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Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor known for his roles in Men in Black, The Fugitive, No Country for Old Men and Lincoln (2012).
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Born on September 15, 1946, in San Saba, Texas, Tommy Lee Jones was Al Gore's Harvard roommate for four years. Upon graduation, he moved to New York and then to Hollywood, where his career trajectory changed dramatically. With 1993's The Fugitive, Jones became a household name, and he has followed that role with memorable performances in Men in Black,
Actor, director and screenwriter Tommy Lee Jones was born on September 15, 1946, in San Saba, Texas. An eighth-generation Texan, Jones was the only child of Clyde Jones, a cowboy-turned-oil-field worker, and his wife, Lucille Marie. His parents were married and divorced twice; as he later revealed in interviews, Jones had a difficult adolescence, enduring a good deal of physical abuse at the hands of his father. When Tommy Lee was a teenager, Clyde Jones took a job in the oil fields of North Africa. His son worked hard to win a scholarship to St. Mark's, an elite Dallas prep school, so that he could stay in the country.
A talented athlete and student, Jones eventually won a football scholarship to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His roommate for all four years at Harvard was Al Gore, a future United States senator, vice president, and presidential candidate. Jones, an English literature major, became an all-Ivy offensive guard on the football team. He also loved drama and performed in a number of school productions, most notably playing the lead in Shakespeare's Coriolanus.
With too slight a frame to make it in the National Football League (NFL), Jones headed to New York to pursue a career as an actor upon his graduation from Harvard in 1969. He won his first professional role shortly thereafter, in an off-Broadway production. In addition to his stage work, Jones had a regular role as Dr. Mark Toland on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live from 1971 to 1975. He made his feature film debut in 1970 as the roommate of Ryan O'Neal's character in the weepy Love Story.
Frustrated with the dwindling opportunities on Broadway, Jones moved to Hollywood in 1975. He soon landed a prominent role in the debut of the popular television series Charlie's Angels as well as his first lead role in a Hollywood feature, the 1976 crime drama Jackson County Jail, produced by edgy B-movie icon Roger Corman. (Jones's first-ever big screen lead was in the little-seen 1970 Canadian film Eliza's Horoscope.)
Over the next two decades, Jones appeared in nearly three dozen film and television projects and turned in a number of critically acclaimed performances. Highlights of his pre-Fugitive career include well-received TV movies like The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977), The Executioner's Song (1982)—for which he won an Emmy Award—and the celebrated CBS miniseries Lonesome Dove (1989), co-starring Robert Duvall, Anjelica Huston and Diane Lane.
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