Nick Nolte Biography

Nick Nolte photo

Born: February 08, 1941


Date of Birth: February 8, 1941

It took 15 years for the rumpled native of Omaha, Nebraska, to be an overnight success. And there was also the matter of the 45 year prison sentence handed down by the judge when the 21-year-old Nolte was caught selling fake draft cards. Fortunately, that sentence was suspended and the athletic Nolte—he was accepted to Arizona State University on a football scholarship but dropped out because he failed his classes—could get on with the business of acting in regional theatres until he was 35 years old. That's when fame finally came calling in the form of his Emmy-nominated performance in the TV mini-series, Rich Man, Poor Man.

What followed Nolte's breakthrough was a lot of tabloid headlines as his hard-drinking, cavalier ways landed him on the front pages of numerous publications and saw him slapped with a $4.5-million palimony suit by his eight-year companion, Karen Louise. He was also doing some pretty good work in films such as North Dallas Forty, Cannery Row and the mega-hit, 48 HRS.

But Nolte's career went into the tailspin that inevitably follows before he resurrected himself in the '90s, kicking off the decade with a bang when he garnered an Oscar nomination for his role in The Prince of Tides. Never one to go out of his way to court public favor, Nolte says, "I'm looking for something deeper in film than just popularity."

In September 2002, Nolte was arrested while driving under the influence of the date rape drug GHB in Hollywood. He was sentenced to three years' probation and made to undergo counseling and random drug testing. Despite the legal setback, he still managed to land roles in films like The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Arthur (2010), The Company You Keep (2012) and most recently, the blockbuster Gangster Squad (2013).

Nolte has been married and divorced three times and has one son, Brawley, who played Mel Gibson's son in Ransom (1996) and played Nick's character as a child in Affliction (1997).

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