Billy Bob Thornton

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Billy Bob Thornton

Thornton in February 2012
Born August 4, 1955 (1955-08-04) (age 59)
Hot Springs, Arkansas, U.S.
Occupation Actor, screenwriter, director, musician
Years active 1986–present
Spouse Melissa Lee Gatlin (m. 1978–1980) «start: (1978)–end+1: (1981)»"Marriage: Melissa Lee Gatlin to Billy Bob Thornton" Location: (linkback://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bob_Thornton)
Toni Lawrence (m. 1986–1988) «start: (1986)–end+1: (1989)»"Marriage: Toni Lawrence to Billy Bob Thornton" Location: (linkback://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bob_Thornton)
Cynda Williams (m. 1990–1992) «start: (1990)–end+1: (1993)»"Marriage: Cynda Williams to Billy Bob Thornton" Location: (linkback://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bob_Thornton)
Pietra Dawn Cherniak (m. 1993–1997) «start: (1993)–end+1: (1998)»"Marriage: Pietra Dawn Cherniak to Billy Bob Thornton" Location: (linkback://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bob_Thornton)
Angelina Jolie (m. 2000–2003) «start: (2000)–end+1: (2004)»"Marriage: Angelina Jolie to Billy Bob Thornton" Location: (linkback://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Bob_Thornton)
Partner Connie Angland (2003–present)
Children 4

Billy Bob Thornton[1][2][3] (born August 4, 1955) is an American actor, screenwriter, director, singer and musician. Thornton first became known for his acting on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire and in a number of early 1990s movies. These movies included On Deadly Ground and Tombstone. In the mid-1990s, after writing, directing, and starring in the independent movie Sling Blade, he won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He had many large movie roles after Sling Blade 's success. These included 1998's Armageddon and A Simple Plan. During the late 1990s, Thornton began a career as a singer-songwriter. He has released three albums. Thorton was the singer in a blues rock band.

Early life[change | change source]

Thornton was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas.[1] He is the son of Virginia Roberta (née Faulkner), a psychic, and William Raymond "Billy Ray" Thornton, a high school history teacher and basketball coach. His father died when Thornton was 18.[1] He has two younger brothers, Jimmy Don and John David. During his childhood, Thornton lived in both Alpine, Arkansas, and Malvern, Arkansas. He was raised a Methodist[4]. Thorton grew up in an large family in a shack. It did not have electricity nor plumbing. Thornton graduated from high school in 1973.[5] He was good high school baseball player. He tried out for the Kansas City Royals, but was let go after an injury.[6]

In the mid 1980s, Thornton moved to Los Angeles to become an actor.[1] At first, Thornton had a hard time becoming an actor. He worked in telemarketing, offshore wind farming,[6] and fast food management while trying to get acting jobs. He also played drums and sang with South African rock band Jack Hammer. While Thornton worked as a waiter for an event, he served movie director and screenwriter Billy Wilder. Wilder is known for movies that include Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard. Thornton talked with Wilder, who told Thornton to think about a career as a screenwriter.[1]

Career[change | change source]

Film[change | change source]

Billy Bob's first role was in 1980's South of Reno. He played a small role as a man in a restaurant. Billy Bob was also in a 1987 episode of Andy Griffith's series Matlock. Another one of Thornton's early roles was on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire with John Ritter and Markie Post. His role as the villain in the 1992 movie One False Move got him noticed by the critics.[1] He also had small roles in the early 1990s movies Indecent Proposal, On Deadly Ground, Bound by Honor, Grey Knight, and Tombstone. Thornton did what Wilder told him to do. He wrote, direct and star in the independent movie Sling Blade. The movie was released in 1996.[1] The movie was an expansion of a short named Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade. It told the story of Karl Childers, a mentally handicapped man imprisoned for murder. Sling Blade was well liked internationally.[1] Thornton's screenplay earned him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Writers Guild of America Award, and an Edgar Award. His acting in the movie earned him an Oscar and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor.[1]

In 1998, he played the James-Carville-like Richard Jemmons in Primary Colors. Thornton wrote the movie version of the book All the Pretty Horses as a 2000 movie with the same name. The movie starred Matt Damon and Penélope Cruz. After he was forced to cut more than an hour of the movie, he decided to never direct another movie. Also in 2000, an early script he had written was made into The Gift. It starred Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Katie Holmes, Greg Kinnear, and Giovanni Ribisi. In 2000, he also appeared in Travis Tritt's music video for the song "Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde".

