Woody HarrelsonHarrelson in October 2016BornWoodrow Tracy Harrelson
Woodrow Tracy Harrelson (born July 23, 1961) is an American actor and playwright. His breakout role came in 1985 as bartender Woody Boyd in the television sitcom Cheers. He later became known for his portrayals of Billy Hoyle in White Men Can't Jump (1992), Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers (1994), Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), Tallahassee in Zombieland (2009), Capt. Tony Stone in The Messenger (2009), Dave Brown in Rampart (2011), Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games film series (2012–2015), Merritt McKinney in the Now You See Me film series (2013–2016), the Colonel in War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), Bill Willoughby in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), and Tobias Beckett in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Harrelson has been nominated for an Academy Award three times; he was nominated for Best Actor for The People vs. Larry Flynt and Best Supporting Actor for The Messenger and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. For his role in Cheers, he earned five Emmy Award nominations and won one in 1989.Contents
Woodrow Tracy Harrelson was born in Midland, Texas, on July 23, 1961, the son of Diane (née Oswald) and Charles Voyde Harrelson. He and his two brothers, Jordan and Brett, were raised in a Presbyterian household. Their father was a convicted hitman who received a life sentence for the 1979 killing of Federal Judge John H. Wood Jr. Harrelson has stated that his father was rarely around during his childhood. Charles died in the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility on March 15, 2007. Harrelson's family was poor and relied on his mother's secretary wage. In 1973, he moved to his mother's native city of Lebanon, Ohio, where he attended Lebanon High School. He spent the summer of 1979 working at Kings Island amusement park. Harrelson attended Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana, where he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. He received a BA in theater and English in 1983. While attending Hanover, he was friends with future Vice President Mike Pence.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 in season four, spending the final 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.Harrelson on the red carpet at the 40th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, August 28, 1988
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 played 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 restarted his film career. His first movie had been Wildcats, a 1986 football comedy with Goldie Hawn. He reunited with Wesley Snipes (who also had debuted in Wildcats) in the box-office hit White Men Can't Jump (1992) and the box office bomb Money Train (1995).Harrelson in April 2007
In 1993, Harrelson starred 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 for the Farrelly brothers.
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. In 2007's Battle in Seattle, Harrelson played another key role of a Seattle police officer whose pregnant wife loses her baby during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests.
In 2008, Harrelson appeared in several films, among them the Will Ferrell basketball comedy Semi-Pro and the stark Will Smith drama Seven Pounds as a blind vegan meat salesman named Ezra Turner.Harrelson at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2016
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 that same year, Harrelson 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. Harrelson directed the 2011 film ETHOS, which explores the idea of a self-destructing modern society, governed by unequal power and failed democratic ideals. 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.'
In 2017, he played the antagonist The Colonel in the science fiction film War for the Planet of the Apes. Also that year, he starred in The Glass Castle, an adaptation of Jeannette Walls's memoir about how she was raised by dysfunctional and nonconformist parents and then had her world turned upside down when they moved to New York to be near her. Brie Larson played Walls and Harrelson played her father. The comedic drama was directed by Destin Daniel Cretton.
In 2016, Harrelson announced that he would direct, write, produce, and star in a film, Lost in London, which was shot as a single take and premiered live on January 19, 2017. Harrelson played police chief Bill Willoughby in the black comedy crime film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, released in 2017, for which he received Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role nominations.
In 2018, Harrelson starred opposite Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, and Emilia Clarke in Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story, playing Han Solo's mentor and a criminal.
In 2018, Harrelson appears in a cameo at the end of the film Venom, portraying Cletus Kasady.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 he wrote 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
In 1985, Harrelson married Nancy Simon (daughter of playwright Neil Simon) in Tijuana. The union was not intended to be serious, and the two had planned to divorce the following day, but the storefront marriage/divorce parlor was closed when they returned to it and they remained married for another ten months.
In 2008, Harrelson married Laura Louie, his former assistant and later a co-founder of the organic food delivery service Yoganics. They reside in Maui, Hawaii, and have three daughters: Deni, Zoe, and Makani.
Harrelson was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (DHL) from Hanover College in 2014.Legal issues
In 1982, Harrelson was arrested for disorderly conduct in Columbus, Ohio, 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). This became the inspiration for his 2017 live film, Lost in London.
