Nicholas King Nolte (/ˈnlti/; born February 8, 1941) is an American actor and former model. Known for his leading man roles in both dramas and romances, he has received a Golden Globe Award as well as nominations for three Academy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award. Nolte first came to prominence for his role in the ABC miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie nomination. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for The Prince of Tides (1991). He received three Academy Award nominations for The Prince of Tides (1991), Affliction (1998) and Warrior (2011).

Nick Nolte
Nolte in 2008
Born
Nicholas King Nolte

February 8, 1941 (age 83)
Occupations
  • Actor
  • model
Years active1968–present
Spouses
Sheila Page
(m. 1966; div. 1970)
Sharyn Haddad
(m. 1978; div. 1983)
Rebecca Linger
(m. 1984; div. 1994)
Clytie Lane
(m. 2016)
PartnersKaren Eklund (1972–1977)
Vicki Lewis (1994–2003)
Children2
RelativesNavi Rawat (daughter-in-law)

His other notable films include The Deep (1977), Who'll Stop The Rain (1978), North Dallas Forty (1979), 48 Hrs. (1982), Cannery Row (1982), Under Fire (1983), Teachers (1984), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), Jefferson in Paris (1995), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Good Thief (2002), Hulk (2003), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Over the Hedge (2006), The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008), Tropic Thunder (2008), The Company You Keep (2012), Gangster Squad (2013), A Walk in the Woods (2015), Head Full Of Honey (2018) and Angel Has Fallen (2019).

His television credits include the HBO series Luck (2011–2012), the Fox miniseries Gracepoint (2014), the Disney+ series The Mandalorian (2019) and Peacock crime drama Poker Face (2023). From 2016 to 2017, Nolte played President Richard Graves in the Epix series Graves for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Early life edit

Nolte was born in Omaha, Nebraska on February 8, 1941.[a] His father, Franklin Arthur Nolte (1904–1978), was a farmer's son who ran away from home, nearly dropped out of high school and was a three-time letter winner in football at Iowa State University (1929–1931).[1] His mother, Helen (née King; 1914–2000), was a department store buyer, then became an antique dealer, co-owning an antique shop. His father was of German ancestry.[2] Nolte's maternal grandfather, Matthew Leander King, invented the hollow-tile silo and was involved in early aviation. His maternal grandmother ran the student union at Iowa State University.[3] He has an older sister, Nancy, who was an executive for the Red Cross.[4]

Nolte attended Kingsley Elementary School in Waterloo, Iowa.[5] He studied at Westside High School in Omaha, where he was the kicker on the football team. He also attended Benson High School, but was expelled for hiding beer before practice and being caught drinking it during a practice session.[6] Following his high school graduation in 1959, he attended Pasadena City College in Southern California, Arizona State University in Tempe (on a football scholarship), Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher and Phoenix College in Phoenix. At Eastern Arizona, he lettered in football as a tight end and defensive end, in basketball as a forward, and as a catcher on the baseball team.[7] Poor grades eventually ended his studies, at which point his career in theatre began in earnest. While in college, he worked for the Falstaff Brewery in Omaha.[7]

After stints at the Pasadena Playhouse and the Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles, Nolte spent several years traveling the country and working in regional theater, including the Old Log Theater in Minnesota for three years.[8]

Career edit

Modeling edit

Nolte was a model in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In a national magazine advertisement in 1972, he appeared in jeans and an open jean shirt for Clairol's "Summer Blonde" hair lightener sitting on a log next to a blonde Chris O'Connor;[9] and they appeared on the packaging.

Acting edit

 
Nolte as Tom Jordache in Rich Man, Poor Man, 1976

Nolte first starred in the television miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man, based on Irwin Shaw's 1970 best-selling novel.[10] Later, he appeared in over 40 films, playing a wide variety of characters. Diversity of character, trademark athleticism, and gravelly voice are signatures of his career. In 1973, he guest-starred in the Griff episode, "Who Framed Billy the Kid?", as Billy Randolph, a football player accused of murder. Nolte also made two guest appearances in the television series Barnaby Jones in 1974 and 1975. He co-starred with Andy Griffith in Winter Kill, a television film made as the pilot of a possible television series, and another one, Adams of Eagle Lake,[11] but neither was picked up.

