Billy Bob Thornton (born August 4, 1955) is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and musician.
Thornton had his first break when he co-wrote and starred in the 1992 thriller One False Move, and received international attention after writing, directing, and starring in the independent drama film Sling Blade (1996), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He appeared in several major film roles in the 1990s following Sling Blade, including Oliver Stone's neo-noir U Turn (1997), political drama Primary Colors (1998), science fiction disaster film Armageddon (1998), the highest-grossing film of that year, and the crime drama A Simple Plan (1998), which earned him his third Oscar nomination.
In the 2000s, Thornton achieved further success in starring dramas Monster's Ball (2001), The Man Who Wasn't There (2001), and Friday Night Lights (2004); comedies Bandits (2001), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Bad Santa (2003); and action films Eagle Eye (2008) and Faster (2010). In 2014, Thornton starred as Lorne Malvo in the first season of the anthology series Fargo, earning a nomination for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie at the Emmy Awards and won Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Film at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards. In 2016, he starred in an Amazon original series, Goliath, which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama.
Thornton has been vocal about his distaste for celebrity culture, choosing to keep his life out of the public eye. However, the attention of the media has proven unavoidable in certain cases, his marriage to Angelina Jolie being a notable example. Thornton has written a variety of films, usually set in the Southern United States and mainly co-written with Tom Epperson, including A Family Thing (1996) and The Gift (2000). After Sling Blade, he directed several other films, including Daddy and Them (2001), All the Pretty Horses (2000), and Jayne Mansfield's Car (2012).
Thornton has received the President's Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, a Special Achievement Award from the National Board of Review, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has also been nominated for an Emmy Award, four Golden Globes, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. In addition to film work, Thornton began a career as a singer-songwriter. He has released four solo albums and is the vocalist of the blues rock band The Boxmasters.
Billy Bob Thornton
Thornton in February 2012
William Robert Thornton
August 4, 1955
Hot Springs, Arkansas, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S|
|Occupation||Actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, musician|
|Associated acts||The Boxmasters|
Billy Bob Thornton was born on August 4, 1955, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the son of Virginia Roberta (née Faulkner; died July 29, 2017), a self-proclaimed psychic, and William Raymond "Billy Ray" Thornton (November 1929 – August 1974), a high school history teacher and basketball coach. His brother, Jimmy Don (April 1958 – October 1988), wrote a number of songs, two of which ("Island Avenue" and "Emily") Thornton has recorded on his solo albums. He is of part Irish descent. He also has another brother John David Thornton.
Thornton lived in numerous places in Arkansas during his childhood, including Alpine, Malvern, and Mount Holly. He was raised Methodist in an extended family in a shack that had no electricity or plumbing. He graduated from Malvern High School in 1973. A good high school baseball player, he tried out for the Kansas City Royals, but was released after an injury. After a short period laying asphalt for the Arkansas State Transportation Department, he attended Henderson State University to pursue studies in psychology, but dropped out after two semesters.
In the mid-1980s, Thornton settled in Los Angeles, California, to pursue his career as an actor, with future writing partner Tom Epperson. He had a difficult time succeeding as an actor and worked in telemarketing, offshore wind farming, and fast food management between auditioning for acting jobs. He also played the drums and sang with South African rock band Jack Hammer. While working as a waiter for an industry event, he served film director and screenwriter Billy Wilder. He struck up a conversation with Wilder, who advised Thornton to consider a career as a screenwriter.
Thornton's first screen role was in 1980's South of Reno, where he played a small role as a counter man in a restaurant. He also made an appearance as a pawn store clerk in the 1987 Matlock episode "The Photographer". Another one of his early screen roles was as a cast member on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire and in 1989 he appeared as a angry heckler in Adam Sandler's debut film Going Overboard. His role as the villain in 1992's One False Move, which he also co-wrote, brought him to the attention of critics. He also had small roles in the 1990s films Indecent Proposal, On Deadly Ground, Bound by Honor, and Tombstone. He went on to write, direct, and star in the 1996 independent film Sling Blade. The film, an expansion of the short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, introduced the story of a mentally handicapped man imprisoned for a gruesome and seemingly inexplicable murder.