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 Harrelson in 2004 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 follows a raw vegan diet. Along with not eating meat or dairy, Harrelson also does not eat sugar or flour. In Zombieland, in which he plays a character with an affinity for Twinkies, the Twinkies were replaced 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 in Manchester to raise money for UNICEF. He played for the Rest of the World team alongside former professionals Zinedine Zidane and Luís Figo as well as chef Gordon Ramsay and fellow Hollywood actors Mike Myers and Michael Sheen. Harrelson played 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. In a conversation with Howard Zinn, Harrelson admitted that he considers Zinn to be a personal hero of his. In 2002, Harrelson wrote an article in the British newspaper The Guardian condemning President George W. Bush's preparation for a US invasion of Iraq as a "racist and imperialist war". He also stated that he was against the USA's previous war in Iraq and President Bill Clinton's sanctions against Iraq.Religious views
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel,[when?] Harrelson acknowledged a belief in God, which he attributed to reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, whom he described as a "man of integrity". However, he had 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."Filmography Film Year Title Role Notes 1978 Harper Valley PTA Extra Uncredited 1986 Wildcats Krushinski 1989 She's Having a Baby Himself Uncredited 1990 Cool Blue Dustin 1991 L.A. Story Harris' Boss Uncredited Doc Hollywood Hank Gordon Ted & Venus Homeless Vietnam Veteran 1992 White Men Can't Jump Billy Hoyle 1993 Indecent Proposal David Murphy 1994 Natural Born Killers Mickey Knox The Cowboy Way Pepper Lewis I'll Do Anything Ground Zero Hero 1995 Money Train Charlie 1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt Larry Flynt 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. William Keck Palmetto Harry Barber The Hi-Lo Country Big Boy Matson Welcome to Hollywood Himself 1999 Play It to the Bone Vince Boudreau EDtv Ray Pekurny Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Himself Cameo Grass Narrator (voice) 2003 Anger Management Galaxia/Security Gary Go Further Himself 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 The Big White Raymond "Ray" Barnell 2006 Free Jimmy Roy Arnie (voice) A Scanner Darkly Ernie Luckman A Prairie Home Companion Dusty 2007 The Walker Carter Page III No Country for Old Men Carson Wells Battle in Seattle Dale The Grand One Eyed Jack Faro Nanking Robert O. "Bob" Wilson 2008 Semi-Pro Ed Monix Sleepwalking Randall Transsiberian Roy Surfer, Dude Jack Mayweather Management Jango Seven Pounds Ezra Turner 2009 The Messenger Captain Anthony "Tony" Stone Defendor Arthur Poppington/Defendor Zombieland Tallahassee 2012 Charlie Frost 2010 Bunraku The Bartender 2011 Friends with Benefits Tommy Bollinger Ethos Narrator (voice) Rampart Dave Brown 2012 The Hunger Games Haymitch Abernathy Seven Psychopaths Charlie Costello Game Change Steve Schmidt 2013 How to Make Money Selling Drugs Himself Now You See Me Merritt McKinney Out of the Furnace Harlan DeGroat Free Birds Jake (voice) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Haymitch Abernathy 2014 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 2015 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 2016 Triple 9 Sergeant Detective Jeffrey Allen Now You See Me 2 Merritt McKinney/Chase McKinney The Duel Abraham Brant LBJ Lyndon B. Johnson The Edge of Seventeen Mr. Bruner 2017 Lost in London Himself Also writer/director/producer Wilson Wilson War for the Planet of the Apes The Colonel The Glass Castle Rex Walls Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Sheriff Bill Willoughby Shock and Awe Jonathan Landay 2018 Solo: A Star Wars Story Tobias Beckett Venom Cletus Kasady Cameo 2019 The Highwaymen Maney Gault Post-production Midway Admiral Chester Nimitz Filming Television Year Title Role Notes 1985–1993 Cheers Woody Boyd 200 episodes 1987 Bay Coven Slatergsy Television film 1988 Mickey's 60th Birthday Woody Boyd Television special 1988 Killer Instinct Charlie Long Television film 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 Television film 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 Television film 2013 David Blaine: Real or Magic Himself Television special 2014 True Detective Martin "Marty" Hart 8 episodes; also executive producer 2014 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Woody Harrelson/Kendrick Lamar" Theatre Year Title Role Notes 1985–1986 Biloxi Blues Joseph Wykowski, Roy Selridge (standbys) Neil Simon Theatre 1987–1988 The Boys Next Door Jack Lamb's Theatre 1999–2000 The Rainmaker Bill Starbuck Brooks Atkinson Theatre 2005–2006 The 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 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated 1988 Nominated 1989 Won 1990 American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a TV Series Nominated Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated 1991 Nominated 1992 White Men Can't Jump MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Rosie Perez) Nominated MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Wesley Snipes) Nominated 1993 Indecent Proposal MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Demi Moore) Won Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor Won 1994 Natural Born Killers MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Juliette Lewis) Nominated MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Juliette Lewis) Nominated 1996 The People vs. Larry Flynt 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 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 National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor Won San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work Won 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 Won Zombieland San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work Won Scream Award for Best Ensemble Won 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 Nominated Scream Award for Best Horror Actor Nominated 2012 San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Body of Work Won 2011 Rampart African American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Won Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Nominated 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 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie Nominated Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated 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 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Nominated 2018 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won References