Nick Nolte

Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte

Nolte at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2005
Born Nicholas King Nolte
February 8, 1941 (age 70)
Omaha, Nebraska, US
Occupation Actor
Years active 1969–present
Spouse Sheila Page (1966–70)
Sharyn Haddad (1978–83)
Rebecca Linger (1984–94)
Partner Karen Louise Ecklund (1970–77)
Vicki Lewis (1994–2003)
Clytie Lane (2003–present)

Nicholas King "Nick" Nolte (born February 8, 1941) is an American actor whose career has spanned over five decades, peaking in the 1990s when his commercial success made him one of the most popular celebrities of that decade.


Early life

Nolte was born Nicholas King Nolte in Omaha, Nebraska on February 8, 1941, the son of Helen (née King), a department store buyer, and Franklin A. Nolte, a farmer's son who worked in irrigation pump sales and who was an All-American football player at Iowa State University in 1934.[1][2] Nolte's father was of German descent.[3] Nolte's maternal grandfather, Matthew Leander King, invented the hollow-tile silo and was prominent in early aviation. His maternal grandmother ran the student union at Iowa State University. He has an older sister, Nancy, who was an executive for the Red Cross.

Nolte went to Westside High School in Omaha, where he was the kicker on the football team. Nolte originally attended Benson High, but got kicked out for a fight and hiding beer before practice and then getting caught drinking it during a practice session.[citation needed]

He later attended Pasadena City College in southern California, and Arizona State University in Tempe (on a football scholarship); Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher; and Phoenix College in Phoenix. At Eastern Arizona, Nolte lettered in football as a tight end and defensive end, in basketball as a forward, and as a catcher on the baseball team. Poor grades eventually ended his studies, at which point his career in theatre began in earnest. While in college, Nolte worked for the Falstaff Brewery in Omaha.

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 theaters, among them the Old Log Theater in Minnesota, where he worked for three years.



Nolte was a model in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In one 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 Sigourney Weaver.[citation needed] The pair also appeared on the packaging.

Acting career

Nolte first gained national attention and critical acclaim for his performance in Rich Man, Poor Man, a 1976 television miniseries based on Irwin Shaw's 1970 best-selling novel. Since then he's appeared in more than 40 films, playing a wide variety of characters. Diversity of character, and his trademark athleticism and gravelly voice, are signatures of Nolte's career. In 1973 he appeared in Lorne Greene's ABC crime drama Griff in the episode "Who Framed Billy the Kid?", in the role of Billy Randolph, a football player accused of murder. He co-starred alongside Andy Griffith in Winter Kill, a TV movie made as the pilot of a possible television series, and another one, Adams of Eagle Lake, but neither was picked up as a series.[citation needed]

Nolte's first major film role was starring opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw in 1977's The Deep. He followed this with Who'll Stop the Rain in 1978 and North Dallas Forty, based on the Peter Gent novel, in 1979. The 1982 buddy cop/convict film 48 Hrs. strongly bolstered his film career and made his co-star Eddie Murphy a box-office sensation. He continued starring in films throughout the 1980s, including Under Fire (1983) with Gene Hackman, Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) with Richard Dreyfuss and Bette Midler, Extreme Prejudice (1987) and New York Stories (1989) under the direction of Martin Scorsese. Nick Nolte told Screen Comment’s Sam Weisberg about how he prepared for his role in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, a film he which he plays a homeless man: "I was hanging out around this homeless section, it was like Whorehouse Alley, and I was sleeping there for two days before I was supposed to get a bed in a mission shelter. It doesn’t take more than seven hours or so outside to turn into a space cadet. Your mind just gets nuts. And then I couldn’t get into the shelter. I didn’t have seniority." After that experience, Nolte delved further into the part by refusing to bathe for weeks. "[Co-star] Bette Midler was disgusted," Nolte chuckled.[4]

He began the 1990s working with Murphy again in the sequel Another 48 Hours. Nolte had perhaps his greatest box office success in 1991, starring in The Prince of Tides with Barbra Streisand, for which he received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Though he lost to Anthony Hopkins for The Silence of the Lambs, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. That same year he starred in Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear with Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange.

