Woody Harrelson (born Woodrow Tracy Harrelson, 23.7.1961)
Woody Harrelson is an American actor. He rose to fame with his role in the US sitcom Cheers, playing the role of Woody Boyd. After the demise of Cheers, Woody Harrelson launched a successful film-acting career.
Woody Harrelson: Childhood
Woody Harrelson was born to Diane and Charles Harrelson in Midland, Texas. His parents divorced in 1964. In 1979, Harrelson's father was convicted of murder, after taking on the contract killing of a Federal Judge in San Antonio.
Woody grew up with his mother in Lebanon, Ohio, where he attended Lebanon High School. At the same time, he worked as a wood-carver at the Kings Island amusement park.
Woody Harrelson went on to attain a BA in Theatre Arts and English at Hanover College, Indiana.
Woody Harrelson: Acting Career
Woody Harrelson joined the cast of Cheers in 1985 and remained on the show for eight seasons. Other stars in the show included Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Kirstie Alley and Rhea Perlman. After Cheers ended, Woody Harrelson reprised his role of Woody Boyd in the spin-off series Frasier which starred Kelsey Grammar and David Hyde Pierce.
In 2001, Woody Harrelson played the role of Grace's new boyfriend in another popular US sitcom, Will and Grace.
Harrelson's first move on to the big screen came in 1986, when he appeared in Wildcats with Goldie Hawn. He then starred in the hugely successful comedy White Men Can't Jump, with Wesley Snipes. He reunited with Snipes in 1995's Money Train, which failed to attract the audience of White Men Can't Jump.
1993 saw Woody Harrelson appearing in the acclaimed drama Indecent Proposal, with Demi Moore and Robert Redford. Following on from the success of the film, Harrelson started to get offered far more substantial film roles, such as the role of Mickey Knox in Oliver Stone's controversial Natural Born Killers, alongside Juliette Lewis and Robert Downey Jr.
In 1996, Harrelson starred alongside Anne Bancroft and Jon Seda in Sunchaser. That year, he also featured in Kingpin, with Randy Quaid and Vanessa Angel.
A pivotal moment in Woody Harrelson's film career came when he was cast in the role of Larry Flynt in Milos Forman's The People Vs. Larry Flynt, The highly acclaimed film had Courtney Love playing the role of Althea Flynt, Harrelson's on-screen wife. This opened the door to more serious roles for Woody Harrelson, who went on to appear on films such as 1997's Welcome to Sarajevo and Wag the Dog. The following year, he landed roles in The Thin Red Line with Sean Penn and Adrien Brody and Palmetto, with Elisabeth Shue and Chloe Sevigny.
Taking a break from movies, Woody Harrelson returned to the silver screen in 2003, when he played the role of a security guard in the comedy Anger Management, which co-starred Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler.
In 2006, Woody Harrelson featured in A Scanner Darkly, a partly animated feature that also starred Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Robert Downey Jr.
Woody Harrelson played a small but significant role in the highly acclaimed No Country For Old Men. The film was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starred Kelly Macdonald, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones.
Harrelson then returned to comedy, with an appearance in the basketball farce Semi-Pro, with Will Ferrell, followed by the zombie-comedy Zombieland, with Jese Eisenberg and Emma Stone.
In 2009, Woody Harrelson was nominated for a number of awards for his stellar performance in The Messenger, in which he worked alongside Ben Foster and Jena Malone.
Woody Harrelson: Personal Life
Woody Harrelson married Nancy Simon in 1985. Their original intention had been to divorce the next day. However, when the marriage / divorce parlour they had visited was closed the following day, they eventually remained married for 10 months.
In 2008, Harrelson married his girlfriend of over 20 years, Laura Louie, with whom he has three daughters.