Aug. 4th, 1955
Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
Billy Bob Thornton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
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 5 children: daughter Amanda (with Gatlin); sons William and Harry (both with Cherniak); son Maddox, adopted with Angelina Jolie; 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 (I) 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.
- 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.
- Owns a penthouse in Paris.
- Gave up smoking after completing _The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)_ (qv).
- His character Willie from _Bad Santa (2003)_ (qv) is reenacted by 'Eminem' (qv) in the music video for Eminem's hit song "Just Lose It".
- Agreed to 'Ethan Coen' (qv) and 'Joel Coen' (qv)'s _The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)_ (qv) without reading the script, out of respect for the Coen brothers' talent.
- 2006: Narrated the St. Louis Cardinals World Series DVD.
- His paternal grandfather, Otis Thornton, with whom he spent time in his childhood on a small shack in the woods, was a forest ranger.
- His father is of Irish ancestry, while his mother is half Choctaw Indian and half Italian.