Nolte starred in The Deep (1977),[12] Who'll Stop the Rain (1978),[13] and North Dallas Forty (1979) which is based on Peter Gent's novel.[14] In 1982, he starred in 48 Hrs. with Eddie Murphy[15] and Cannery Row with Debra Winger. During the 1980s, he also starred in Under Fire (1983),[16] Teachers (1984), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986),[17] Extreme Prejudice (1987)[18] and New York Stories (1989).[19] Nolte starred with Katharine Hepburn in her last leading film role in Grace Quigley (1985).[20] Nolte and Murphy starred again in the sequel Another 48 Hrs..[21] In 1991, Nolte starred in The Prince of Tides and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.[22] Later, he starred in Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear with Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange.[23] Nolte also starred in Lorenzo's Oil (1992),[24] Jefferson in Paris (1995),[25] Mulholland Falls (1996)[26] and Afterglow (1997).[27] Nolte co-starred in I Love Trouble (1994) with Julia Roberts. Following its release, the Los Angeles Times reported that the two did not get along well and had multiple spats on-set.[28] He received his second Academy Award nomination in 1997 for Affliction.[29] Nolte starred with Sean Penn in three films, including Terrence Malick's war epic The Thin Red Line,[30] U Turn,[31] and Gangster Squad.[32]

In 1992, Nolte was named the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. When asked about the selection he said "Are you sure you didn't make a mistake? My personal choice is Walter Cronkite."[33]

 
Nolte in 2003

Nolte continued to work in the 2000s, taking smaller parts in Clean and Hotel Rwanda, both performances receiving positive reviews.[34][35] He also played supporting roles in the 2006 drama Peaceful Warrior[36] and the 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder.[37] In 2011, Nolte played recovering alcoholic Paddy Conlon in Warrior, and was nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.[38] Beginning in 2011, Nolte starred with Dustin Hoffman in the HBO series Luck. At the start of production of the second season, however, HBO ended the series after the death of three horses during filming.[39] In 2013, he was in the movie Parker which starred Jason Statham. In 2015, Nolte starred in the biopic comedy-drama A Walk in the Woods[40] and in the revenge thriller Return to Sender.[41]

From 2016 to 2017, Nolte starred in Graves on Epix about a volatile, hard-drinking former U.S. president who has been retired for 25 years and who has a political epiphany to right the wrongs of his past administration in very public and unpredictable ways.[42]

For Nolte, acting is not a career but something he needs to do, he says, "a need in the sense that I can't find anything as complex and interesting to do, but I need it in a story," and "I don't want to do reality because reality never runs smooth". He likes to vanish into a role "if the story reaches up to where the great actor is, the great actor disappears, and the story becomes number one, that's as real as it gets".[43] Nolte appeared as recurring character Kuiil in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian in 2019.[44]

Personal life edit

Nolte married Clytie Lane in 2016.[45] He was previously married to Sheila Page, Sharyn Haddad, and Rebecca Linger.[45][46] Nolte and Linger have a son, Brawley (b. 1986), who has had a few acting roles himself and is married to Indian-American actress Navi Rawat.[47] Nolte and Lane have a daughter, Sophia (b. 2007). Sophia played his granddaughter in Head Full of Honey.[48][49] Nolte and Linger also had a daughter in 1983 who was stillborn.[46] Nolte lived with Karen Eklund, who later sued him for palimony.[46][50] He has also dated Debra Winger and Vicki Lewis.[51][52]

Legal troubles and substance abuse edit

Nolte is known for his "bad-boy reputation".[53][54][46]

