Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson

Born: July 23, 1961
Age: 62
Birthplace: Midland, Texas, U.S.
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Biography

Woodrow Tracy "Woody" Harrelson (born July 23, 1961) is an American actor, activist and playwright. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee and has won one Emmy Award out of seven nominations.

His breakout role came in 1985, joining the television sitcom Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd, for which he earned five Emmy Award nominations (one win). Some notable film characters include basketball hustler Billy Hoyle in White Men Can't Jump, one-handed bowler Roy Munson in Kingpin, Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games film series, Tallahassee in Zombieland, serial killer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, magazine publisher Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt, and country singer Dusty in A Prairie Home Companion.

For The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger, Harrelson earned Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively. In 2014, he starred as Detective Martin Hart in the HBO crime drama True Detective with Matthew McConaughey, which earned him and McConaughey nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

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Early life

Harrelson was born in Midland, Texas, the son of Diane Lou (née Oswald) and Charles Voyde Harrelson, who divorced in 1964; he has two brothers, Jordan and Brett. Charles Voyde Harrelson, who was a hitman, was arrested in 1979 for killing Federal Judge John H. Wood, Jr. in San Antonio, Texas. His father was convicted and eventually died during his life sentence in the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility.

In 1973, Harrelson moved to his mother's native city, Lebanon, Ohio, where he was raised. He attended Lebanon High School, working through much of high school as a woodcarver at Kings Island amusement park.

He attended Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, where he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. He received a Bachelor of Arts in theater and English in 1983. He told Playboy in October 2009: "I was getting into theology and studying the roots of the Bible, but then I started to discover the man-made nature of it. I started seeing things that made me ask, 'Is God really speaking through this instrument?' My eyes opened to the reality of the Bible being just a document to control people. At the time I was a real mama's boy and deeply mesmerized by the church."

Career

Television

Harrelson is widely known for his work on the NBC sitcom Cheers. He played bartender Woody Boyd, who replaced Coach (played by Nicholas Colasanto, who died in February 1985). He joined the cast in 1985 for season four and lasted eight seasons (1985-1993) on the show. For this role, Harrelson was nominated for five Emmy Awards, winning once in 1989. His character, Woody Boyd, was from Hanover, Indiana, where Harrelson attended college. In 1999, Harrelson guest-starred in the Cheers spin-off success Frasier, in which he reprised the role of "Woody Boyd". He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for this performance. He appeared in several 2001 episodes of Will & Grace as Grace's new boyfriend Nathan.

On the November 12, 2009 episode of the Comedy Central show The Colbert Report, Harrelson was interviewed by Stephen Colbert, to promote his movie The Messenger. In response to Colbert's questioning of his support for the troops, Harrelson agreed to let Colbert shave his head on camera. Harrelson returned to television in 2014, starring along with Matthew McConaughey in the first season of the HBO crime series True Detective, where he plays Marty Hart, a Louisiana cop investigating murders that took place over a timespan of 17 years.

On June 6, 2010, Harrelson took part playing in Soccer Aid 2010 for UNICEF UK at Old Trafford in Manchester. The match was broadcast live on UK's ITV television. After being brought on as a substitute for Gordon Ramsay, Harrelson took the final penalty in the penalty shootout, following a 2-2 draw after 91 minutes. Despite being initially unaware of exactly from where his kick had to be taken, Harrelson scored to win the game for "The Rest of the World" team, beating England for the first time since the tournament began. When later interviewed he claimed that he "didn't even remember the moment of scoring".

Harrelson also took part in Soccer Aid 2012 on May 27, 2012. The match ended 3-1 in favor of England.

Film

While still working on Cheers, Harrelson reawakened his film career. His first movie had been Wildcats, a football comedy in 1986 with Goldie Hawn. He reunited and became friends with Wesley Snipes and starred with him in the box-office hit White Men Can't Jump and the box office bomb Money Train.

