Billy Bob Thornton
Real name: Billy Bob Thornton
Birthdate: August 4, 1955
Partner: Angelina Jolie
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Melissa Lee Gatlin (1978-1980)Toni Lawrence (1986-1988)Cynda Williams (1990-1992)Pietra Dawn Cherniak (1993-1997)Angelina Jolie (2000-2003)Official site
Thornton put Wilder's advice to good use, and went on to write, direct and star in the independent film Sling Blade, which was released in 1996. The film, an expansion of a short film titled Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade, told the story of Karl Childers, a mentally handicapped man. Sling Blade garnered international acclaim. Thornton's screenplay earned him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, a Writers Guild of America Award, and an Edgar Award, while his performance received Oscar and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Actor. Thornton adapted the book All the Pretty Horses into a 2000 film with the same name, starring Matt Damon and Penélope Cruz. The negative experience (he was forced to cut more than an hour) led to his decision to never direct another film (a subsequent release, Daddy and Them, was filmed earlier). Also in 2000, an early script which he and Tom Epperson wrote together was made into The Gift which starred Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Katie Holmes and Giovanni Ribisi.
Thornton's screen persona has been described by the press as that of a "tattooed, hirsute man's man". He appeared in several major film roles following Sling Blade 's success, including 1998's Armageddon and A Simple Plan, 2001's Monster's Ball and 2004's The Alamo, in which he played Davy Crockett. He played a malicious mall Santa Claus in 2003's Bad Santa, a black comedy that performed well at the box office and established Thornton as a leading comic actor. Thornton has stated that following Bad Santa's success, audiences "like to watch play that kind of guy" and "they call me up when they need an asshole. It's kinda that simple... you know how narrow the imagination in this business can be". He appeared in the comic film School for Scoundrels, which was released on September 29, 2006. In the film, he plays a self-help doctor; the role was written specifically for Thornton. His most recent film roles were The Astronaut Farmer, a drama released on February 23, 2007, and the comedy, Mr. Woodcock, in which Thornton plays a sadistic gym teacher. He will next star in the drama Peace Like a River. Thornton has also expressed an interest in directing another film, possibly a period piece about cave explorer Floyd Collins, based on the book Trapped! The Story of Floyd Collins by Robert K. Murray and Roger Brucker.
Thornton has stated on several occasions that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder; he and rock singer Warren Zevon became close friends after sharing their common experiences with the disorder. He is known for various idiosyncratic behaviors, well-documented in interviews with the actor. Among these is a phobia of antique furniture, something shared by the Dwight Yoakam character in the Thornton-penned Sling Blade. That trait was also added to Thornton's character in the 2001 film Bandits. Additionally, he has stated that he has a fear of certain types of silverware, a trait which was included for his character in 2001's Monster's Ball, in which his character requests a plastic spoon each time he consumes his daily bowl of chocolate ice cream.