Sling Blade garnered international acclaim. Thornton's screenplay earned him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Writers Guild of America Award, and an Edgar Award, while his performance received Oscar and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor. In 1998, Thornton portrayed the James Carville-like Richard Jemmons in Primary Colors. He adapted the book All the Pretty Horses into a 2000 film of the same name. The negative experience (he was forced to cut more than an hour of footage) led to his decision to never direct another film; a subsequent release, Daddy and Them, had been filmed earlier. Also in 2000, an early script which he and Tom Epperson wrote together was made into The Gift.
In 2000, Thornton appeared in Travis Tritt's music video for the song "Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde". His screen persona has been described by the press as that of a "tattooed, hirsute man's man". He appeared in several major film roles following the success of Sling Blade, including 1998's Armageddon and A Simple Plan. In 2001, he directed Daddy and Them while securing starring roles in three Hollywood films: Monster's Ball, Bandits, and The Man Who Wasn't There, for which he received many awards.
Thornton played a malicious mall Santa in 2003's Bad Santa, a black comedy that performed well at the box office and established him as a leading comic actor, and in the same year, portrayed a womanizing President of the United States in the British romantic comedy film Love Actually. He stated that, following the success of Bad Santa, audiences "like to watch him play that kind of guy" and that "casting directors call him up when they need an asshole". He referred to this when he said that "it's kinda that simple... you know how narrow the imagination in this business can be".
In 2004, Thornton played David Crockett in The Alamo. Later that year, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 7. He appeared in the 2006 comic film School for Scoundrels. In the film, he plays a self-help doctor, which was written specifically for him. More recent films include 2007 drama The Astronaut Farmer and the comedy Mr. Woodcock, in which he played a sadistic gym teacher. In September 2008, he starred in the action film Eagle Eye. He has also expressed an interest in directing another film, possibly a period piece about cave explorer Floyd Collins, based on the book Trapped! The Story of Floyd Collins.
"Goliath", a television series by Amazon Studios, features Thornton as a formerly brilliant and personable lawyer - now washed out and alcoholic. It premiered on October 13, 2016, on Amazon Video. On February 15, 2017, Amazon announced the series had been renewed for a second season.
In 2017, Thornton starred in the music video Stand Down by Kario Salem (musically known as K.O.). It received the award Best Music Video in the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival and has 13 million views on Facebook and counting.
From the time he was 10 years old, Thornton has been in bands. His first performance was on drums at a school PTA meeting where his band played "The Ballad of The Green Berets" instrumentally. Several bands followed, with Thornton's first recording experience coming at Widget Sound in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1974. Later in the 1970s, Thornton was the drummer of a blues rock band named Tres Hombres. Guitarist Billy Gibbons referred to the band as "The best little cover band in Texas", and Thornton bears a tattoo with the band's name on it.
In 1985, Thornton joined Piet Botha in the South African rock band Jack Hammer, while Botha worked in Los Angeles. Thornton recorded one studio album with Jack Hammer, Death of a Gypsy, which was released in 1986.
In 2001, Thornton released an album titled Private Radio on Lost Highway Records. The Edge of the World (2003), Hobo (2005) and Beautiful Door (2007). He performed the Warren Zevon song The Wind on the tribute album Enjoy Every Sandwich: Songs of Warren Zevon. Thornton recorded a cover of the Johnny Cash classic "Ring of Fire" with Earl Scruggs, for the Oxford American magazine's Southern Music CD in 2001. The song also appeared on Scruggs' 2001 album Earl Scruggs and Friends.
In 2007 Thornton formed The Boxmasters with J.D. Andrew.
Thornton has been married six times, with the first five marriages ending in divorce, and he has four children by three women. From 1978 to 1980, he was married to Melissa Lee Gatlin, with whom he had a daughter, Amanda. Thornton married actress Toni Lawrence in 1986; they separated the following year and divorced in 1988. From 1990 to 1992, he was married to actress Cynda Williams, whom he cast in his writing debut, One False Move (1992). In 1993, Thornton married Playboy model Pietra Dawn Cherniak, with whom he had two sons, Harry James and William; the marriage ended in 1997, with Cherniak accusing Thornton of spousal abuse.