The press usually describe Thorton as a "tattooed, hirsute man's man".[7] He had many large movie roles after Sling Blade 's success. These include 1998's Armageddon with Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis, A Simple Plan, Monster's Ball, Bandits and The Man Who Wasn't There. He played a mall Santa Claus in 2003's Bad Santa. It was a black comedy that did very good at the box office. The movie made Thornton notable as a leading comic actor. Thornton has said that, after Bad Santa's success, audiences "like to watch [him] play that kind of guy,"[7] and "they [casting directors] call [him] up when they need an asshole. It's kinda that simple... you know how narrow the imagination in this business can be."[8] In 2004 he played Davy Crockett in The Alamo.

He was in the comic movie School for Scoundrels in 2006. More recent movies include The Astronaut Farmer and the comedy, Mr. Woodcock. In September 2008, Thornton starred in the action movie Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan. Thornton has also said he may want to direct another movie. He may direct a period piece about cave explorer Floyd Collins.[9] The movie would be based on the book Trapped! The Story of Floyd Collins by Robert K. Murray and Roger Brucker. Thornton got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 7, 2004.

Personal life[change | change source]

Thornton at a San Francisco concert in 2007

Relationships and children[change | change source]

Thornton has been married five times. Each marriage ended in divorce. He has four children by three women. From 1978 to 1980, he was married to Melissa Lee Gatlin. They have a daughter, Amanda.[10] Thornton married actress Toni Lawrence in 1986. They divorced in 1988. From 1990 to 1992, he was married to actress Cynda Williams. In 1993, Thornton married Playboy model Pietra Dawn Cherniak. They have two sons, Harry James and William. The marriage ended in 1997. Cherniak said Thornton abused her.[11]

Thornton was engaged to be married to actress Laura Dern, whom he dated from 1997 to 1999. Instead of marrying Dern, in 2000, he married actress Angelina Jolie. The marriage became known for the couple's strange shows of affection. These were said to include wearing vials of each other's blood around their necks. Thorton later said that the "vials" were actually two small lockets. Each had only a single drop of blood in it.[7][12] Thornton and Jolie said they were adopting a child from Cambodia in March 2002. Later it was learned that Jolie had adopted the child as a single parent.[13][14] They separated in June 2002 and divorced the following year.

Since 2003, Thornton has been in a relationship with Connie Angland. They have a daughter, Bella. The family lives in Los Angeles, California. Thornton has said that he likely will not marry again.[15] He has said that he thinks that marriage "doesn't work" for him.[16]

Thornton is the cousin of professional wrestling legends Terry Funk and Dory Funk, Jr.[17]

Filmography[change | change source]

List of film appearances
Title Year Role Notes
Hunter's Blood 1986 Billy Bob
South of Reno 1988 Counterman
Going Overboard 1989 Dave
Chopper Chicks in Zombietown 1989 Tommy
Dark Backward, TheThe Dark Backward 1991 Patron at Sloppy's (uncredited)
For the Boys 1991 Marine Sergeant, Korea
One False Move 1992 Ray Malcolm also co-wrote
Tombstone 1993 Johnny Tyler
Blood In Blood Out 1993 Lightning
Indecent Proposal 1993 Day Tripper
The Killing Box 1993 Langston
Trouble Bound 1993 Coldface
On Deadly Ground 1994 Homer Carlton
Floundering 1994 Gun Clerk
Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade 1994 Karl Childers Short film
Dead Man 1995 Big George Drakoulious
Stars Fell on Henrietta, TheThe Stars Fell on Henrietta 1995 Roy
Sling Blade 1996 Karl Childers also wrote and directed
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Don't Look Back 1996 Marshall also co-wrote
Winner, TheThe Winner 1996 Jack
Apostle, TheThe Apostle 1997 Troublemaker
U Turn 1997 Darrell
Princess Mononoke 1997 Jigo Voice Only (English Language Version)
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn 1997 Himself Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Couple (with any combination of two actors playing themselves)
Simple Plan, AA Simple Plan 1998 Jacob Mitchell Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Armageddon 1998 Dan Truman, NASA Administrator
Homegrown 1998 Jack Marsden
Primary Colors 1998 Richard Jemmons
Pushing Tin 1999 Russell Bell
The Last Real Cowboys 2000 Tar
South of Heaven, West of Hell 2001 Brig. Smalls
Daddy and Them 2001 Claude Montgomery also wrote and directed
Monster's Ball 2001 Hank Grotowski Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (also for Bandits and The Man Who Wasn't There)
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (also for Bandits and The Man Who Wasn't There)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Bandits 2001 Terry Lee Collins Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (also for Monster's Ball and The Man Who Wasn't There)
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (also for Monster's Ball and The Man Who Wasn't There)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Man Who Wasn't There, TheThe Man Who Wasn't There 2001 Ed Crane Chlotrudis Audience Award for Best Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (also for Bandits and Monster's Ball)
London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (also for Bandits and Monster's Ball)
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Russian Guild of Film Critics Award for Best Foreign Actor
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—American Film Institute Award AFI Actor of the Year
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Waking Up in Reno 2002 Lonnie Earl Dodd
Badge, TheThe Badge 2002 Sheriff Darl Hardwick
Bad Santa 2003 Willie T. Stokes Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Love Actually 2003 The US President
Intolerable Cruelty 2003 Howard D. Doyle
Levity 2003 Manuel Jordan
Friday Night Lights 2004 Coach Gary Gaines
Alamo, TheThe Alamo 2004 Davy Crockett
Chrystal 2004 Joe
Ice Harvest, TheThe Ice Harvest 2005 Vic Cavanaugh
Bad News Bears 2005 Morris Buttermaker
School for Scoundrels 2006 Dr. P/Dennis Sherman
Astronaut Farmer, TheThe Astronaut Farmer 2007 Charles Farmer
Mr. Woodcock 2007 Jasper Woodcock
Eagle Eye 2008 Thomas Morgan
Informers, TheThe Informers 2009 William
My Run 2009 Narrator
Smell of Success, TheThe Smell of Success 2009 Patrick
Faster 2010 Cop
Nashville Rises 2011 Narrator
Puss in Boots 2011 Jack (Voice)
Jayne Mansfield's Car 2012 Skip Caldwell
The Baytown Disco 2012 Carlos currently filming
Bad Santa 2 2013 Willie T. Stokes announced, pre-production
Other screen credits
Title Year Role Notes
One False Move 1992 Writer Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay
Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade 1994 Writer
A Family Thing 1996 Writer Humanitas Prize
Sling Blade 1996 Director/Writer Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay
National Board of Review Award for Special Achievement in Filmmaking
Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature
Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominated—Chlotrudis Award for Best Director
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Original Screenplay
Don't Look Back 1996 Story and teleplay
All the Pretty Horses 2000 Director/Producer
Gift, TheThe Gift 2000 Writer Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Writing
Camouflage 2001 Story and screenplay as Reginald Perry
Daddy and Them 2001 Director/Writer
Jayne Mansfield's Car 2012 Director/Writer

