Jon Voight

Jon Voight

Infobox Actor

imagesize = 215px
caption = Jon Voight in 2006
birthdate = birth date and age|1938|12|29
birthplace = Yonkers, New York
birthname = Jonathan Vincent Voight
yearsactive = 1963 - present
spouse = Lauri Peters (1962-1967)
Marcheline Bertrand (1971-1978)
academyawards = Best Actor
1978 "Coming Home"
baftaawards = Best Newcomer
1969 "Midnight Cowboy"
goldenglobeawards = Most Promising Newcomer - Male
1969 "Midnight Cowboy"
Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1978 "Coming Home"
1985 "Runaway Train"
awards = Best Actor Award (Cannes Film Festival)
1978 "Coming Home"
NBR Award for Best Actor
1978 "Coming Home"
NYFCC Award for Best Actor
1969 "Midnight Cowboy"
1978 "Coming Home"

Jonathan Vincent Voight (born December 29, 1938) is an Academy Award-winning American film actor. He has had a long and distinguished career as both a leading man and, in recent years, character actor, with an extensive and compelling range. He came to prominence at the end of the sixties, with a performance as a would-be hustler in 1969's Best Picture winner, "Midnight Cowboy", for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination. Throughout the following decades, Voight built his reputation with an array of challenging roles and has appeared in such landmark films as 1972's "Deliverance", and 1978's "Coming Home", for which he received an Academy Award for Best Actor. Voight's impersonation of the late sportscaster/journalist Howard Cosell, in 2001's biopic "Ali", earned Voight critical raves and his fourth Oscar nomination. He is also the estranged [ [ Jon Voight on making Deliverance review | Film Reviews - Times Online ] ] father of actress Angelina Jolie, and brother of singer-songwriter Chip Taylor.


Early life

Voight was born in Yonkers, New York, the son of Barbara (née Kamp; New York, January 7, 1910 – Palm Beach County, Florida, December 3, 1995) and Elmer Voight (October 29, 1909 – June, 1973), a professional golfer. His maternal grandparents were German; his paternal grandfather was an immigrant from the North of Austria-Hungary (Now Slovakia) [ [] ] . Voight was raised in the Archbishop Stepinac High School in nearby White Plains, New York, where he first took an interest in acting and played the role of Puck in a production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". After graduating from high school in 1956, he went to college at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he majored in art and graduated with a B.A. in 1960. At CUA, he demonstrated his artistic skill by designing the cardinal that adorned the center of the floor of the basketball court. This section of floor now resides on display in the school's Pryzbyla University Center.

Early career

After graduation, Voight moved to New York City, where he pursued an acting career. In 1962 he married actress Lauri Peters, whose credits include 1962's "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" and 1963's "Summer Holiday". In the early sixties, Voight found work in television, appearing in several episodes of "Gunsmoke", between 1962 and 1966, as well as guest spots on "Naked City", and "The Defenders", both in 1963, and "Twelve O'Clock High", in 1966.

Voight's film debut did not come until 1967, when he took a part in Phillip Kaufman's crimefighter spoof, "Fearless Frank". Voight also took a small role in 1967's western, "Hour of the Gun", directed by veteran helmer John Sturges. That year he and Lauri Peters were divorced, after five years of marriage. In 1968 Voight took the lead role in counterculture director Paul Williams' "Out of It". Shot in a vérité style reminiscent of John Cassavettes, "Out of It" tapped into the zeitgeist and was geared toward the burgeoning youth culture.

While Voight pursued acting, his brother Wes found success as a songwriter under the nom de plume Chip Taylor. Taylor penned The Troggs' 1966 hit, "Wild Thing", as well as "Angel of the Morning". Another of Jon's brothers, Barry Voight, studied geology at Columbia University and is a world-renowned volcanologist at Pennsylvania State University. [ Barry Voight bio from Penn State] ]

Becoming a star in the 1970s

In 1969, Voight was cast in the groundbreaking "Midnight Cowboy", a film that would make his career, establishing him as one of the premier actors of his generation. Voight played Joe Buck, a naïve male hustler from Texas, adrift in New York City. He comes under the tutelage of Dustin Hoffman's Ratso Rizzo, a tubercular petty thief and con artist. The film explored the demimonde of late sixties New York and the development of an unlikely, but poignant friendship between the two main characters. Directed by John Schlesinger and based on a novel by James Herlihy, the film struck a chord with critics. Because of its controversial themes, the film was released with an X rating and would make history by being the first and only X-rated feature to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Both Voight and co-star Hoffman were nominated for Best Actor but lost out to John Wayne, star of that year's "True Grit".