In 1993, he had a starring role opposite Robert Redford and Demi Moore in the drama Indecent Proposal, which was a box office success, earning a worldwide total of over $265,000,000. He then played Mickey Knox in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers and Dr. Michael Raynolds in the Michael Cimino film The Sunchaser. In 1996, he starred in the comedy Kingpin.

Harrelson's career gained momentum when he starred in the Miloš Forman film The People vs. Larry Flynt, in which he played Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine. The film was a success and Harrelson's performance was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor. After that, Harrelson was cast in more serious film roles. He starred in the 1997 war film Welcome to Sarajevo and in 1997 had a featured role as Sergeant Schumann in Wag the Dog. In 1998, Harrelson starred in the thriller Palmetto and played Sergeant Keck in The Thin Red Line, a war film nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1999.

Harrelson made other films such as The Hi-Lo Country and portrayed Ray Pekurny in the comedy EDtv. Also in 1999, he appeared as boxer Vince Boudreau in the Ron Shelton film Play It to the Bone. Harrelson did not appear in films again until 2003, when he co-starred as Galaxia in the comedy film Anger Management.

He appeared in the action film After the Sunset and the Spike Lee film She Hate Me. In 2005, Harrelson was in The Big White and North Country. Also in 2005 he appeared as Kelly Ryan, husband of a contest-obsessed woman in the film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Harrelson made two films in 2006, the animated film version of Free Jimmy and also A Scanner Darkly. In 2007 he played Carter Page III, gay escort of privileged Washington D.C. women, in the film The Walker.

In the Oscar-winning 2007 crime thriller No Country for Old Men, Harrelson had a key role as Carson Wells, a bounty hunter. The film won Best Picture and Best Director for Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Harrelson also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast, along with Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Kelly Macdonald.

Also in a movie released in 2007, Battle in Seattle, Harrelson played another key role of a Seattle police officer whose pregnant wife loses her baby during the World Trade Organization protests in 1999. In 2008, Harrelson appeared in several films, among them the Will Ferrell basketball comedy Semi-Pro and the Will Smith stark drama Seven Pounds.

In 2009, Harrelson received significant praise for his performance as Captain Tony Stone in The Messenger. In what many critics considered to be his best role, Harrelson was nominated for a Satellite Award, an Independent Spirit Award, a Golden Globe Award a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Harrelson has also won the Best Supporting Actor award in the 2009 National Board of Review award ceremonies and received accolades from various critics' societies.

In 2009, he co-starred in the horror comedy Zombieland, followed by Roland Emmerich's 2012 where he played Charlie Frost, a man who warns of the end of the world. In 2010 he starred as a bartender and mentor in the futuristic western martial arts film Bunraku. In 2011, he starred as Tommy in the movie Friends with Benefits. He played Haymitch Abernathy in 2012's The Hunger Games, and reprised the role in all three subsequent films in the series.

In 2015, Woody Harrelson and daughter Zoe starred in a 7-minute short film for U2's 'Song for Someone.’ He will also feature as a character named "The Colonel" in War for the Planet of the Apes, scheduled for a 2017 release.

In 2016, it was confirmed that Harrelson would join Brie Larson in The Glass Castle. The script is an adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir. It tells of a successful young woman who was raised by dysfunctional and nonconformist parents. Her world gets turned upside down when they move to New York to be near her. Naomi Watts is currently in negotiations to join as Larson's eccentric mother. Harrelson is already on board as Larson's alcoholic father. The comedic drama will be directed by Short Term 12 director, Destin Daniel Cretton. The project is looking to begin production in Montreal around June 2016. Gil Netter is producing.

Theatre

In 1999, Harrelson directed his own play, Furthest from the Sun, at the Theatre de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis. He followed next in Roundabout's Broadway revival of the N. Richard Nash play The Rainmaker in 2000, Sam Shepard's The Late Henry Moss in 2001, John Kolvenbach's On an Average Day opposite Kyle MacLachlan in London's West End in the fall of 2002, and in the summer of 2003, Harrelson directed the Toronto premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth at the Berkley Street Theater.

