian divorced Ivy, she moved in with Sam.
In late October 2006, Ivy's secret was revealed when Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald pressed Sam's stressed-out daughter Kay to reveal what was hurting her. Much to Ivy's horror, Kay revealed the truth and Sam believed her. Sam subsequently lost it and told Ivy to get out, trashing the kitchen in the process, and telling Ivy that if she was not out of his house by the time he got home, he was not going to be responsible for his own destructible actions. Grace, upon learning the truth, decided to come back home and reunite with Sam. She died in London when a bomb was planted on her bus while she was on her way to the airport to catch a flight to Harmony in January 2007, sending Sam and their children into mourning. He forgave Ivy for what she did to Grace, but they didn't get back together; Sam and Eve walked in on Ivy and Julian having drunken sex. It was not until September 2007 where Sam and Ivy would become a couple again.