Thornton was engaged to be married to actress Laura Dern, whom he dated from 1997 to 1999, but in 2000, he married actress Angelina Jolie, with whom he starred in Pushing Tin (1999) and who is 20 years his junior. The marriage became known for the couple's eccentric displays of affection, which reportedly included wearing vials of each other's blood around their necks; Thornton later clarified that the "vials" were actually two small lockets, each containing only a single drop of blood. Thornton and Jolie announced the adoption of a child from Cambodia in March 2002, but it was later revealed that Jolie had adopted the child as a single parent. They separated in June 2002 and divorced the following year.
In 2003, Thornton began a relationship with makeup effects crew member Connie Angland, with whom he has a daughter named Bella. They reside in Los Angeles, California. Though he once said that he likely would not marry again, saying that he believes marriage "doesn't work" for him, his representatives confirmed that he and Angland were married on October 22, 2014, in Los Angeles.
During his early years in Los Angeles, Thornton was admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with myocarditis. He has since said that he follows a vegan diet and is "extremely healthy", eating no junk food as he is allergic to wheat and dairy.
Thornton suffers from OCD. Various idiosyncratic behaviors have been well documented in interviews with Thornton; among these is a phobia of antique furniture, a disorder shared by Dwight Yoakam's character Doyle Hargraves in the Thornton-penned Sling Blade and by Thornton's own character in the 2001 film Bandits. Additionally, he has stated that he has a fear of certain types of silverware, a trait assumed by his character in 2001's Monster's Ball, in which Grotowski insists on a plastic spoon for his daily bowl of ice cream.
In a 2004 interview with The Independent, Thornton explained, "It's just that I won't use real silver. You know, like the big, old, heavy-ass forks and knives, I can't do that. It's the same thing as the antique furniture. I just don't like old stuff. I'm creeped out by it, and I have no explanation why ... I don't have a phobia about American antiques, it's mostly French—you know, like the big, old, gold-carved chairs with the velvet cushions. The Louis XIV type. That's what creeps me out. I can spot the imitation antiques a mile off. They have a different vibe. Not as much dust."
Thornton is a baseball fan; his favorite team is the St. Louis Cardinals, and he has said that his childhood dream was to play for them. He narrated The 2006 World Series Film, the year-end retrospective DVD chronicling the Cardinals' championship season. He is also a professed fan of the Indianapolis Colts football team.
A Simple Plan is a 1998 neo-noir crime thriller film adapted by Scott B. Smith from his 1993 novel of the same name. Directed by Sam Raimi, it stars Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda. Set in rural Minnesota, the film follows brothers Hank (Paxton) and Jacob Mitchell (Thornton), who, along with Jacob's friend Lou (Brent Briscoe), discover a crashed plane containing $4.4 million in cash. The three men and Hank's wife Sarah (Fonda) go to great lengths to keep the money a secret but begin to doubt each other's trust, resulting in lies, deceit and murder.
Development of the film began in 1993 before the novel was published. Mike Nichols purchased the film rights, and the project was picked up by Savoy Pictures. After Nichols stepped down, the film adaptation became mired in development hell, with Ben Stiller and John Dahl turning down opportunities to direct it. After Savoy closed in November 1995, the project was sold to Paramount Pictures. John Boorman was hired to direct, but scheduling conflicts led to his replacement by Raimi. An international co-production between the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan, the film was financed by Mutual Film Company, its investors and Newmarket Capital Group, which allocated a budget of $17 million. Principal photography began in January 1998 and concluded in March after 55 days of filming in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The score was produced and composed by Danny Elfman.
