Tommy Lee Jones
Born (1946-09-15) September 15, 1946 (age 74)[1]
San Saba, Texas, U.S.
ResidenceTerrell Hills, Texas
Alma materHarvard University
OccupationActor, director
Years active1970–present
Spouse(s)Katherine "Kate" Lardner (1971–1978)
Kimberlea Cloughley (1981–1996)
Dawn Laurel (2001–present)
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Supporting Actor (1994), Golden Globe Award (1994), Emmy Award (1983)

Tommy Lee Jones (born September 15, 1946) is an American actor and film director. He has received four Academy Award nominations, winning one as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive.

His other notable starring roles include former Texas Ranger Woodrow F. Call in the award-winning TV mini-series Lonesome Dove, Agent K in Men in Black and its sequels, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in No Country for Old Men, the villain "Two-Face" in Batman Forever, terrorist William Strannix in Under Siege, a Texas Ranger in Man of the House, rancher Pete Perkins in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which also served as his directorial debut, and Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger. Jones has also portrayed real-life figures such as businessman Howard Hughes, radical republican congressman Thaddeus Stevens, executed murderer Gary Gilmore, Oliver Lynn, American war general Douglas MacArthur, husband of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, and baseball great Ty Cobb.

Early life[edit | edit source]

File:Tommy Lee Jones HS Yearbook.jpeg

Jones as a junior in high school, 1964

Jones was born in San Saba, Texas.[2] His mother, Lucille Marie (née Scott), was a police officer, school teacher, and beauty shop owner, and his father, Clyde C. Jones, was an oil field worker.[1] The two were married and divorced twice. Jones has stated that his grandmother was of Cherokee ancestry.[3] He was raised in Midland, Texas[4] and attended Robert E. Lee High School.

Jones graduated from the St. Mark's School of Texas,[5] which he attended on scholarship; he now serves on the board of directors. He attended Harvard College on a need-based scholarship. He stayed in Mower B-12 as a freshman, across the hall from future Vice President Al Gore, the son of Senator Albert Gore, Sr. of Tennessee. As an upperclassman, he stayed in Dunster House with roommates Gore and Bob Somerby, who later became editor of the media criticism site the Daily Howler. Jones played offensive guard[6] on Harvard's undefeated 1968 varsity football team, was nominated as a first-team All-Ivy League selection, and played in the 1968 Game, which featured a memorable and literally last-minute Harvard 16-point comeback to tie Yale. He recounts his memory of "the most famous football game in Ivy League history" in the documentary Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. Jones graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1969; his senior thesis was on "the mechanics of Catholicism" in the works of Flannery O'Connor.[7][8]

Career[edit | edit source]


Tommy Lee Jones, August 2006

Jones moved to New York to become an actor, making his Broadway debut in 1969's A Patriot for Me in a number of supporting roles. In 1970 he landed his first film role, coincidentally playing a Harvard student in Love Story (Erich Segal, the author of Love Story, said that he based the lead character of Oliver on the two undergraduate roommates he knew while attending Harvard, Jones and Gore).[9]

In early 1971, he returned to Broadway in Abe Burrows' Four on a Garden where he shared the stage with Carol Channing and Sid Caesar. Between 1971 and 1975 he portrayed Dr. Mark Toland on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live. He returned to the stage for a 1974 production of Ulysses in Nighttown with Zero Mostel. It was followed by the acclaimed TV movie The Amazing Howard Hughes, where he played the lead role.

In films, he played an escaped convict hunted in Jackson County Jail (1976), a Vietnam veteran in Rolling Thunder (1977) and an automobile mogul, co-starring with Laurence Olivier, in the Harold Robbins drama The Betsy.

In 1980, Jones earned his first Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of country singer Loretta Lynn's husband, Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn, in the popular Coal Miner's Daughter. In 1981 he played a drifter opposite Sally Field in Back Roads, a comedy that received middling reviews.[10]

In 1983, he received an Emmy[11] for Best Actor for his performance as murderer Gary Gilmore in a TV adaptation of Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song. That same year he starred in a pirate adventure, Nate and Hayes, playing the heavily-bearded pirate Captain Bully Hayes.

In 1989, he earned another Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Texas Ranger lawman Woodrow F. Call in the acclaimed television mini-series Lonesome Dove, based on the best-seller by Larry McMurtry.