Now a "name" actor, in 1970 Voight went on to join the all-star cast of Mike Nichols' ill-fated adaptation of "Catch-22". Adapted by Buck Henry from Joseph Heller's comic anti-war novel, and featuring the acting talents of Voight, Alan Arkin as the main character of John Yossarian, Anthony Perkins, Art Garfunkel, Bob Newhart, Richard Benjamin, and Orson Welles, the film failed to connect with either the critics or audiencesFact|date=June 2008, despite the film's parallels with the then-raging war in Vietnam. The same year, Voight re-teamed with director Paul Williams to star in "The Revolutionary", as a left wing college student struggling with his conscience.

Voight next appeared in 1972's "Deliverance," directed by John Boorman, from a script that poet James Dickey had helped to adapt from his novel of the same name. The story of a canoe trip gone awry in a feral, backwoods America, the film resonated on several levels, tapping into urban anxieties about the untamed country and modern man's fear of his own darker instinctsFact|date=June 2008. The film and the performances of Voight and co-star Burt Reynolds received great critical acclaim and were popular with audiences. The film even spawned a radio hit, when "Dueling Banjos" became a Top-40 staple.

On 12 December 1971 Voight married model and actress Marcheline Bertrand. Their son James Haven was born in 1973, followed by daughter Angelina Jolie in 1975. Both children would go on to enter the film business, James as an actor and assistant director, and Angelina as a major Oscar-winning movie star in her own right. Angelina has credited her mother with inspiring her interest in acting.

Voight played a directionless young boxer in 1973's "The All American Boy", then appeared in the 1974 film, "Conrack", directed by Martin Ritt. Based on Pat Conroy's autobiographical novel "The Water Is Wide", Voight acted out the title character, an idealistic young schoolteacher sent to teach underprivileged black children on a remote South Carolina island. The same year he appeared in "The Odessa File", based on Frederick Forsyth's thriller, acting out a young German journalist who discovers a conspiracy to protect former Nazis, still operating within Germany. This film first teamed him with the actor-director Maximilian Schell, for whom Voight would appear in 1976's "End of the Game", a psychological thriller based on a story by the famed Swiss novelist and playwright, Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

In 1978, Voight assumed a role that would earn him a second major triumph, that of the paraplegic Vietnam vet Luke Martin in the Hal Ashby-directed film "Coming Home." The film marked the beginning of the post-Vietnam War era and reflected a coming-to-terms with the emotional costs of both the war and the anti-war movement. The presence of Jane Fonda in the female lead assured some controversy, given her outspoken views during the war, but her portrayal of a military wife who volunteers her services to help disabled vets was well-receivedFact|date=June 2008. Voight, who was awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, played an embittered paraplegic, reportedly based on real-lifeFact|date=June 2008 Vietnam veteran-turned-anti-war activist Ron KovicFact|date=June 2008, with whom Fonda falls in love. The film included a much-talked-aboutFact|date=June 2008 love scene between the two. The film was major winner at the Oscars that year with Jane Fonda winning her second Best Actress statuette and presenter Diana Ross calling Voight to the podium, where she presented him with his first Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading RoleFact|date=June 2008.

Voight's marriage to Marcheline Bertrand failed in 1978. The following year, Voight once again put on boxing gloves, starring in 1979's remake of the 1931 Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper vehicle, "The Champ," with Voight playing the part of an alcoholic ex-heavyweight and a young Rick Schroder playing the role of his adoring son. Unfortunately, what had worked in 1931 proved not to work in 1979Fact|date=June 2008, and the film's sentimentalFact|date=June 2008 treatment of the material failed to find an audienceFact|date=June 2008.

Career in the 1980s

He next re-teamed with director Ashby in 1982's "Lookin' to Get Out", in which he played Alex Kovac, a con man who has run into debt with New York mobsters and hopes to win enough in Las Vegas to pay them off. Voight both co-wrote the script and also co-produced, but it did not prove to be one of his finer efforts. He also produced and acted in 1983's "Table for Five", in which he played a widower bringing up his children by himself.

It appeared that Voight's career had lost some momentum, with a shortage of good roles available. In 1985, however, he hooked up with Russian writer and director Andrei Konchalovsky to play the role of escaped con Manny Manheim in the existential action film "Runaway Train". The script was based on a story by Akira Kurosawa, and paired Voight with Eric Roberts as a fellow escapee. For his ferocious, somewhat over-the-top performance, Voight received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and won the Golden Globe's award for Best Actor. Roberts was also honored for his performance, receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. While it was critically acclaimed, the film failed to attract a large audience.