In 1961, he was arrested for selling counterfeit draft card documents and given a 45-year prison sentence and a $75,000 fine, but the sentence was suspended.[55][56] However, the felony conviction left him ineligible for military service. He had felt obligated to serve in the Vietnam War, and says that he felt incomplete as a young man for not going to Vietnam.[57]

On September 11, 2002, Nolte was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Malibu, California. Tests later showed that he was under the influence of GHB. Nolte responded that he has "been taking it for four years and I've never been raped."[58] Three days later, he checked himself into Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut for counseling.[59][60] On December 12, 2002, he pleaded no contest to charges of driving under the influence. He was given three years' probation, with orders to undergo alcohol and drug counseling with random testing required.[61][62]

In 2005, The Independent reported that Nolte had struggled with substance abuse for "the majority of his adult life" and had begun abusing alcohol at an early age. After remaining sober for nearly 10 years, he resumed drinking in the late 1990s. Following his 2002 arrest, he again stopped drinking.[60] In 2018, he told The Saturday Evening Post that he did not have a drug problem and that he had been "relatively clean outside of prescription stuff for years".[63]

Filmography edit

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes
1972 Dirty Little Billy Town Gang Leader Uncredited
1973 Electra Glide in Blue Hippie Kid
1975 Return to Macon County Bo Hollinger
1976 Northville Cemetery Massacre Chris Voice; uncredited
1977 The Deep David Sanders
1978 Who'll Stop the Rain Ray Hicks
1979 North Dallas Forty Phillip Elliott
1980 Heart Beat Neal Cassady
1982 Cannery Row 'Doc' Eddie Daniels
48 Hrs. Inspector Jack Cates
1983 Under Fire Russell Price
1984 Grace Quigley Seymour Flint
Teachers Alex Jurel
1986 Down and Out in Beverly Hills Jerry Baskin
1987 Extreme Prejudice Texas Ranger Jack Benteen
Weeds Lee Umstetter
1989 Three Fugitives Daniel James Lucas
Farewell to the King Learoyd
New York Stories Lionel Dobie Segment: "Life Lessons"
1990 Everybody Wins Tom O'Toole
Q&A Captain Michael Brennan
Another 48 Hrs. Inspector Jack Cates
1991 Cape Fear Sam Bowden
The Prince of Tides Tom Wingo
1992 Lorenzo's Oil Augusto Odone
The Player Himself Cameo
1994 I'll Do Anything Matt Hobbs
Blue Chips Coach Pete Bell
I Love Trouble Peter Brackett
1995 Jefferson in Paris Thomas Jefferson
1996 Mulholland Falls Lieutenant Max Hoover
Mother Night Howard Campbell
1997 Nightwatch Inspector Thomas Cray
Afterglow 'Lucky' Mann
U Turn Jake McKenna
Affliction Wade Whitehouse Also executive producer
1998 The Thin Red Line Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Tall
1999 Breakfast of Champions Harry Le Sabre
Simpatico Vincent Webb
2000 The Golden Bowl Adam Verver
Trixie Senator Drumond Avery
2001 Investigating Sex Faldo Also producer
2002 The Good Thief Bob Montagnet
2003 Northfork Father Harlan
Hulk Dr. David Banner / The Father
2004 The Beautiful Country Steve
Clean Albrecht Hauser
Hotel Rwanda Colonel Oliver
2005 Neverwas T.L. Pierson
2006 Over the Hedge Vincent Voice
Paris, je t'aime Vincent Segment: "Parc Monceau"
Peaceful Warrior Socrates
Quelques jours en septembre Elliott
Off the Black Ray Cook
Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film Narrator Documentary
2007 Chicago 10 Thomas Horan Voice; documentary
2008 The Mysteries of Pittsburgh Joe Bechstein
The Spiderwick Chronicles Mulgarath
Nick Nolte: No Exit Himself Documentary
Tropic Thunder Sergeant John 'Four Leaf' Tayback
2010 My Own Love Song Caldwell
Huxley on Huxley Himself Documentary
Arcadia Lost Benerji
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Butch Voice
2011 Arthur Burt Johnson
Zookeeper Bernie the Gorilla Voice
Warrior Paddy Conlon
2012 A puerta fría[64] (Cold Call) Battleworth[65]
The Company You Keep Donal
2013 Gangster Squad Bill Parker
Parker Hurley
Hateship, Loveship Mr. McCauley
The Trials of Cate McCall Bridges
2014 Noah Samyaza Voice
Asthma Werewolf
2015 A Walk in the Woods Stephen Katz
Run All Night Eddie Conlon Uncredited
Return to Sender Mitchell Wells
The Ridiculous 6 Frank Stockburn
2018 The Padre Nemes
Head Full of Honey[66] Amadeus
2019 Angel Has Fallen Clay Banning
2020 Last Words Shakespeare
2022 Blackout[67] DEA Agent Ethan McCoy
Rittenhouse Square[68] Barry[69]
TBA Eugene the Marine[70] Gene