Nolte's solid work continued with Lorenzo's Oil (1992) opposite Susan Sarandon, Mulholland Falls (1996), and After Glow (1997) for which his co-star Julie Christie received her third Academy Award nomination. He received his second Academy Award nomination the same year for his work in Affliction, but lost to Roberto Benigni for Life Is Beautiful. However, Nolte's co-star, James Coburn, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing the father of Nolte's character. That same year, Nolte starred in Terrence Malick's highly anticipated film The Thin Red Line.

Nolte continued to work through the 2000s, taking smaller parts in Clean and Hotel Rwanda; both performances received positive reviews. He also played supporting roles in the 2006 drama Peaceful Warrior and the 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder.

He will star opposite Dustin Hoffman in the HBO TV series Luck.[5]

Personal life

Nolte has been married and divorced three times. His ex-wives are Sheila Page, Sharyn Haddad and Rebecca Linger, with whom he has a son named Brawley Nolte (born June 20, 1986). His son is also an actor, having been prominently featured as Mel Gibson's kidnapped son in the 1996 film Ransom. Nolte was also involved with actresses Debra Winger and Vicki Lewis. On October 3, 2007, his longtime partner, Clytie Lane, gave birth to their daughter, Sophie Lane Nolte.

Nolte currently resides in Malibu, California. On October 6, 2008, a fire, which started from a computer printer, burned a section of his home. Nolte escaped unharmed, but there was reportedly $1.5 million worth of damage.

Legal troubles

In 1965, Nolte was arrested for selling counterfeit documents and was given a 45-year jail sentence and a $75,000 fine, however the sentence was suspended.[6] This felony conviction prevented him from being eligible to join the military—at the time, he felt obliged to serve in the Vietnam War. As a result, Nolte says he felt incomplete as a young man for not going to Vietnam.[7]

On September 11, 2002, Nolte was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Malibu. Three days later he checked himself into Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut for counseling.[8] 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."[9] 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. The mug shot from this incident has become infamous in popular culture as being particularly unattractive.



Year Film Role Notes
1973 Electra Glide in Blue Hippie Kid
1974 Death Sentence J. Healey
1974 The California Kid Buzz Stafford
1975 Return to Macon County Bo Hollinger
1976 Northville Cemetery Massacre Chris
Rich Man, Poor Man Tom Jordache (mini-series) (1976)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
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
48 Hrs. Jack Cates
1983 Under Fire Russell Price
1984 Teachers Alex Jurel
1985 Grace Quigley Seymour Flint
1986 Down and Out in Beverly Hills Jerry Baskin
1987 Extreme Prejudice Jack Benteen
Weeds Lee Umstetter Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
1988 Grace Quigley 2, Gracie Seymour Flint (unfinished)
1989 Three Fugitives Lucas
New York Stories Lionel Dobie
Farewell to the King Learoyd
1990 Everybody Wins Tom O'Toole
Q&A Captain Michael Brennan
Another 48 Hrs. Jack Cates
1991 Cape Fear Sam Bowden
The Prince of Tides Tom Wingo Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
The Player (cameo)
Lorenzo's Oil Augusto Odone
1994 I'll Do Anything Matt Hobbs
Blue Chips Pete Bell
I Love Trouble Peter Brackett
1995 Jefferson in Paris Thomas Jefferson
1996 Mulholland Falls Max Hoover
Mother Night Howard Campbell
1997 Affliction Wade Whitehouse National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Valladolid International Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nightwatch Inspector Thomas Cray
U Turn Jake McKenna
1998 The Thin Red Line Lt. Col. Gordon Tall Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Hayes Hours
1999 Breakfast of Champions Harry Le Sabre
Simpatico Vincent Webb
2000 The Golden Bowl Adam Verver
Trixie Senator Drumond Avery
2002 The Good Thief Bob Montagnet
2003 Hulk David Banner/Father
Northfork Father Harlan
2004 Clean Albrecht Hauser Nominated – Chlotrudis Award for Best Supporting Actor
Hotel Rwanda Colonel Oliver Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Beautiful Country Steve
2005 Neverwas T.L. Pierson
2006 Over the Hedge (voice) Vincent
Off the Black Ray Cook
Paris, je t'aime Vincent (segment "Parc Monceau")
Quelques jours en septembre Elliott
Peaceful Warrior Socrates
2007 Intimate Affairs Faldo Bee Movie
2008 The Mysteries of Pittsburgh Joe Bechstein
The Spiderwick Chronicles Mulgarath
Tropic Thunder John "Four Leaf" Tayback
2009 Arcadia Lost Benerji
2010 My Own Love Song Caldwell
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore Butch Voice only
Replacing Alec Baldwin
2011 Arthur Burt Johnson
Zookeeper Bernie the Gorilla voice only
Warrior Paddy Conlon