A Simple Plan premiered at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was met with critical acclaim. The film's appearance at the festival preceded a limited release in the United States on December 11, 1998, followed by a general release in North America on January 22, 1999. It underperformed at the North American box office, grossing $16.3 million. Reviewers praised various aspects of the film's production, including the storytelling, performances and Raimi's direction. A Simple Plan earned multiple awards and nominations, among them two Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Thornton) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Smith).All the Pretty Horses (film)
All the Pretty Horses is a 2000 American romance western film produced and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, and based on Cormac McCarthy's novel of the same name. Starring Matt Damon and Penélope Cruz, the film was released on Christmas Day 2000 to mostly negative reviews. It grossed $18 million worldwide, against a $57 million budget.Bad Santa
Bad Santa is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Terry Zwigoff, and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom, John Ritter, and Bernie Mac. It was John Ritter's last film appearance before his death on September 11, 2003. The film was dedicated to Ritter's memory. The Coen brothers are credited as executive producers. The film was released in the United States on November 26, 2003, and was screened out of competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.An unrated version was released on DVD on March 5, 2004 and on Blu-ray Disc on November 20, 2007 as Bad(der) Santa. A director's cut DVD was released in November 2006; it features Zwigoff's cut of the film (including an audio commentary with him and the film's editor), which is three minutes shorter than the theatrical cut and ten minutes shorter than the unrated version. A sequel, Bad Santa 2, was released on November 23, 2016.Beautiful Door
Beautiful Door is the fourth album by American actor and singer/songwriter Billy Bob Thornton. It was released by New Door Records in 2007.Billy Bob Thornton filmography
The following is the filmography of American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and musician Billy Bob Thornton.Daddy and Them
Daddy and Them is a 2001 American comedy-drama film written, directed by, and starring Billy Bob Thornton. In addition to Thornton, it stars Laura Dern, Andy Griffith, Ben Affleck, Kelly Preston, Diane Ladd, Brenda Blethyn, Tuesday Knight, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jim Varney. This was Varney's last film; he died a year before the movie's release.
The original plan was to release the film in theaters, but the film got only limited distribution as Miramax found the film not "commercial" enough. Daddy and Them opened to positive reviews, with many critics praising the film's southern humor, Thornton's work as a writer/director, and the performances of the entire cast. It currently holds an 83% rating on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.Fargo (TV series)
Fargo is an American black comedy–crime drama anthology television series created and primarily written by Noah Hawley. The show is inspired by the eponymous 1996 film written and directed by the Coen brothers, who serve as executive producers on the series alongside Hawley. The series premiered on April 15, 2014, on FX, and follows an anthology format, with each season set in a different era, and with a different story and mostly new characters and cast, although there is minor overlap. Each season shares a common chronology with the original film.
The first season, set in 2006 and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, and Martin Freeman, received positive reviews from critics. It won the Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Directing, and Outstanding Casting, and received 15 additional nominations including Outstanding Writing, another Outstanding Directing nomination, and acting nominations for all four leads. It also won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for Thornton.
The second season, set in 1979 and starring Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart, and Ted Danson, also received positive reviews from critics. It received three Golden Globe nominations, along with several Emmy nominations including Outstanding Miniseries, and acting nominations for Dunst, Plemons, Smart, and Bokeem Woodbine.
The third season, set in 2010 and starring Ewan McGregor, Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Goran Bogdan, and David Thewlis, premiered on April 19, 2017. It was met with positive reviews from critics, and received Emmy nominations including Outstanding Miniseries, and acting nominations for McGregor, Coon, and Thewlis. It received three Golden Globe nominations, for Outstanding Limited Series, and McGregor and Thewlis for acting, with McGregor winning in his category.
A fourth season is currently in development, to start filming in fall 2019 with Chris Rock to star. It will be set in 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri.Fargo (season 1)
The first season of the anthology black comedy–crime drama television series Fargo, premiered on April 15, 2014, on FX. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks and Martin Freeman, the season consisted of ten episodes and concluded its initial airing on June 17, 2014.
Set in January 2006, the season follows hitman Lorne Malvo (Thornton) who stops at a hospital in Bemidji, Minnesota following a car accident and influences local mild-mannered insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Freeman) with his violent and deceptive ways. Their meeting sets forth a series of murders throughout the city. Meanwhile, Deputy Molly Solverson (Tolman) of Bemidji and Officer Gus Grimly (Hanks) of Duluth attempt to solve several crimes across the state that they believe may be linked to Malvo and Nygaard.
Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, Joey King, Glenn Howerton, Kate Walsh, Russell Harvard, Adam Goldberg, Oliver Platt, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele all make recurring appearances.
Filming of the first season began in Calgary, Alberta, in late 2013 and concluded in 2014. The first season received acclaim from critics, praising its writing, directing and the performances of Thornton, Tolman, Hanks and Freeman. The season won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries, along with Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Casting, as well as fifteen other nominations. It was nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, winning Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film for Thornton's performance as Malvo.Hobo (Billy Bob Thornton album)
Hobo is the third album by American actor and singer/songwriter Billy Bob Thornton. It was released by Big Deal Records in 2005.