In the winter of 2005-06 Harrelson returned to London's West End, starring in Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana at the Lyric Theater. Harrelson directed Bullet for Adolf (a play written by himself in collaboration with Frankie Hyman) at the esteemed Hart House Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, which ran from April 21 to May 7, 2011. Bullet for Adolf opened Off-Broadway (New world Stages) with previews beginning July 19, 2012 and closed on September 30, 2012, canceling its announced extension through October 21. The play was panned by New York critics.

Personal life

Marriages and family

In 1985, Harrelson married Nancy Simon, daughter of playwright Neil Simon in Tijuana. The two intended to divorce the following day, but the storefront marriage/divorce parlor was closed when they had returned to it, and the two remained married for ten months.

On December 28, 2008, Harrelson married Laura Louie, his girlfriend since 1987. The couple have three daughters, Deni (born 1993), Zoe (born 1996), and Makani (born 2006). When announcing Makani's birth, the couple referred to the three as their "goddess trilogy".

Louie is Harrelson's former assistant and a co-founder of Yoganics, an organic food delivery service.

Legal problems

Harrelson was arrested in Columbus, Ohio in 1982 for disorderly conduct after he was found dancing in the middle of the street. He was also charged with resisting arrest after he ran from the police. Harrelson avoided jail time by paying a fine.

On June 1, 1996, Harrelson was arrested in Lee County, Kentucky, after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds to challenge the state law which did not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana. Harrelson had arrived in the county with his attorney, former Kentucky Governor Louie B. Nunn, an agent and a camera crew from CNN. While at a local hotel, Harrelson phoned the county sheriff, Junior Kilburn, to advise him of his intentions. Kilburn and deputy sheriff Danny Towsend arrived at the location where Harrelson informed them he would be. With the cameras rolling, Harrelson planted the hemp seeds into the ground. Once planted, Kilburn placed Harrelson under arrest for cultivating marijuana and booked him into the county jail. He was released on $200 bail the same day. He later signed autographs and posed for photos with deputies. He was acquitted of those charges with the help of Nunn after just 25 minutes.

In 2002, Harrelson was arrested in London after an incident in a taxi that ended in a police chase. Harrelson was taken to a London police station and later released on bail. The case was later dismissed after Harrelson paid the taxi driver involved in the incident £550 ($844).

In 2008, TMZ photographer Josh Levine filed a lawsuit against Harrelson for an alleged attack outside a Hollywood nightclub in 2006. A video of the incident appeared to show Harrelson grabbing a camera and clashing with the photographer. Los Angeles prosecutors declined to press charges against the actor, but Levine filed a suit that summer asking for $2.5 million in damages. The case was dismissed in April 2010.

Advocacy work

Drug reform/green industry

Harrelson is an enthusiast and supporter for the legalization of marijuana and hemp.

Harrelson was a guest on Ziggy Marley's track "Wild and Free", a song advocating the growing of cannabis. Since 2003, Harrelson has served as a member on NORML's advisory board.

Environmental

Harrelson is also an environmental activist. He has attended environmental events such as the PICNIC'07 festival that was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for three days in September 2007. PICNIC describes its annual festival as "three intensive days we mix creativity, science, technology, media and business to explore new solutions in the spirit of co-creation". He once scaled the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with members of North Coast Earth First! group to unfurl a banner that read, "Hurwitz, Aren't ancient redwoods more precious than gold?" in protest of Maxxam Inc/PALCO CEO Charles Hurwitz, who once stated, "He who has the gold, makes the rules."

He once traveled to the west coast in the U.S. on a bike and a domino caravan with a hemp oil-fueled biodiesel bus with The Spitfire Agency (the subject of the independent documentary, Go Further) and narrated the documentary Grass. He briefly owned an oxygen bar in West Hollywood called "O2".

