Who Is Jon Voight?

Jon Voight was born December 29, 1938, in Yonkers, New York. He earned widespread acclaim for his role in 1969's Midnight Cowboy, and an Academy Award in 1979 for the Vietnam War drama Coming Home. Voight was also nominated for an Academy Award for his work in 1985's Runaway Train. After appearing in the 1995 drama Heat, the veteran actor once again began to star in big budget offerings. In recent years, he has enjoyed a resurgence as a sought-after character actor, winning a Golden Globe in 2014 for his work on the TV drama Ray Donovan.

Early Years and Career

Jonathan Vincent Voight was born on December 29, 1938, in Yonkers, New York. The son of a Czechoslovakian-American golf pro, Jon Voight discovered his love for acting as a teenager. Following a stint on Broadway, he appeared in his first film, Fearless Frank, in 1965.

'Midnight Cowboy' and Acting Fame

It was Voight's 1969 role as country boy-turned-hustler Joe Buck in the groundbreaking film Midnight Cowboy that earned him an Oscar nomination and launched his career into the big time.

For the next two decades, Voight's film career was a mix of incredible highs and forgettable misses. His many memorable projects from this period include 1972's Deliverance and 1978's Coming Home, for which he won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a quadriplegic Vietnam War veteran opposite Jane Fonda.

In 1985, he ended a five-year dry spell with an Academy Award nod for his performance in Japanese director Akira Kurosawa's thriller Runaway Train. A "spiritual reawakening" then led Voight to work on a number of intellectually related and doomed film projects.

After playing Robert De Niro's underworld contact in Michael Mann's 1995 drama Heat, Voight once again began to star in big budget offerings, including 1996's Mission: Impossible, 1997's The Rainmaker and 1998's Enemy of the State. In 2001, he delivered well-received performances as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Pearl Harbor and as the patriarch in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, a film that starred his estranged daughter, actress Angelina Jolie. That year he also brilliantly channeled sportscaster Howard Cosell in the biopic Ali, capturing his fourth Oscar nomination.

In recent years, Voight has enjoyed a resurgence as one of Hollywood's most sought-after character actors. He received an Emmy nomination in 2002 for his performance in the acclaimed NBC miniseries Uprising. He also found great success with the 2004 sleeper hit Holes and Jonathan Demme's 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate. Voight Later co-starred with Edward Norton and Colin Farrell in Pride and Glory (2008), a story of familial corruption among New York City police officers.

In recent years, Voight has enjoyed great success on the small screen. He appeared on season seven of the hit action drama 24 and then landed one of his most significant roles in years. In Ray Donovan, which debuted in 2013, Voight plays Mickey Donovan, a Boston ex-con. Liev Schrieber plays his son, the title character, who works with celebrities to make their problems go away by any means necessary. Ray and Mickey Donovan have one of the most dysfunctional father-son relationships in TV history. In 2014, Voight won a Golden Globe for his nuanced portrayal of this rough-around-the-edges aging thug. He also received an Emmy Award nomination.


Jon Voight was married to Lauri Peters from 1962 to 1967 and to Marcheline Bertrand from 1971 to 1978. He has two children, actor James Haven and actress Angelina Jolie, with Bertrand.

One of the few outspoken Republicans in Hollywood, Voight supported Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Ironically, when the animatronic version of President Trump debuted at Disney World's Hall of Presidents in December 2017, he was said to strongly resemble Voight.


  • Name: Jon Voight
  • Birth Year: 1938
  • Birth date: December 29, 1938
  • Birth State: New York
  • Birth City: Yonkers
  • Birth Country: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Best Known For: Actor Jon Voight’s role as Joe Buck in the groundbreaking film 'Midnight Cowboy' earned him an Oscar nomination and launched his career into the big time.
  • Industries
    • Drama
  • Astrological Sign: Capricorn

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness.If you see something that doesn't look right,contact us!


  • Article Title: Jon Voight Biography
  • Author: Biography.com Editors
  • Website Name: The Biography.com website
  • Url: https://www.biography.com/actors/jon-voight
  • Access Date:
  • Publisher: A&E; Television Networks
  • Last Updated: September 9, 2022
  • Original Published Date: April 2, 2014