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Episode: "The Feather Farm"
1973 Griff Billy Randolph Episode: "The Framing of Billy the Kid"
Cannon Ron Johnson Episode: "Arena of Fear"
1973–1974 Medical Center Tank / Lou 2 episodes
1974 The Streets of San Francisco Captain Alan Melder Episode: "Crossfire"
Emergency! Dr. Fred Episode: "The Hard Hours"
Death Sentence John Healy Movie
The Rookies Tommy Episode: "The Teacher"
Toma Wally Episode: "Friends of Danny Beecher"
Chopper One Bob Episode: "The Hijacking"
Gunsmoke Barney Austin Episode: "The Tarnished Badge"
Winter Kill Dave Michaels Movie
The California Kid Buzz Stafford Movie
1974–1975 Barnaby Jones Mark Rainey, Paul Barringer 2 episodes
1975 Adams of Eagle Lake Officer Jerry Troy 2 episodes
1976 Rich Man, Poor Man Tom Jordache Miniseries
2011 Ultimate Rush Narrator Voice
2011–2012 Luck Walter James Smith 10 episodes
2014 Gracepoint Jack Reinhold Miniseries
2016–2017 Graves President Richard Graves 20 episodes
2019 The Mandalorian Kuiil Voice; 3 episodes
2020 Paradise Lost Judge Forsythe 10 episodes
2023 Poker Face Arthur Liptin Episode: "The Orpheus Syndrome"

Theatre edit

Year Title Role Notes
1968 The Rose Tattoo Phoenix Theater[71]
1972, 1973 The Last Pad Southwest Ensemble Theatre
Contempo Theatre[72]
2000 The Late Henry Moss Earl Moss Post Street Theatre[72]

Accolades edit

 
Nolte at 2000 Cannes Film Festival
Year Association Category Nominated work Result
1976 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Rich Man, Poor Man Nominated
1977 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama Nominated
1979 National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actor Who'll Stop the Rain 3rd place
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor North Dallas Forty 3rd place
1980 National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actor 3rd place
1988 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Weeds Nominated
1991 Boston Society of Film Critics Best Actor The Prince of Tides Won
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actor Won
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Nominated
1992 Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Actor Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Won
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actor 3rd place
1997 Valladolid International Film Festival Best Actor Affliction Won
1998 New York Film Critics Circle Best Actor Won
1999 Academy Awards Best Actor Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
Independent Spirit Awards Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Nominated
National Society of Film Critics Best Actor Won
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Actor Won
Satellite Awards Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor The Thin Red Line Nominated
2011 Warrior Nominated
Denver Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Nominated
San Diego Film Critics Best Supporting Actor Won
Satellite Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2012 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Nominated
Online Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2017 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Graves Nominated

Other honors edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ While Nolte was indeed born in 1941 (a date consistent with his birth registration in the Nebraska Birth Index, publicly accessible at Ancestry.com),[75] some printed publications have cited 1940 as his year of birth.[76][77][78][79] Most actively maintained online sources list 1941.[80][81][82][83]

References edit

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