Nicholas King "Nick" Nolte (born February 8, 1941) is an American actor. His films include The Deep (1977), 48 Hrs. (1982), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), The Prince of Tides (1991), Cape Fear (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), Affliction (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Good Thief (2003), and Warrior (2011). He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, twice for Best Actor and once for Best Supporting Actor.
Nolte was born Nicholas King Nolte in Omaha, Nebraska, on February 8, 1941. His mother, Helen (née King), was a department store buyer, and his father, Franklin Arthur Nolte, was a farmer's son who worked in irrigation pump sales, and who was an All-American football player at Iowa State University in 1934. Nolte's paternal grandfather was of German descent. Nolte's maternal grandfather, Matthew Leander King, invented the hollow-tile silo and was prominent in early aviation. His maternal grandmother ran the student union at Iowa State University. He has an older sister, Nancy, who was an executive for the Red Cross.
Nolte went to Westside High School in Omaha, where he was the kicker on the football team. Nolte originally attended Benson High, but got kicked out for a fight and hiding beer before practice and then getting caught drinking it during a practice session.
He later attended Pasadena City College in southern California, and Arizona State University in Tempe (on a football scholarship); Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher; and Phoenix College in Phoenix. At Eastern Arizona, Nolte lettered in football as a tight end and defensive end, in basketball as aforward, and as a catcher on the baseball team. Poor grades eventually ended his studies, at which point his career in theatre began in earnest. While in college, Nolte worked for the Falstaff Brewery in Omaha.
After stints at the Pasadena Playhouse and The Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles, Nolte spent several years traveling the country and working in regional theaters, among them the Old Log Theater in Minnesota, where he worked for three years.
Nolte was a model in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In one national magazine advertisement in 1972, he appeared in jeans and an open jean shirt for Clairol's "Summer Blonde" hair lightener sitting on a log next to a blonde Sigourney Weaver The pair also appeared on the packaging.
Nolte first gained national attention and critical acclaim for his performance in Rich Man, Poor Man, a 1976 television miniseries based on Irwin Shaw's 1970 best-selling novel. Since then he's appeared in more than 40 films, playing a wide variety of characters. Diversity of character, and his trademark athleticism and gravelly voice, are signatures of Nolte's career. In 1973 he appeared in Lorne Greene's ABC crime drama Griff in the episode "Who Framed Billy the Kid?", in the role of Billy Randolph, a football player accused of murder. He co-starred alongside Andy Griffith in Winter Kill, a television film made as the pilot of a possible television series, and another one, Adams of Eagle Lake, but neither was picked up as a series.
Nolte's first major film role was starring opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in 1977's The Deep. He followed this with Who'll Stop the Rain in 1978 and North Dallas Forty, based on the Peter Gent novel, in 1979. In 1980, he appeared, in an uncredited cameo, in The Shining as "man in bear suit." The 1982 buddy cop/convict film 48 Hrs. strongly bolstered his film career and made his co-star Eddie Murphy a box-office sensation. He continued starring in films throughout the 1980s, including Under Fire (1983) with Gene Hackman, Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) with Richard Dreyfuss andBette Midler, Extreme Prejudice (1987) and New York Stories (1989) under the direction of Martin Scorsese.
He began the 1990s working with Murphy again in the sequel Another 48 Hours. Nolte had perhaps his greatest box office success in 1991, starring inThe Prince of Tides with Barbra Streisand, for which he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Though he lost to Anthony Hopkins for The Silence of the Lambs, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. That same year he starred in Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear with Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange.
Nolte's solid work continued with Lorenzo's Oil (1992) opposite Susan Sarandon, Mulholland Falls (1996), and Afterglow (1997) for which his co-star Julie Christie received her third Academy Award nomination. He received his second Academy Award nomination the same year for his work in Affliction, but lost to Roberto Benigni for Life Is Beautiful. However, Nolte's co-star, James Coburn, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing the father of Nolte's character. That same year, Nolte starred in Terrence Malick's highly anticipated war epic The Thin Red Line as Colonel Tall.
Nolte continued to work through the 2000s, taking smaller parts in Clean and Hotel Rwanda; both performances received positive reviews. He also played supporting roles in the 2006 dramaPeaceful Warrior and the 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder. In 2011, Nolte portrayed recovering alcoholic Paddy Conlon, dealing with his two estranged sons competing in an MMA tournament in the film Warrior, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
He starred opposite Dustin Hoffman in the 2012 HBO TV series Luck, which in spite of being renewed for a second season after only one episode, was canceled by HBO in March 2012 due to the death of three horses during filming.
"Brawley Nolte" redirects here.
Nolte has been married three times. His ex-wives are Sheila Page, Sharyn Haddad and Rebecca Linger, with whom he has a son named Brawley Nolte (born June 20, 1986). His son is also an actor, having been prominently featured as Mel Gibson's kidnapped son in Ransom. Nolte was also involved with Debra Winger and Vicki Lewis. On October 3, 2007, his longtime partner, Clytie Lane, gave birth to their daughter, Sophie Lane Nolte.
Nolte currently resides in Malibu, California. On October 6, 2008, a fire, which started from a computer printer, burned a section of his home. He escaped unharmed, but there was reportedly $1.5 million worth of damage.
In 1965, Nolte was arrested for selling counterfeit documents and was given a 45-year jail sentence and a $75,000 fine, however the sentence was suspended. This felony conviction prevented him from being eligible to join the military—at the time, he felt obliged to serve in the Vietnam War. As a result, Nolte says he felt incomplete as a young man for not going to Vietnam.
On September 11, 2002, Nolte was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Malibu. Three days later he checked himself into Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut for counseling. Tests later showed that he was under the influence of GHB. Nolte responded that he has "been taking it for four years and I've never been raped." On December 12, 2002, he pleaded no contest to charges of driving under the influence. He was given three years probation, with orders to undergo alcohol and drug counseling with random testing required. The mug shot from this incident has become infamous in popular culture as being particularly unattractive. The mug shot, Nolte says, is actually from the hospital where he (Nolte) was taken for a blood test. A young officer asked Nolte if he could take a Polaroid of him.
- 1991 – Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actor, The Prince of Tides
- 1991 – Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama), The Prince of Tides
- 1992 – Chosen as People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive
- 1998 – New York Film Critics Circle – Best Actor, Affliction
- 1998 – National Society of Film Critics – Best Actor, Affliction
- 2011 – San Diego Film Critics – Best Supporting Actor, Warrior
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