In the 1990s, blockbuster hits such as The Fugitive co-starring Harrison Ford, Batman Forever co-starring Val Kilmer, and Men in Black with Will Smith made Jones one of the best-paid and most in-demand actors in Hollywood. His performance in The Fugitive received broad acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a sequel. When he accepted his Oscar, his head was shaved for his role in the film Cobb, which he made light of in his speech: "All a man can say at a time like this is 'I am not really bald.'"

Among his other well-known performances during the 1990s were those of the accused conspirator Clay Shaw/Clay Bertrand in the 1991 film JFK (which earned him another Oscar nomination), as a terrorist who hijacks a U.S. Navy battleship in Under Siege and as a maximum-security prison warden who's in way over his head in Natural Born Killers.

Jones co-starred with director Clint Eastwood as astronauts in the 2000 film Space Cowboys, in which both played retired pilots and friends/rivals leading a space rescue mission together.

In 2005, the first theatrical feature film Jones directed, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, was presented at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Jones's character speaks both English and Spanish in the film. His performance won him the Best Actor Award. His first film as a director had been The Good Old Boys in 1995, a made-for-television movie.

Two strong performances in 2007 marked a resurgence in Jones's career, one as a beleaguered father investigating the disappearance of his soldier son in In the Valley of Elah, the other as a Texas sheriff hunting an assassin in the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men. For the former, he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Jones has been a spokesperson for Japanese brewing company Suntory since 2006. He can be seen in various Japanese TV commercials of Suntory's Coffee brand Boss as a character called "Alien Jones," an extraterrestrial who takes the form of a human being to check on the world of humans. There are 34 such commercials that can be seen on YouTube.[12]

In 2010, Jones appeared alongside Ben Affleck in the recession drama The Company Men. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where early reviews praised Jones's performance as "pitch-perfect."[13] Jones had a role in the Marvel Studios film, Captain America: The First Avenger.[14] He also directed, produced and co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in an adaptation of The Sunset Limited.

2012 saw yet another turning point in Jones's career, starting in a reprisal of his role as Agent K in Men in Black 3, the romantic dramedy Hope Springs, and co-starring as Thaddeus Stevens in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Jones's performance in Lincoln received wide critical acclaim, with many reviewers claiming that he stole the film from star Daniel Day-Lewis. For this performance, Jones received his fourth Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, he presented the nominating speech for his college roommate, Al Gore, as the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States.

Jones was married to Kate Lardner, the daughter of screenwriter and journalist Ring Lardner Jr., from 1971 to 1978. He has two children from his second marriage to Kimberlea Cloughley, the daughter of Phil Hardberger, former mayor of San Antonio: Austin Leonard (born 1982) and Victoria Kafka (born 1991). On March 19, 2001, he married his third wife, Dawn Laurel.

Jones resides in Terrell Hills, Texas, a suburb of San Antonio, and speaks fluent Spanish.[15] He owns a 3000 acre cattle ranch in San Saba County, Texas[16] and a ranch near Van Horn, Texas, which served as the set for his film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. He also owns a home and farm in polo mecca Wellington, Florida. Jones is a serious polo player and he has a house in a polo country club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a supporter of the Polo Training Foundation.[17] He is an avid San Antonio Spurs fan; he is often seen courtside at Spurs games.

In 2008, Jones signed on with Chesapeake Energy to be a spokesperson for a public relations campaign to promote shale gas (natural gas derived from shale rock through hydraulic fracturing or "fracking") in Texas.

