Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton

Date of Birth

Birthday: August 4
Birthplace: Hot Springs, Arkansas

TV lovers always get excited when big-named movie stars make the transition to the small screen. What they may not realize is that a lot of actors got their start in TV when they were lesser known.

Such is the case with Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton. The Hot Springs, Ark., native has gotten rave reviews for his haunting portrayal as hit man Lorne Malvo on FX’s Fargo

TV lovers always get excited when big-named movie stars make the transition to the small screen. What they may not realize is that a lot of actors got their start in TV when they were lesser known.

Such is the case with Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton. The Hot Springs, Ark., native has gotten rave reviews for his haunting portrayal as hit man Lorne Malvo on FX’s Fargo

But fans are likely unaware of Thornton’s turn as a pawnshop clerk on Matlock back in 1987. Thornton landed the part after living in Los Angles for six years and struggling to become an actor and writer. Thornton held a number of odd jobs while pursuing his dream including gigs as an offshore wind farmer, waiter and fast-food manager. 

His dedication paid off and 10 years after his Matlock role, the father of 4 won a screenplay Oscar for Sling Blade, in which he starred in and penned.

Other roles of note include big-screen hits such as Armageddon, Bad Santa and Monster’s Ball as well as small but noteworthy performances in Primary Colors, Love Actually and Puss in Boots.

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Awards & Nominations

1 Nomination
Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie - 2014
  • Nominee
  • Billy Bob Thornton, as Lorne Malvo
  • Fargo
  • FX Networks
Billy Bob Thornton arrives at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception in West Hollywood.
Bob Bergen (l) and Billy Bob Thornton of Fargo attend the Performers nominee reception.
Television Academy Governor Bob Bergen and 66th Primetime Emmy nominees Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Hale, Minnie Driver, Allison Janney and Ty Burrell at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception.
66th Primetime Emmy nominees at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception.
Television Academy GoveTelevision Academy Governor Bob Bergen and 66th Primetime Emrnor Bob Bergin and 66th Primetime Emmy nominees Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Hale, Minnie Driver, Allison Janney and Ty Burrell at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception.
Billy Bob Thornton arrives at the Montage Beverly Hills for the 2014 Performers Peer Group Primetime Emmy nominee reception.
Fill 1
Fill 1
Billy Bob Thornton arrives at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception in West Hollywood.
Camera

Billy Bob Thornton arrives at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception in West Hollywood.

Invision/AP
Bob Bergen (l) and Billy Bob Thornton of Fargo attend the Performers nominee reception.
Camera

Bob Bergen (l) and Billy Bob Thornton of Fargo attend the Performers nominee reception.

Invision/AP
Television Academy Governor Bob Bergen and 66th Primetime Emmy nominees Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Hale, Minnie Driver, Allison Janney and Ty Burrell at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception.
Camera
Invision/AP
66th Primetime Emmy nominees at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception.
Camera
Invision/AP
Television Academy GoveTelevision Academy Governor Bob Bergen and 66th Primetime Emrnor Bob Bergin and 66th Primetime Emmy nominees Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Hale, Minnie Driver, Allison Janney and Ty Burrell at the Performers Peer Group nominee reception.
Camera
Invision/AP
Billy Bob Thornton arrives at the Montage Beverly Hills for the 2014 Performers Peer Group Primetime Emmy nominee reception.
Camera
Invision/AP
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