Jon Voight biography
Date of Birth: December 29, 1938
The middle son of professional golfer Elmer Voight and his homemaker wife, Barbara, Jon Voight was born and raised in Yonkers, New York. He began acting in high school, and continued to do so at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. where he received a BFA in graphic design and art (he excelled at drawing). He moved to NYC and studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse. At 22, he made his debut an off-Broadway musical revue and later that year, made his Broadway debut in The Sound of Music.
In 1965, he appeared opposite Robert Duvall in the acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge. The following year, he starred on Broadway opposite Tyne Daly in That Summer That Fall. His performance earned him a Theatre World Award as one of the season's most promising personalities. Voight then traveled to San Diego where he spent the summer at the Old Globe Theatre portraying Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Ariel in the Tempest.
In California, he turned his attention to film, landing parts in popular TV series such as Coronet Blue and Gunsmoke and a featured role in Hour of the Gun as well as the lead in producer's Edward Pressman and Paul Williams' film Out Of It. The turning point in his career came when he landed the part of Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy . Although he only got the part when the original actor dropped out, Voight ended up earning his first Oscar nomination, the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Awards and the British Academy Award for his performance.
A sucession of memorable films followed, including Catch 22, The Revolutionary, Deliverance , The All-American Boy, Conrack, The Odessa File and End of the Game. Throughout this period, Voight also continued to to work on stage.
In 1976, he separated from his wife, actress Marcheline Bertrand, with whom he had two children: James and actress Angelina (Jolie, who won an Oscar in 2000). Originally cast as Jane Fonda's soldier husband in Coming Home (1978), Voight persuaded Fonda and director Hal Ashby to allow him to play the emibittered paraplegic Luke Martin instead. His performance earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe, the Cannes International Film Festival and both the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Awards. Soon after, he starred in The Champ (1979) with Faye Dunaway and Ricky Schroder; Lookin' to Get Out, which he produced and co-wrote and Table For Five, which he also produced. His performance as an escape convict in 1985's Runaway Train (which brought him his third Academy Award nomination) was followed by Desert in Bloom (1986).
Although he didn't do much in the late '80s, Voight surfaced again in the early '90s, making his directorial debut with the cable film The Tin Soldier , as well as lesser known TV movies like Chernobyl: Final Warning.
At the end of the 20th century he made appearances in The Rainmaker (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe), U-Turn, Most Wanted, Anaconda , Rosewood, Heat , Mission: Impossible , Varsity Blues and Enemy of the State . He started off the new millennium with a bang, playing Lord Croft in the video game-turned-movie Tomb Raider and roles in Pearl Harbor and Ali (all 2001)—the latter of which earned him his fourth Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In 2002, he earned his first Emmy nomination for the TV movie Uprising, followed by a second nod in 2006 for his role as the former beloved Pope in Pope John Paul II (2005). In recent years, he starred in Getaway , alongside Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), starring Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell, and the drama Same Kind of Different as Me (2017) alongside Renée Zellweger and Djimon Hounsou.
Voight devotes time to causes such as the homeless and the plight of Native Americans. Says his friend Dorothy Paul: "He just wants to fight evil." He is twice divorced, and has two children, James Haven and Angelina Jolie, with his second wife, Marcheline Bertrand.