William Robert (Billy Bob) Thornton was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on August 4, 1955 to William Raymond (Billy Ray) Thornton (educator, high school history teacher, basketball coach; deceased) and Virginia R. Faulkner (psychic). He has three younger brothers, James Donald (Jimmy Don), born in 1958 and now deceased, James (Jim) Bean and John David, born in 1969. He has been married 5 times and has 4 children: daughter Amanda Brumfield, with Melissa Lee Gatlin (now Parish); sons William and Harry, both with Pietra Dawn Cherniak; and daughter Bella with Connie Angland.
Billy Bob began his artistic career as a musician, playing drums and singing in a band called Tres Hombres, which once opened for 'Hank Williams Jr' . In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles with childhood friend Tom Epperson to pursue an acting and writing career. On the side, Billy Bob also sought work as a singer and drummer. He and Epperson tried for years to sell their scripts but no one was buying.
During those rough times, Billy Bob neglected his health and subsequently landed in the hospital with heart problems due to malnutrition. In 1992, Billy Bob starred in One False Move (1992), a movie he co-wrote with Epperson. The team finally received attention because of this work, which was very well received in Hollywood. His popularity increased steadily, especially after Sling Blade (1996) which he wrote, directed and in which he starred.
Billy received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 7, 2004.
|Angelina Jolie||(5 May 2000 - 27 May 2003) (divorced)|
|Pietra Thornton||(18 February 1993 - April 1997) (divorced) 2 children|
|Cynda Williams||(1990 - 1992) (divorced)|
|Toni Lawrence||(5 April 1986 - 1988) (divorced)|
|Melissa Lee Gatlin||(1978 - 1980) (divorced) 1 child|
Houston Colt 45's hat
Frequently plays sleazy and immoral characters
Has numerous tattoos, among them at least 6 on his arms (3 right, 3 left) and on his lower back/hip.
4/15/97: Ex-wife Pietra granted a restraining order against Thornton to keep him away from her and their children.
In high school, Thornton played drums in a band called "Stone Cold Fever" and cranked out Creedence Clearwater Revival songs.
He was honored by his hometown, where he's remembered as a milkshake-loving, drum-playing rock 'n' roller. "I had a Tastee-Freez stand before I got into politics," said Mayor Bill Scrimshire, who declared "Billy Bob Thornton Day" Tuesday. "When he was a kid in high school, he used to buy hamburgers and milkshakes from me. He was one of my Tastee-Freez kids."
Gained about 50 pounds for his role as the auto mechanic in U Turn (1997).
9/22/00: Was treated for an unspecified "viral infection" at a Los Angeles hospital.
3/10/02: Angelina Jolie and Thornton adopted a Cambodian baby boy. Jolie took custody of the baby in Africa, where she was shooting Beyond Borders (2003). Her father, Jon Voight, told reporters at the 3/11/02 Academy Awards luncheon. Voight said he didn't know whether the couple had picked a name for the child. Brad Pitt is now the adoptive father of Maddox, and Maddox's last name is Jolie-Pitt and Thornton is no longer involved in raising the child.
Gave up smoking after completing The Man Who Wasn't There (2001).
Has stated that, of all the characters he has played, the one he enjoyed playing the most was Davy Crockett in The Alamo (2004).
9/04: His fourth child, daughter Bella, with girlfriend Connie Angland, weighed in at 6 lb., 1.5 oz.
Father of four children: Amanda (born late 1970s), William (born 1993), Harry James (born 1994), and Bella (born September 2004).
10/7/04: Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His father is of Irish ancestry, while his mother is half Choctaw Indian and half Italian.
Owns a penthouse in Paris.
Cousin of wrestlers Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr., who are known to wrestling fans as the Funk Brothers. Thornton was contacted about inducting the Funk Brothers into the WWE Hall of Fame, but declined the offer.
In an interview, Thornton talked about his struggling actor years. At one point he was so poor all he could afford to eat were potatoes, which he would grill until they stuck to the pan. This consumption led to myocarditis, which led to an intense pain in his chest since he didn't have any potassium in his system. He was treated at a hospital, thanks to a kind doctor who was from Arkansas, his home state. At the time Thornton had no medical insurance and has remained grateful for the doctor's treatment.
Is a supporter of Liverpool Football Club (soccer team).
His paternal grandfather, Otis Thornton, with whom he spent time in his childhood on a small shack in the woods, was a forest ranger.
Born to William Raymond (Billy Ray) Thornton, a high school history teacher and basketball coach, and his wife Virginia R. Faulkner, a psychic.
2006: Narrated the St. Louis Cardinals World Series DVD.
In his contract for each film he does, there is a provision that states a list of demands. One of them includes a television with a satellite hook-up to watch the St. Louis Cardinals when they are in season.
Nephew of professional wrestler Dory Funk Sr..
In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his earnings for the year at $20 million.
December 2007 - According to Forbes, for each dollar he got paid, Thornton's movies averaged $10 of gross income.
He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March 2009 in Austin, Tx.
Once was told by director Billy Wilder that he was too ugly to be an actor and he should write a screenplay for himself in which he could exploit his less-than-perfect features. Thornton later collected an Oscar for his Sling Blade (1996) screenplay.
Was considered for the title role in Forrest Gump (1994).
His daughter, Amanda Brumfield, 32, was convicted of aggravated manslaughter in the death of a neighbor's baby daughter she was babysitting [June 2, 2011].
His daughter, Amanda Brumfield, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for manslaughter [October 6, 2011].
I was the fattest baby in Clark County, Arkansas. They put me in the newspaper. It was like a prize turnip.
Acting is playing--it's actually going out on a playground with the other kids and being in the game, and I need that. Writing satisfies that part of myself that longs to sit in my room and dream.
I can't sit through plays and musical theatre. I just want to run up onstage and mess up their hair and turn over the furniture.
It's not that I don't understand it. But people think if you speak with an English accent it somehow makes you smarter.
I've been married five times, and people think that's some bizarre thing, yet I've got buddies who refuse to get married and have sex with 15 people a week. I'm like, "Which is better?" At least I was trying.
People think the hard thing for an actor is crying and screaming, but that's easy. What's hard is a character who never tips his hand, who toes the line all the time. The hard stuff is never telling yourself, "Hey, I better do something here."
(2007) I am fairly embraced by the Hollywood community, and I love making movies and I love acting, but I'm not real crazy about the Hollywood system. So the fact that they embrace me is a shock to me because I tell them to kiss my ass all the time. I don't understand why they haven't thrown me out on my ear. The other thing is I don't participate much. I have very few friends within the movie community. I hang out with some guys I've known forever. They're all broke and eat me out of house and home. But I stay home mostly and I don't go to the parties. Maybe that preserves me.
Most of the movies that are easy to get financed are movies about models in gladiator uniforms and wacky comedies with kids who get caught with sheep in hotel rooms.
[on as a director, if there's more interference on a film, the bigger the budget is] Yes, I experienced that one time, I've only done one big-budget movie as a director (All the Pretty Horses (2000)). And there is much more interference, to the point where it shows you that if there's something wrong in the film business - that's what it is. Not to say that there aren't good big-budget movies, and that it can't be done, and some people aren't interfered with.
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