Nick Nolte Biography

Film Actor, Actor (1941–)
Actor Nick Nolte made it big in the 1980s with such films as 48 Hours, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and The Prince of Tides.


Born February 8, 1941, Nick Nolte was 35 when he made his TV debut on the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man in 1976 and achieved box office success in 1982 with 48 Hours, co-starring with Eddie Murphy. More successes followed, like 1991's The Prince of Tides, but Nolte battled with drug and alcohol addiction in the late 1990s. He returned in smaller films such as 2004's Hotel Rwanda.


Actor. Born Nicholas King Nolte on February 8, 1941 in Omaha, Nebraska. From the beginning of Nick Nolte's career, he has played with the media, openly admitting to lying about his private life to create a fiction for public consumption. For that reason, no published biography can be relied on to be entirely accurate. A recovering alcoholic and former drug abuser, Nick Nolte has been divorced three times. His best performances draw on this troubled past and often portray broken men on the path to redemption.

Nick Nolte briefly attended Arizona State University where he showed talent as a football player before being expelled for bad grades. He then moved to Los Angeles to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and Stella Adler's Academy. He was thirty-five before he made his debut as black sheep Tom Jordache in the acclaimed television mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man in 1976.

Nick Nolte made several notable screen performances, including Who'll Stop the Rain in 1978 and Heartbeat in 1980, before achieving commercial success opposite Eddie Murphy in the cop comedy 48 Hours. He scored big at the box office again with 1986's Down and Out in Beverly Hills. In 1991, he starred opposite Barbra Streisand in the screen adaptation of the seminal Pat Conroy novel The Prince of Tides. His performance as the emotionally wrecked Tom Wingo earned the actor an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. He finished his winning streak with a nuanced turn opposite Susan Sarandon in 1992's Lorenzo's Oil.

After a series of forgettable films, Nick Nolte caught his stride again in 1997 with two smaller projects, Afterglow and Affliction. He received his second Best Actor Oscar nomination for the latter. Other strong performances include 2000's The Golden Bowl, 2002's The Good Thief, 2004's Hotel Rwanda, 2006's Off the Black. Starting in 2008 Nolte worked mostly in the comedy arena, namely Tropic Thunder and later, A Walk in the Woods (2015) and The Ridiculous 6 (2015), but he made time to squeeze in the notable drama, Warrior (2011), in which he played a recovering alcoholic and garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2016 Nolte took a break from film to concentrate on the small screen. He stars in Epix TV's comedy Graves as a former U.S. president who tries to avenge the wrongs of his past administration. For his role he has received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a television series.  

Nick Nolte was married three times: to Sheila Page from 1966 to 1970, to Sharyn Haddad from 1978 to 1983, and to Rebecca Linger from 1984 to 1994. He and Linger have a son, Brawley King Nolte. Nolte has also been paired with Cannery Row co-star Debra Winger, Karen Louise Eklund (who sued him for palimony), and actress Vicki Lewis. The actor has had a long struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. His 2002 arrest for driving under the influence -- and the subsequent mug shot that quickly circulated through the media -- inspired him to return to rehab and revitalize his career.

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