The song "Your Blue Shadow" was originally featured on his album Private Radio.Homegrown (film)
Homegrown is a 1998 American comedy-drama thriller film directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and starring Billy Bob Thornton, John Lithgow and Hank Azaria.Intolerable Cruelty
Intolerable Cruelty is a 2003 American romantic comedy film directed and co-written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and produced by Brian Grazer and the Coens. The script was written by Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone and Ethan and Joel Coen, with the latter writing the last draft of the screenplay. The film stars George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Geoffrey Rush, Cedric the Entertainer, Edward Herrmann, Paul Adelstein, Richard Jenkins and Billy Bob Thornton.Jayne Mansfield's Car
Jayne Mansfield's Car is a 2012 drama film directed by Billy Bob Thornton, marking his first directing job since 2001's Daddy and Them. Thornton also stars alongside Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson, Frances O'Connor, Ron White, and Robert Patrick. The film had its world premiere at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2012. The film was released in limited release on September 13, 2013.One of the locations in which the movie was shot is Cedartown, Georgia, USA. Exterior home shots were filmed in Troup County, Georgia, while additional scenes were shot in Decatur, Georgia. For the Greek Revival home, the interior shots were filmed at The Bailey-Tebault House located in Griffin, Georgia.List of awards and nominations received by Billy Bob Thornton
The following is a list of awards and nominations received by Billy Bob Thornton.Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball is a 2001 American romantic drama film directed by Marc Forster, written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos as an original screenplay, and starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Heath Ledger, Peter Boyle, Sean Combs, and Mos Def. The film tells the story of a widowed corrections officer, his adult son, and widowed father, all of whom work as executioners in the state prison. The main character befriends, and then begins a relationship with, a woman whom he does not at first realize is the widow of a man he executed.Berry received overwhelming acclaim for her performance, earning her, among other awards, the Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the first African-American woman to win an Oscar in that category.Private Radio
Private Radio is the debut album by American actor and singer/songwriter Billy Bob Thornton. His first foray into recorded music following a successful movie career up to the time of the album's release, it was a traditional country music album released by Universal Records in September 2001.
The song "Angelina" is a song written for his then-wife Angelina Jolie.Sling Blade (film)
Sling Blade is a 1996 American drama film written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who also stars in the lead role. Set in rural Arkansas, the film tells the story of a man named Karl Childers who has an intellectual disability and is released from a psychiatric hospital, where he has lived since killing his mother and her lover when he was 12 years old, and the friendship he develops with a young boy and his mother. In addition to Thornton, it stars Dwight Yoakam, J. T. Walsh, John Ritter, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday, James Hampton, and Robert Duvall.
The film was adapted by Thornton from his previous screenplay for the short film Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, directed by George Hickenlooper. Sling Blade proved to be a sleeper hit, launching Thornton into stardom. It won the Oscar for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, and Thornton was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The music for the soundtrack was provided by French Canadian artist/producer Daniel Lanois.The Boxmasters
The Boxmasters is an American rock 'n' roll band founded in Bellflower, California in 2007 by Academy Award-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton and J.D. Andrew. The group has released eight albums of original material.
Before he formed The Boxmasters, frontman Thornton had played in bands since middle school, worked as a roadie, recorded in 1974 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and in the 2000's released four solo albums. After listening to "Yesterday's Gone" by Chad & Jeremy and thinking about covering it in a hillbilly music style, he had the idea of making Americanized version of British Invasion pop songs. From mid-2008 to late 2008, the group embarked on a tour across the United States, ending in Los Angeles. It also played for the March 2009 South by Southwest conference. After opening several tours for Willie Nelson in 2009 & 2010, The Boxmasters ceased touring for 5 years, which they used to write multiple albums and emerged with a more natural sound, as opposed to their early hillbilly leanings.The Edge of the World (Billy Bob Thornton album)
The Edge of the World is the second album by American actor and singer/songwriter Billy Bob Thornton. It was released in 2003 on Sanctuary Records.Album cover model is Rebecca Wilson.
Billy Bob Thornton