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Film and television credits
Year Title Role Notes
1970 Love Story Hank Simpson
1971 One Life to Live Dr. Mark Toland TV soap opera
1973 Life Study Gus
1975 Eliza's Horoscope Tommy Lee
1976 Charlie's Angels Aram Kolegian TV, 1 episode
Smash-Up on Interstate 5 Officer Hutton TV
Jackson County Jail Coley Blake
Family David Needham TV, 1 episode
1977 The Amazing Howard Hughes Howard Hughes
Rolling Thunder Corporal Johnny Vohden
1978 The Betsy Angelo Perino
Eyes of Laura Mars John Neville
1980 Coal Miner's Daughter Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn aka "Doo" Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Barn Burning Ab Snopes TV
1981 Back Roads Elmore Pratt
1982 The Executioner's Song Gary Mark Gilmore Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
The Rainmaker Starbuck TV
1983 Nate and Hayes Captain Bully Hayes
1984 The River Rat Billy
1985 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Brick Pollitt TV
The Park is Mine Mitch TV
1986 Black Moon Rising Quint
Yuri Nosenko: Double Agent Steve Daley TV
1987 Broken Vows Pater Joseph McMahon TV
The Big Town George Cole
1988 Stranger on My Land Bud Whitman TV
April Morning Moses Cooper TV
Stormy Monday Cosmo
Gotham Eddie Mallard TV
1989 Lonesome Dove Woodrow F. Call
The Package Thomas Boyette
1990 Fire Birds Brad Little
1991 JFK Clay Shaw/Clay Bertrand
1992 Under Siege William Strannix
House of Cards Jake Beerlander
1993 The Fugitive Marshal Samuel Gerard
Heaven & Earth Steve Butler
1994 Blown Away Ryan Gaerity Nominated – MTV Movie Awards for Best Villain
The Client 'Reverend' Roy Foltrigg
Natural Born Killers Warden Dwight McClusky
Blue Sky Maj. Henry 'Hank' Marshall
Cobb Ty Cobb
1995 The Good Old Boys Hewey Calloway
Batman Forever Harvey Dent/Two-Face Nominated – MTV Movie Awards for Best Villain
1997 Volcano Mike Roark
Men in Black Kevin Brown/Agent K
1998 U.S. Marshals Chief Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard
Small Soldiers Chip Hazard Voice
1999 Double Jeopardy Travis Lehman
2000 Rules of Engagement Col. Hayes 'Hodge' Hodges
Space Cowboys William "Hawk" Hawkins
2002 Men in Black II Kevin Brown/Agent K
2003 The Hunted L.T. Bonham
The Missing Samuel Jones/Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan
2005 Man of the House Roland Sharp
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Pete Perkins
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Axeman Gotham Awards for Best Ensemble Cast
2007 No Country for Old Men Ed Tom Bell
In the Valley of Elah Hank Deerfield
2009 In the Electric Mist Dave Robicheaux
2010 The Company Men Gene McClary Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
2011 The Sunset Limited The Professor Also director and executive producer
Captain America: The First Avenger Colonel Chester Phillips Nominated—Scream Award for Best Supporting Actor
2012 Men in Black 3 Kevin Brown/Agent K
Hope Springs Arnold Soames
Lincoln Thaddeus Stevens Boston Online Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Houston Film Critics Society for Best Supporting Actor
Indiana Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nevada Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—London Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
2013 Emperor General Douglas MacArthur
Malavita Tom Quintiliani In post-production,[18] September 13 release date

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Tommy Lee Jones Biography (1946–)". Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  2. Weinraub, Bernard (August 1, 1993). "FILM; Tommy Lee Jones Snarls His Way to the Pinnacle". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  3. Eric O'Keefe, Photography by Dawn Jones (September 2000). "WD Ranch: Riding Herd with Tommy Lee Jones". Cowboys & Indians. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  4. Waycross Journal-Herald, November 6, 1982, page 4, Google News
  5. Hollandsworth, Skip (2006-02-01). "Tommy Lee Jones Is Not Acting". Texas Monthly., online at Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  6. Charles McGrath (2008-11-20). "Harvard Beats Yale 29–29". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  7. Scott, A. O. (February 7, 2005). "Big Questions, Smart Women, Mann’s Movies". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  8. Laporte, Nicole (2011-02-06). "True Gruff". The Daily Beast. Newsweek. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  9. Fox, Margalit (January 20, 2010). "Erich Segal, ‘Love Story' Author, Dies at 72". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  10. "Back Roads". Business Date for Back Roads. Retrieved March 12, 2006.
  11. "Tommy Lee Jones Emmy Nominated". Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  12. "34 Japanese Boss Coffee Commercials on Youtube". Retrieved Sept 18, 2011.
  13. Review: The Company Men – Sundance Film Festival –
  14. "Tommy Lee Jones Officially Comes Aboard Captain America: The First Avenger".
  15. "BBC – Movies – interview – Tommy Lee Jones". Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  16. Published on Thursday 1 August 2002 01:00 (2002-08-01). "Why lee jones loves black comedy - News". Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  17. Palm Beach Today Magazine: Polo Training Foundation
  18. Toronto 2012: Paul Andrew Williams’ 'Song for Marion' to Close 37th Edition

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Grunert, Andrea, "Les bons et les méchants selon Tommy Lee Jones", in: Francis Bordat et Serge Chauvin (eds.) Les bons et les méchants Université Paris X, 2005, p. 339–352, ISBN 2-907335-30-8

External links[edit | edit source]

Preceded by
Barry Morse
as Philip Gerard
Sam Gerard portrayer
Succeeded by
Mykelti Williamson
as Philip Gerard
Preceded by
Billy Dee Williams
Two-Face Actor
Succeeded by
Aaron Eckhart
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