Woody Harrelson

Woody Harrelson - © David Shankbone

born on 23/7/1961 in Midland, TX, United States

Links www.imdb.com (English)

Woody Harrelson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Woody Harrelson

Harrelson at the Zombieland world premiere at Fantastic Fest, September 25, 2009
Born Woodrow Tracy Harrelson
July 23 1961
Midland, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1985present
Spouse(s) Nancy Simon (1985-1986)
Laura Louie (2008present)
Parents Charles Harrelson
Diane (née Oswald)

Woodrow Tracy "Woody" Harrelson[1][2] (born July 23, 1961) is an American actor.

Harrelson's breakthrough role came in the television sitcom Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd. Some notable film characters include basketball hustler Billy Hoyle in White Men Can't Jump, bowler Roy Munson in Kingpin, serial killer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, magazine publisher Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt, country singer Dusty in A Prairie Home Companion, bounty hunter Carson Wells in No Country for Old Men, zombie killer Tallahassee in Zombieland, blind piano player/meat salesman Ezra Turner in Seven Pounds, conspiracy nut Charlie Frost in 2012, a delusional man who believes that he is a superhero named Defendor in Defendor and Cpt. Tony Stone in The Messenger. For The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger, Harrelson earned Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.[3]

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. Harrelson's father, who was a contract killer, was arrested for the killing of Federal Judge John H. Wood, Jr., who was shot and killed by rifle fire in 1979 in San Antonio.[4] His father was convicted and eventually died during his life sentence in United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility.[4]

Harrelson grew up in Lebanon, Ohio with his mother. Harrelson attended Lebanon High School, working through much of high school as a wood-carver at Kings Island amusement park. He later attended Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He received a bachelor of arts in theater arts and English in 1983. He told Playboy Magazine 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 mamas boy and deeply mesmerized by the church."[5]


Television career

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 the third season). 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 of Boyd was from Hanover, Indiana, the town 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. Harrelson 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 and Grace as Grace's new boyfriend.

In 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.

On June 6, 2010, Harrelson took part playing in Soccer Aid 2010 for UNICEF UK at Old Trafford in Manchester, UK. 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".[3]

Movie career

While still working on Cheers, Harrelson pursued a film career. His first movie had been Wildcats, a football comedy in 1986 with Goldie Hawn. Harrelson 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 earned him a worst supporting actor Razzie Award. After that film's success, Harrelson 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 alongside Randy Quaid and Vanessa Angel.

Harrelson's career gained great momentum when he starred in the Milos 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 also 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 didn't appear in movies 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 comedy 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 small but 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 WTO protests in 1999. The film, also starring Andre 3000 of the hip hop group Outkast, depicts thousands of people peacefully protesting the WTO's attempts to broaden gaps between rich and poor while publicly promising a bridging of the gaps. These protests go wrong when members of an anarchist group tear the city to pieces with the help of provocateurs. Harrelson's role goes from a law abiding and enforcing Officer of the law, to a grief-stricken eye-for-an-eye man with a badge to justify his actions.

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.

Also in 2009, he co-starred in the horror comedy Zombieland, and is to reprise his role in its upcoming sequel. In Roland Emmerich's 2012, he played Charlie Frost, a man who warns of the end of the world. In 2010 He Stared as the bartender, and mentor in the futuristic, Western, Martial Arts film bunraku[3]

Stage career

In 1999 Harrelson directed his own play, Furthest from the Sun, at the theater de la Juene Luene in Minneapolis. He followed next in Roundabout's Broadway rival at the N. Richard Nash played 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 2005/2006 Harrelson returned to London's West End, starring in Tennessee Williams' Night of the Iguana at the Lyric Theater. Currently, Harrelson is directing A Bullet for Adolf (a play written by himself in collaboration with Frankie Hyman) at the esteemed Hart House Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, which runs from April 21st to May 7th 2011.

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.[6]

On December 28, 2008, Harrelson married Laura Louie, his girlfriend since 1987. The couple has three daughters, Deni Montana (born February 28, 1993), Zoe Giordano (born September 22, 1996), and Makani Ravello (born June 3, 2006). When announcing Makani's birth, the couple referred to the three as their "goddess trilogy". Laura is his former assistant and a co-founder of Yoganics, an organic food delivery service.[7]

Legal issues

Harrelson was arrested in 1982 for disorderly conduct for dancing in the middle of the street.[8] He was also charged for resisting arrest after he ran from the police.[8]

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 won the case.[9]

Advocacy work

Drug Reform/Green Industry

Harrelson is an enthusiast and supporter for the legalization of marijuana and hemp, but does not consider himself to be an activist for that cause.[10][11] Harrelson was a guest on Ziggy Marley's track "Wild And Free," a song advocating the growing of cannabis. Since 2003, Harrelson serves as a member on NORML's advisory board.[12]


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.[13] PICNIC describes its annual festival as "three intensive days [when] we mix creativity, science, technology, media and business to explore new solutions in the spirit of co-creation."[14] 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".[15]

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. Harrelson briefly owned an oxygen bar in West Hollywood called "O2". He is a peace activist, and has often spoken publicly against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Harrelson is also a vegan and raw foodist. He did not eat Twinkies for his movie Zombieland, replacing them with vegan faux-Twinkies made from cornmeal.[16] In October 2009, he was conferred an honorary degree by York University for his contributions in the fields of environmental education, sustainability, and activism.[17]