He has spoken publicly against the 2003 invasion of Iraq as well as previously protesting against the First Gulf War both at UCLA as well as during a college concert tour in Iowa and Nebraska in 1991 under the auspices of "Woody Harrelson Educational Tours". In October 2009, he was conferred an honorary degree by York University for his contributions in the fields of environmental education, sustainability, and activism.

Veganism

Harrelson is also an ethical vegan and raw foodist. Along with not eating meat nor dairy, Harrelson also does not eat sugar or flour. In Zombieland, in which he plays a character with an affinity for Twinkies, he did not eat the confectionery, replacing them with vegan faux-Twinkies made from cornmeal.

He appeared on a postage stamp (as a PhotoStamp) in 2011 as one of PETA's 20 famous vegetarians, and he was named PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian in 2012 (along with Jessica Chastain).

UNICEF

In June 2010, Harrelson took part in Soccer Aid at Old Trafford to raise money for UNICEF. Harrelson played for the "Rest of the World" team, playing in the last 15 minutes, and scored the winning goal in the penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw during normal time. He played in the UNICEF game 2012, playing the last 10 minutes of the game for the "Rest of the World" team, losing 3-1 to England.

Political views

Harrelson identifies as an anarchist. He is a supporter of the 9/11 Truth movement and has supported reopening an investigation into the September 11 attacks.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1986 Wildcats Krushinski
1990 Cool Blue Dustin
1990 L.A. Story Harris' Boss
1991 Doc Hollywood Hank Gordon
1991 Ted & Venus Homeless Vietnam Veteran
1992 White Men Can't Jump Billy Hoyle
1993 Indecent Proposal David Murphy
1994 Natural Born Killers Mickey Knox
1994 The Cowboy Way Pepper Lewis
1994 I'll Do Anything Ground Zero Hero
1995 Money Train Charlie
1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt Larry Flynt
1996 Kingpin Roy Munson
1996 The Sunchaser Dr. Michael Reynolds
1997 Wag the Dog Sgt. William Schumann
1997 Welcome to Sarajevo Jordan Flynn
1998 The Thin Red Line Sgt. William Keck
1998 Palmetto Harry Barber
1998 The Hi-Lo Country Big Boy Matson
1999 Play It to the Bone Vince Boudreau
1999 EDtv Ray Pekurny
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Himself
1999 Grass Himself Narrator
2003 Anger Management Galaxia/Security Gary
2003 Go Further Himself Documentary film
2003 Scorched Jason "Woods" Valley
2004 After the Sunset Stanley "Stan" P. Lloyd
2004 She Hate Me Lenald Power
2005 North Country Bill White
2005 The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Leo "Kelly" Ryan
2005 The Big White Raymond "Ray" Barnell
2006 Free Jimmy Roy Arnie Voice
2006 A Scanner Darkly Ernie Luckman
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Dusty
2007 The Walker Carter Page III
2007 No Country for Old Men Carson Wells
2007 Battle in Seattle Dale
2007 The Grand One Eyed Jack Faro
2007 Nanking Robert O. "Bob" Wilson
2008 Semi-Pro Ed Monix
2008 Sleepwalking Randall
2008 Transsiberian Roy
2008 Surfer, Dude Jack Mayweather
2008 Management Jango
2008 Seven Pounds Ezra Turner
2009 The Messenger Captain Anthony 'Tony' Stone
2009 Defendor Arthur Poppington / Defendor
2009 Zombieland Tallahassee
2009 2012 Charlie Frost
2011 Friends with Benefits Tommy Bollinger
2011 Bunraku The Bartender
2011 Ethos Narrator Documentary
2011 Rampart Dave Brown
2012 The Hunger Games Haymitch Abernathy
2012 Seven Psychopaths Charlie Costello
2013 How to Make Money Selling Drugs Himself Documentary film
2013 Now You See Me Merritt McKinney
2013 Out of the Furnace Harlan DeGroat
2013 Free Birds Jake Voice
2013 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Haymitch Abernathy
2014 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Haymitch Abernathy
2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Haymitch Abernathy
2016 Triple 9 Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen
2016 Now You See Me 2 Merritt McKinney
2016 The Duel Abraham Brant
2016 LBJ Lyndon B. Johnson In post-production
2016 Wilson Wilson Completed
2016 The Edge of Seventeen In post-production
2017 War for the Planet of the Apes The Colonel In post-production
2017 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Sheriff Bill Willoughby Filming
2017 The Glass Castle Rex Walls Filming

