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Billy Bob Thornton

Academy Award-winning writer, actor, director and musician, Billy Bob Thornton has an extensive and impressive career in motion pictures, television and theater. Charismatic and uniquely talented, Thornton has established himself as one of the most sought after filmmakers of his generation.

Billy Bob Thornton is currently celebrating a high water mark in his career. Most recently, Thornton starred in the action thriller Faster, co-starring Dwayne Johnson, the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' best-selling novel The Informers and the Polish Brothers' dark comedy Manure. His other recent projects included Paramount Pictures' Eagle Eye, the Newline Cinema comedy Mr. Woodcock, Warner Bros. Pictures' The Astronaut Farmer (directed by the Polish Brothers), School For Scoundrels, the re-make of the The Bad News Bears for Paramount Pictures, and Friday Night Lights for Universal Pictures. He garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role in the critically acclaimed box-office hit Bad Santa, and received rave reviews for his portrayal of legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett in Touchstone Pictures' The Alamo.

This summer Thornton stepped behind the camera once again to direct and star in the ensemble drama Jayne Mansfield's Car, an original script co-written by Thornton and longtime collaborator Tom Epperson (One False Move, Sling Blade), and co-starring Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Kevin Bacon, Robert Patrick and Ray Stevenson. Thornton also directed The King of Luck, a documentary about country music legend and longtime friend Willie Nelson.

Showing the versatility of his acting abilities, in 2001 Thornton starred in the caper comedy Bandits for director Barry Levinson and co-starring Bruce Willis and Cate Blanchett; the noir The Man Who Wasn't There for the Coen brothers; and the heart-wrenching drama Monster's Ball, in which he co-starred with Halle Berry, Peter Boyle and Heath Ledger.

Each of the three performances garnered Thornton unprecedented critical acclaim, and resulted in him being named Best Actor of 2001 by the National Board of Review, Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Drama for The Man Who Wasn't There and Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Bandits, and an American Film Institute Award nomination for Best Actor for The Man Who Wasn't There.

Thornton's 1996 release of the critically acclaimed and phenomenally popular feature film Sling Blade, in which he starred and directed from an original script he wrote, firmly secured his status as a preeminent filmmaker. For his efforts, he was honored with both an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The film, produced by The Shooting Gallery and released by Miramax, also starred Robert Duvall, J.T. Walsh, Dwight Yoakum and John Ritter.

Prior to Sling Blade, Thornton already had an extensive motion picture credit list. He wrote and starred in the thrilling character drama One False Move, which brought him immediate critical praise. Thornton's powerful script (co-written with Tom Epperson) was enhanced by his intense performance as a hunted criminal. The film, directed by Carl Franklin, was an unheralded sleeper success.

In addition, Thornton has been featured in such films as The Winner, for director Alex Cox; Paramount Pictures' Indecent Proposal, directed by Adrian Lyne; Deadman, for director Jim Jarmusch for Miramax; and in Tombstone, directed by George Cosmatos for Buena Vista Pictures. Thornton has also appeared in the films On Deadly Ground, Bound by Honor, For the Boys and The Stars Fell on Henrietta.

As a writer, Thornton has worked on numerous projects for United Artists, Miramax, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., Touchstone Pictures, Island Pictures, David Geffen Productions and HBO. He also scripted A Family Thing, a highly regarded feature film that starred Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones for United Artists.

Thornton co-starred in the blockbuster action-adventure film Armageddon with Bruce Willis for producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and he has also co-starred opposite Sean Penn and Nick Nolte in U-Turn, directed by Oliver Stone, and in Primary Colors opposite John Travolta and Emma Thompson for director Mike Nichols. He also starred in the dark comedy Pushing Tin opposite John Cusack.

Thornton received an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his celebrated work in the tightly woven drama A Simple Plan for director Sam Raimi, as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the screen actors Guild.

For his second and third directorial outings, Thornton chose the comedy Daddy and Them, which he again wrote and starred in, and the best-selling Cormac McCarthy novel, the epic All the Pretty Horses, starring Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz and Henry Thomas.

Thornton also co-wrote The Gift, starring Cate Blanchett, Giovanni Ribisi and Hillary Swank. Thornton's other film credits include the comedy Waking Up in Reno, co-starring Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze and Natascha Richardson for Miramax Films; the drama Levity, in which he co-starred with Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst; Intolerable Cruelty co-starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones; and Love Actually, with Hugh Grant, Laura Linney and Liam Neeson.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2011.
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Billy Bob Thornton Facts

BirthdayAugust 4, 1955 (68)
BirthplaceHot Springs, Arkansas, USA
Height6' (1m83)  How tall is Billy Bob Thornton compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Of Mice and Men
Princess Mononoke
Bad Santa 2
Mr. Woodcock
Puss in Boots
Love Actually
Friday Night Lights
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