Billy Bob Thornton is a versatile American actor, writer, director, and musician known for his eccentric personality.
Billy Bob Thornton illustrated biography
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Billy Bob Thornton was born on the 4th of August, 1955. His hometown was Hot Springs, Arkansas, United States.
He is an American actor, writer, director, and musician recognized for his versatility and eccentric nature.
He achieved an Academy Award nomination for his script for Sling Blade (1996).
Thornton was raised in a little town in Arkansas. He was a member of several bands in high school and worked a variety of menial jobs following graduation.
He enrolled at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, in 1977, but dropped school to pursue a musical career in New York City.
He shortly returned to Arkansas. Then, he relocated to Los Angeles in 1981, hoping to find work as a writer and actor.
He supported himself there by working low-wage jobs until he began to obtain small roles in television and movies.
3. Billy Bob Thornton’s Early Life and Career
Thornton was born to self-proclaimed psychic Virginia Roberta (née Faulkner; died July 29, 2017) and high school history teacher and basketball coach William Raymond “Billy Ray” Thornton (November 1929 – August 1974).
His brother Jimmy Don (April 1958 – October 1988) wrote a handful of songs, two of which Thornton recorded on his solo albums (“Island Avenue” and “Emily”).
He is of Irish ancestry. John David is his other sibling.
Thornton made his feature film debut in Hunter’s Blood (1987), a thriller about a gang of hunters who must defend themselves against marauding woodsmen.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he appeared in a variety of modest roles, including For the Boys (1991), a film about United Service Organisations (USO) artists, and Tombstone (1993), a western based on the 1881 shooting at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.
Thornton’s screenplay for One False Move (co-written with Tom Epperson) was produced in 1992, but his breakthrough came four years later, with Sling Blade.
Thornton directed and starred in the film in addition to writing the screenplay.
Sling Blade, in which a mentally challenged man who murdered his mother and her boyfriend as a child gets discharged from a mental hospital in the rural South and returns to his hometown, garnered Thornton an Oscar for best writing and another nomination for best actor.
He was nominated for an Academy Award again for his performance in A Simple Plan (1998).
Following All the Pretty Horses (2000), a film version of Cormac McCarthy’s 1992 novel, he wrote, directed, and performed in Daddy and Them (2001), a comedy about a dysfunctional southern family.
Though Thornton was not a stereotypically attractive leading man, he had established himself as a brilliant and varied actor by the late 1990s.
He appeared in films such as Primary Colours (1998), a film about the rise of a charismatic Southern politician to the White House (based on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign);
Armageddon (1998), a large-budget adventure film in which a group of oil drillers is sent into space to destroy an asteroid with a nuclear warhead; and Pushing Tin (1999), a comedy about the lives of air-traffic controllers.
Thornton married his Pushing Tin co-star Angelina Jolie in 1999; the couple separated in 2003.
Thornton appeared in the Coen brothers’ 2001 modern film noir The Man Who Wasn’t There as and in the romance drama Monster’s Ball.
He played a drunken foul-mouthed shopping mall Santa Claus in the dark comedy Bad Santa (2003), a character he reprised in the 2016 sequel.
He played coaches in both Friday Night Lights (2004), a high school football drama, and Bad News Bears (2005), a comedy based on the 1976 film of the same name about a ragged Little League club.
Later films by Thornton include the thriller Eagle Eye (2008), the action movie Faster (2010), and the violent comedy The Baytown Outlaws (2012).
He appeared as a Secret Service agent in Parkland, a drama about the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, in 2013.
Thornton also directed The King of Luck (2011), a documentary on Willie Nelson, and co-wrote Jayne Mansfield’s Car (2012), a family drama set in the 1960s.
In 2014, he portrayed a violent drifter in Fargo, an adaption of the Coen brothers’ 1996 film, and a prosecutor in the melodrama The Judge.
Thornton continued to explore numerous musical endeavors during his film career.
He has a handful of solo albums to his credit, including Private Radio (2001) and Beautiful Door (2007).
Thornton was also a member of the Boxmasters, a country rock band that issued an eponymous debut album in 2008 and subsequent recordings.
3. Billy Bob Thornton’s Rise to Fame and Major Achievements
He began acting in high school, but music was his first interest at the time.
He took a number of dead-end jobs after graduation while attempting to make it as a drummer.
In 1977, he and his childhood friend Tom Epperson moved to New York City to pursue careers as rock stars and novelists, respectively.
They only lasted ten hours before returning to Arkansas in disgrace.
Four years later, the two went out once more, this time with the intention of building their fortune in Los Angeles.
They wrote scripts and took odd jobs for 12 years, but success eluded them.
Billy Bob was once so broke that he ate nothing but raw potatoes for three weeks and ended up in the hospital due to malnutrition.
With the help of friends, he scored a few tiny parts before making his feature debut in Hunter’s Blood, a 1988 direct-to-video film.
After a brief appearance as a soldier in Bette Middler’s for The Boys, Billy Bob had his first touch with the creative side of the film industry in 1991, when he co-starred in the critically acclaimed One False Move with Epperson.
With Billy Bob’s status rising in Hollywood, the film’s moderate success enabled him to sell the idea for Sling Blade, the script he had scrawled on the sets of several movies.
Thornton rose to prominence as a cast member on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire, as well as in various early 1990s films such as On Deadly Ground and Tombstone.