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1985-1993 Cheers Woody Boyd 200 episodes
1987 Bay Coven Slatergsy Movie
1988 Mickey's 60th Birthday Woody Boyd Movie
1988 Killer Instinct Charlie Long Movie
1989 Dear John Richard Episode: "Love and Marriage"
1989 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Woody Harrelson/David Byrne"
1990 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Woody Boyd Episode: "Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration"
1990 Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme Lou the Lamb Movie
1992 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Woody Harrelson/Vanessa L. Williams"
1994 The Simpsons Woody Boyd (voice) Episode: "Fear of Flying"
1996 Spin City Tommy Dugan Episode: "Meet Tommy Dugan"
1998 Ellen Henry Episode: "Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute: Part 2"
1999 Frasier Woody Boyd Episode: "The Show Where Woody Shows Up"
2001-2002 Will & Grace Nathan 7 episodes
2012 Game Change Steve Schmidt Movie
2013 David Blaine: Real or Magic Himself Special
2014 True Detective Martin Hart 8 episodes; also executive producer
2014 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Woody Harrelson/Kendrick Lamar"

Theatre

Year Title Role Notes
1985-86 Biloxi Blues Joseph Wykowski, Roy Selridge (standbys) Neil Simon Theatre
1987-88 The Boys Next Door Jack Lamb's Theatre
1999-2000 The Rainmaker Bill Starbuck Brooks Atkinson Theatre
2005-2006 Night of the Iguana Shannon Lyric Theatre London
2012 Bullet for Adolf Director/playwright New World Stages Stage IV

Awards and nominations

Year Nominated work Award Result
1987 Cheers American Comedy Award for Funniest Newcomer - Male or Female Won
1987 Cheers Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1988 Cheers Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1989 Cheers Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Won
1990 Cheers American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a TV Series Nominated
1990 Cheers Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1991 Cheers Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1992 White Men Can't Jump MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss Nominated
1992 White Men Can't Jump MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo Nominated
1993 Indecent Proposal MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss Won
1993 Indecent Proposal Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor Won
1994 Natural Born Killers MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss Nominated
1994 Natural Born Killers MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo Nominated
1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt Academy Award for Best Actor Nominated
1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama Nominated
1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
1999 Frasier Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast Nominated
2007 No Country for Old Men Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won
2008 Transsiberian Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 The Messenger Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male Won
2009 The Messenger National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor Won
2009 The Messenger San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work Won
2009 The Messenger Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 The Messenger Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 The Messenger Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 The Messenger Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 The Messenger Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Nominated
2009 The Messenger Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 The Messenger Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Nominated
2009 The Messenger San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 The Messenger Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
2009 The Messenger Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association for Best Supporting Actor Won
2009 Zombieland San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work Won
2009 Zombieland Scream Award for Best Ensemble Won
2009 Zombieland Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 Zombieland Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast Nominated
2009 Zombieland Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2009 Zombieland Scream Award for Best Horror Actor Nominated
2009 2012 San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work Won
2011 Rampart African American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Won
2011 Rampart Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Nominated
2011 Rampart Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated
2012 Game Change Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Nominated
2012 Game Change Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated
2012 Game Change Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2012 Game Change Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Nominated
2014 True Detective Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2015 True Detective Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
2015 True Detective Satellite Award for Best Actor - Television Series Drama Nominated
2015 True Detective Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Charities

Woody Harrelson supports the following charitable causes: Animals, Environment, Marijuana Legalization.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]


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