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.[18]


Year Film Role Notes
1986 Wildcats Krushinski film debut
1987 Bay Coven Slater
1988 Cool Blue Dustin Direct-to-video
Mickey's 60th Birthday Woody Boyd TV-Movie
Killer Instinct Charlie Long TV Movie
1990 L.A. Story Harris' Boss Cameo
Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme Lou the Lamb Cameo
1991 Doc Hollywood Hank Gordon
Ted & Venus Homeless Vietnam Veteran Cameo
1992 White Men Can't Jump Billy Hoyle Nominated MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Rosie Perez)
Nominated MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Wesley Snipes)
Cheers: Last Call! Woody Boyd NBC special
1993 Indecent Proposal David Murphy MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Demi Moore)
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
1994 Natural Born Killers Mickey Knox Nominated MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Juliette Lewis)
Nominated MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Juliette Lewis)
The Cowboy Way Pepper Lewis
I'll Do Anything Ground Zero Hero
1995 Money Train Charlie
1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt Larry Flynt Nominated Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Motion Picture Drama
Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Kingpin Roy Munson
The Sunchaser Dr. Michael Reynolds
1997 Wag the Dog Sgt. William Schumann
Welcome to Sarajevo Jordan Flynn
1998 The Thin Red Line Sgt. Keck
Palmetto Harry Barber
The Hi-Lo Country Big Boy Matson
1999 Play It to the Bone Vince Boudreau
EDtv Ray Pekurny
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Himself Cameo
Grass Himself Narrator
2003 Anger Management Galaxia/Security Gary
Go Further Himself documentary
Scorched Jason 'Woods' Valley
2004 After the Sunset Stanley "Stan" P. Lloyd
She Hate Me Lenald Power
2005 North Country Bill White
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Leo "Kelly" Ryan Limited
The Big White Raymond "Ray" Barnell
2006 Free Jimmy Roy Arnie (voice) English language version released in 2008
A Scanner Darkly Ernie Luckman
A Prairie Home Companion Dusty Nominated Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2007 The Walker Carter Page III
No Country for Old Men Carson Wells Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Battle in Seattle Dale
The Grand One Eyed Jack Faro
Nanking Bob Wilson
2008 Semi-Pro Ed Monix
Sleepwalking Randall
Transsiberian Roy Nominated Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Surfer, Dude Jack
Management Jango
Seven Pounds Ezra Turner
2009 The Messenger Captain Anthony 'Tony' Stone Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work
Nominated Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor Motion Picture
Nominated Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association for Best Supporting Actor
Defendor Arthur Poppington/Defendor
Zombieland Tallahassee San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work
Nominated Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2012 Charlie Frost San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work
2011 Friends with Benefits Tommy
Rampart Dave Brown post-production
Bunraku The Bartender post-production
Game Change Steve Schmidt TV Film; post-production
2012 The Hunger Games Haymitch Abernathy filming


  1. Welcome to Woody World | Theatre
  2. Sipchen, Bob, The Life of Woody, December 20, 1998.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Woody Harrelson at the Internet Movie Database
  4. 4.0 4.1 Woody Harrelson's Father Dies in Prison, CBS News, 2007-03-21.
  5. Interview, Playboy Magazine, October 2009.
  6. Woody Harrelson. hollywood.com (2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-09. whimsically married in Tijuana in 1985 intending to divorce the following day, but when the couple returned to the storefront marriage/divorce parlor, they found it closed because it was Sunday; marriage lasted 10 months; Harrelson would later tell USA TODAY's Tom Green, "We had to get a summary dissolution through Jacoby and Meyers. I think at the time Neil was a little bit worried I might try to go after her money.
  7. Woody Harrelson Gets Married in Hawaii. US Weekly (2008). Retrieved on 2008-12-30. wife Laura Louie: born c. 1965; co-founded Yoganics, an organic food home delivery service in 1996
  8. 8.0 8.1 Crime/Punishment. About.com.
  9. Kentucky Supreme Court Opinions
  10. Woody Harrelson Cannabis activist and personal freedom supporter. e-stoned.com (2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-09. among other prominent activists opposed to marikuana prohibition. He has consistently lent his celebrity status to the cause of reforming marijuana laws. Harrelson Backs Medical Pot Growers in California
  11. Playboy Interview: Woody Harrelson. Playboy. Playboy Enterprises, Inc (October 2009). Retrieved on 2010-04-28.
  12. NORML Advisory Board. NORML (August 25, 2009). Retrieved on 13 September 2009.
  13. Carr, David, Loves the Beach, the Planet and Movies, The New York Times, November 25, 2007.
  14. [1]
  15. No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth! Earth First. northcoastearthfirst (2007). Retrieved on 2007-09-09. With the help of actor Woody Harrelson, a group of NCEF! activists hung a huge banner from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which said, "Charles Hurwitz, Aren't Ancient Redwoods More Precious Than Gold?"
  16. Woody Harrelson Talks About Eating Faux Twinkies. Jimmy Kimmel Live
  17. Activist, actor Woody Harrelson receives honorary degree at York U convocation
  18. [2]

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This page was last modified 26.09.2011 08:17:01

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