He got an Academy Award for Best Writing in the mid-1990s after writing, directing, and starring in the independent film Sling Blade.
Following the success of Sling Blade, he starred in numerous notable cinematic roles, including 1998’s Armageddon and A Simple Plan.
Thornton, who has always loved music, launched a career as a singer-songwriter in the late 1990s. He has three albums to his credit and was the lead singer of a blues rock band.
4. Billy Bob Thornton’s Net Worth
It is expected that from his acting career, which includes roles in both TV shows and films. Billy Bob Thornton has a net worth of $48 million USD.
His Goliath episode compensation reached $250,000 per episode.
He has also earned more money with his writing, music, directing, and appearances as himself.
Thornton’s overall career earnings are projected to be around $65 million USD.
Thornton moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s to seek a career as an actor. Every ambitious actor must go to Hollywood if they want to become a huge celebrity.
It was a huge relief for him to finally go anywhere near Hollywood after working for the Arkansas State Transportation Department pouring asphalt.
However, taxes in California are high, and considering Thornton was taxed in California at relatively high federal tax rates during the 1990s.
It is believed that he paid 48% of his profits in taxes.
His $65 million income is anticipated to have included $6-7 million in business-related expenses.
After paying $28.08 million in taxes, the remaining $58.5 million will be worth roughly $30.42 million.
Billy Bob Thornton has been married six times and has four children in his personal life.
Angelina Jolie notably refused to accept alimony from him, but Thornton is thought to have paid approximately $6 million in alimony and child support orders, as well as in general.
Thornton, on the other hand, has made significantly more money in real estate throughout the years.
In fact, his profit from dealings in real estate is estimated to be in the $8-10 million range (including appreciation on properties that he still owns).
He will have invested a percentage of his career profits in shares, but based on existing statistics on individuals with comparable characteristics to Thornton, it is more likely that it was less than 20% of his earnings, with significantly more spent in land deals.
He will have generated more from his assets, but considering the stock market’s development, $20-22 million dollars is the most likely number.
That is, he is up that much despite experiencing losses and not including the principal investment amount.
Thornton has most certainly spent $4-5 million of his job earnings in his personal life, but he also owns assets worth roughly $1-2 million, not considering financial assets.
He might have made roughly $30 million in investment returns from his investments. As a result, Billy Bob Thornton’s net worth is projected to be a rounded down $55 million dollars.
Billy Bob Thornton has had an exciting ride, to say the least.
Thornton came with multi-award-winning director Billy Wilder in a completely unplanned meeting while still serving tables in Hollywood.
Wilder gave Thornton advice that would improve his life when he asked for it.
Wilder advised Thornton to abandon acting and devote all of his energies to writing. Thornton followed his advice and finished Sling Blade, which propelled him to stardom.
Following a strange meeting of minds between him and Wilder, it appeared that the world was actively attempting to make Billy Bob Thornton a big star.
Thornton’s career includes several cult classics, a handful of critically acclaimed films, and a few high-concept space films thrown in for good measure.
5. Billy Bob Thornton’s Personal Life
Thornton enjoys baseball and is a die-hard supporter of the St. Louis Cardinals.
One of the criteria in his movie contracts is a television in his caravan with a satellite dish so he can watch the Cardinals play.
He provided narration for The 2006 World Series Film, a year-end retrospective DVD documenting the Cardinals’ championship season.
He also supports the Indianapolis Colts football team.
Thornton describes himself as a Brony, a male lover of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Thornton has had six marriages.
He has four children from three different females.
From 1978 until 1980, he was married to Melissa Lee Gatlin, who cited “incompatibility and adultery on his part” in her divorce suit.
Amanda (Brumfield), their daughter, was sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2008 for the killing of her friend’s one-year-old daughter.
Amanda was released in 2020 after a bargain with prosecutors to give medical and scientific evidence of her innocence before an evidentiary hearing.
Thornton married actress Toni Lawrence in 1986, but they split the following year.
He was married to actress Cynda Williams from 1990 until 1992, whom he cast in his writing debut, One False Move (1992).
Thornton married Playboy model Pietra Dawn Cherniak in 1993, and they had two boys, Harry James, and William.
Cherniak filed for divorce from Thornton in 1997, alleging him of domestic abuse, often in front of his children.
Thornton dated Laura Dern from 1997 to 1999 (despite claims that they were engaged), but in 2000, he married actress Angelina Jolie, with whom he co-starred in Pushing Tin (1999) and who was 20 years his junior.
Thornton later explained that the “vials” were actually two little lockets, each containing only a single drop of blood and that the marriage became known for the couple’s unconventional displays of affection, which apparently included wearing vials of each other’s blood around their necks.
Thornton and Jolie stated in March 2002 that they had adopted a kid from Cambodia, however, it was later found that Jolie had adopted the child as a single parent. They divorced the next year after splitting in June 2002.
Thornton began dating makeup effects crew member Connie Angland in 2003, with whom he had a daughter, Bella.
Although he previously stated that marriage “doesn’t work” for him, his agents announced that he and Angland married on October 22, 2014, in Los Angeles.
Billy Bob Thornton is a well-known name in Hollywood. According to Style Weekly, he began his career as a musician and was a member of Tres Hombres, a ZZ Top cover band, before attempting his luck as an actor.
Thornton’s life hasn’t always been easy. He’s witnessed tragedy, a terrible childhood, poverty, addiction, sorrow, and more. He’s actually pretty self-aware.