Billy Bob Thornton

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Billy Bob Thornton[1] (born August 4, 1955) is an American actor, director, musician, playwright and screenwriter. Thornton gained early recognition as a cast member on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire and in several early 1990s films including On Deadly Ground and Tombstone. In the mid-1990s, after writing, directing, and starring in the independent film Sling Blade, he won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). He appeared in several major film roles following Sling Blade 's success, including 1998's Armageddon and A Simple Plan. During the late 1990s, Thornton began a career as a singer-songwriter. He has released three albums and was the singer of a blues rock band.


Early life

Thornton was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas,[1] the son of Virginia Roberta (née Faulkner), a psychic, and William Raymond "Billy Ray" Thornton (November 1929 – August 1974), a high-school history teacher and basketball coach.[1] He is the oldest of three brothers, the others are Jimmy Don Thornton (April 1958 – October 1988)[2] and John David Thornton (born 1969). Thornton lived in both Alpine, Arkansas, and Malvern, Arkansas, during his childhood. He was raised a Methodist,[3] in an extended family in a shack that had neither electricity nor plumbing. Thornton graduated from high school in 1973.[4] A good high school baseball player, he tried out for the Kansas City Royals, but was let go after an injury.[5] After a short period laying asphalt for the Arkansas State Transportation Department, he attended Henderson State University, in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, to pursue studies in psychology, and graduated as an Arkansas Scholar after two semesters[citation needed].

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