Billy Bob Thornton (born August 4, 1955, in Hot Springs, Arkansas) is an American actor. He has married five times and his most recent ex-wife is actress Angelina Jolie.
He first came to semi-prominence as a cast member on the NBC sitcom Hearts Afire with John Ritter and Markie Post. His role as the villain in One False Move brought him to the attention of critics. He also had small roles in films like Indecent Proposal, On Deadly Ground, and Tombstone.
In 1996, he wrote, directed, and starred in an independent film titled Sling Blade, an expansion of a short film titled Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade. It is the story of Karl Childers, a mentally disadvantaged man. Sling Blade garnered international acclaim, won Thornton an Academy Award for his screenplay (as well as a nomination for his performance), and made him a star.
Thornton is a rare celebrity in that he has A-list status, but plays both leading-man roles and character roles. His southern, small-town persona has led him to be cast in a number of down-to-earth, "regular guy" parts. Even his role as the legendary Davy Crockett in 2004's The Alamo made an effort to demythologize the character and bring out his human foibles.
Thornton has also begun an ancillary career as a recording artist, in a rock & roll style known as "Americana." He has released two CD's: Private Rodeo and The Edge of the World.
Thornton is known for various idiosyncratic behaviors, well-documented in interviews with the actor. Among these is a phobia for antique furniture (something shared by the Dwight Yoakam character in the Thornton-penned Sling Blade). He and actress Angelina Jolie famously wore vials of each others' blood around their necks while married to each other.
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