Discography[change | change source]

Solo[change | change source]

The Boxmasters[change | change source]

  • The Boxmasters (Vanguard, 2008)
  • Christmas Cheer (Vanguard, 2008)
  • Modbilly (Vanguard, 2009)
  • Keys To The Kingdom (TBA)
  • Bellflower (TBA)

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "Billy Bob Thornton". Inside the Actors Studio. August 18, 2002. No. 18, season 8.
  2. Vigoda, Arlene (Feb. 7, 1997). "Thornton makes a mark with 'Sling Blade'". USA Today: p. 1D LIFE.
  3. Betsy Model (January 2004). "Rock-a-Billy Bob". Orange Coast Magazine 30 (1): p. 54.
  4. "Billy Bob Thornton, Astronaut Farmer". BeliefNet.com. http://www.beliefnet.com/story/212/story_21242.html.
  5. "Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture". Encyclopediaofarkansas.net. http://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2174. Retrieved 2010-05-09.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Pringle, Gill (September 23, 2007). "On the Move: Billy Bob Thornton". The Times (London). http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/driving/article2503490.ece. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Billy Bob Hollywood's go-to guy". JAM! Showbiz. http://jam.canoe.ca/Movies/2006/09/24/1888691.html. Retrieved September 24, 2006.
  8. "School is in session". Daily News. http://www.dailynews.com/entertainment/ci_4386629. Retrieved September 24, 2006.
  9. "Interview with "School for Scoundrels" Star Billy Bob Thornton". About.com. http://movies.about.com/od/schoolforscoundrels/a/schoolbt091506_2.htm. Retrieved September 25, 2006.
  10. Castro, Peter (April 28, 1997). "Sling This: Mrs. Billy Bob Thornton Angrily Seeks a Divorce". People 47 (16). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5zxnWvsjU. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  11. Hinckley, David. Billy Bob Thornton accused of stalking former sister-in-law. New York Daily News. May 21, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  12. "What I've Learned: Billy Bob Thornton". http://men.msn.com/articlees.aspx?cp-documentid=760901&GT1=9212.
  13. Smolowee, Jill. Marriage, Interrupted. People. August 5, 2002. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  14. Stein, Ruthe. Billy Bob Thornton Likes Staying Put. "San Francisco Chronicle". April 26, 2009. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  15. "Thornton swears off marriage". ShowbizSpy. July 21, 2008. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/5zxoGIkF5. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  16. The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full of Ghosts B.B. Thornton. 2012. Virgin Digital
  17. Terry Funk: The Hardcore Legend. T Funk. 2005. Sports Pub

Further reading[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]