  1. ^ Nick Nolte Biography (1941?–). Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  2. ^ Nolte comes clean | Film. (June 30, 2005). Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  3. ^ To the brink and back | Film | The Guardian. Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  4. ^ Weisberg, Sam (Jan. 19. 2010) ,"Wrestling with the Gods: A Conversation with Nick Nolte," Screen Comment.
  5. ^ Nick Nolte « Southern Gaming. Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  6. ^ Nick Nolte, Q&A with Nick Nolte. (March 10, 2008). Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  7. ^ Weekend Weirdness: An Intimate Doc on Nick Nolte; Who Killed Teddy Bear? in NYC; The House of the Devil on VHS | /Film. (January 24, 2010). Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  8. ^ Nick Nolte Charged With DUI. CBS News (October 24, 2002). Retrieved on December 21, 2010.
  9. ^ Nick Nolte: No Exit at the Internet Movie Database

External links

Preceded by
Patrick Swayze
People's Sexiest Man Alive
Succeeded by
Brad Pitt

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nick Nolte — (2003) Nicholas King Nolte (* 8. Februar 1941 in Omaha, Nebraska) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nick Nolte — y embajador estadounidense Miles en Tbilisi, Georgia, el 3 de julio de 2003 Nombre real Nicholas King Nolte Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nick Nolte — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Nolte (homonymie). Nick Nolte …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nick Nolte — (born 1941) American film actor who acted in 48 Hours and The Thin Red Line …   English contemporary dictionary

  • NICK — bezeichnet: Nickname, einen Benutzernamen bzw. Spitznamen im Internet Nick (Fernsehsender), einen Kinderfernsehsender als Ortsname: Gemeinde Nick im ungarischen Komitat Vas, siehe Nick (Ungarn) als literarische Figur: Nick (Comic), eine deutsche… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nolte — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Brawley Nolte (* 1986), US amerikanischer Schauspieler Claudia Nolte (* 1966), deutsche Politikerin (CDU) Claudia Nolte, Schauspielerin Dieter Nolte (1941–2010), deutscher Politiker (SPD) Dorothee Nolte (* …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nolte — is a surname that may refer to: Claudia Nolte (b. 1966), German politician and federal minister Dorothy Nolte (1924 2005), American writer and family counselor, author of Children Learn What They Live Eric Nolte (b. 1964), American professional… …   Wikipedia

  • Nick (Name) — Nick ist ein Vorname und Familienname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Bekannte Namensträger 2.1 Vorname 2.2 Familienname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nolte (homonymie) —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Patronyme Nolte est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Ernst Nolte (1923 ), historien et philosophe allemand ; Charles Nolte… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nolte — n. family name; Nick Nolte (born 1941), American film actor (known for his roles in 48 Hours and The Thin Red Line ) …   English contemporary dictionary

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