Voight followed up this and other performances with a role in the 1986 film, "Desert Bloom", and reportedly experienced a "spiritual awakening" toward the end of the decade.fact|date=September 2008 In 1989 Voight starred in and helped write "Eternity," which dealt with a television reporter's efforts to uncover corruption.

Work in the 1990s

He made his first foray into television movies, acting in 1991's "Chernobyl: The Final Warning", followed by "The Last of his Tribe", in 1992. He returned to the big screen in 1992's "The Rainbow Warrior", the story of the ill-fated Greenpeace ship sunk by French operatives in the Auckland harbour. For the remainder of the decade, Voight would alternate between feature films and television movies, including a starring role in the 1993 miniseries "Return to Lonesome Dove", a continuation of Larry McMurtry's western saga, 1989's "Lonesome Dove". Voight played Captain Woodrow F. Call, the part played by Tommy Lee Jones in the original miniseries. Voight made a cameo appearance as himself on the "Seinfeld" episode "The Mom & Pop Store" airing November 17, 1994, memorably biting Cosmo Kramer's arm. The entire episode is written around the actor Voight and the film "Midnight Cowboy."During this time, he was mentioned in a Seinfield episode in which George Costanza buys a car that appears to be owned by John Voight.In 1995 Voight played a role in the acclaimed crime film, "Heat", directed by Michael Mann and starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and appeared in the television films Convict Cowboy, and The Tin Soldier, also directing the latter film.

Voight next appeared in 1996's blockbuster "", based on the popular television series from the 1960s, directed by Brian DePalma and starring Tom Cruise. Voight played the role of spymaster James Phelps, a role originated by Peter Graves in the television series. Fans and stars of TV series were outraged at the depiction of Phelps being a traitor.

The year 1997 was a busy time for Voight in which he appeared in six films, beginning with Rosewood, directed by "Boyz N the Hood" director John Singleton. Voight joined a cast that included Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, and Michael Rooker in the true tale of the 1923 destruction of the primarily black town of Rosewood, Florida, by the white residents of nearby Sumner. Voight played John Wright, a white Rosewood storeowner who follows his conscience and protects his black customers from the white rage. Voight next appeared in the exotic action film "Anaconda", alongside Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, and Eric Stoltz. Set in the Amazon, Voight played Paul Sarone, a snake hunter obsessed with a fabled giant anaconda, who hijacks an unwitting National Geographic film crew looking for a remote Indian tribe. Voight next appeared in Oliver Stone's "U Turn". He made a cameo appearance as a blind man in this eccentric neo-noir starring Sean Penn and Lopez. Voight took a supporting role in "The Rainmaker", adopted from the John Grisham novel and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. He played an unscrupulous lawyer representing an insurance company, facing off with a neophyte lawyer played by Matt Damon. His last film of 1997 was "Boys Will Be Boys", a family comedy directed by Dom DeLuise.

The following year, Voight had the lead role in the television movie "The Fixer," in which he played Jack Killoran, a lawyer who crosses ethical lines in order to "fix" things for his wealthy clients. A near-fatal accident awakens his dormant conscience and Killoran soon runs afoul of his former clients. He also took a substantial role in Tony Scott's 1997 political thriller, "Enemy of the State," in which Voight played the heavy opposite Will Smith's heroic lawyer.

Voight was reunited with director Boorman in 1998's "The General". Set in Dublin, Ireland, the film tells the true-life story of the charismatic leader of a gang of thieves, Martin Cahill, at odds with both the police and the IRA. Voight gives a convincing performance as Inspector Ned Kenny, determined to bring Cahill to justice. Boorman shot the film on location, in black and white, and largely financed it himself. The freedom to work without interference from the studios allowed him to make what felt like a personal film and both Brendan Gleeson in the lead, and Voight in the main supporting role, gave memorable performances.

Voight next appeared in 1999's "Varsity Blues", starring Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek. Voight played a blunt, autocratic football coach, pitted in a test of wills against his star player, portrayed by Van Der Beek. Produced by fledgling MTV Pictures, the film became a surprise hit and helped connect Voight with a younger audience.

Voight played Noah in the 1999 television production "Noah's Ark", and appeared in Second String, also for TV. He also appeared in the feature "A Dog of Flanders", a remake of a popular film set in Belgium. The following year Voight would watch from the audience as his daughter received the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 1999's "Girl, Interrupted".

Recent career

Voight next nailed down the role of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 2001's blockbuster, "Pearl Harbor", reportedly beating out Gene Hackman for the role (his performance was received favorably by critics). Also that year, he appeared as Lord Croft, father of the title character of "". Based on the popular video game, the digital adventuress was played on the big screen by Voight's own real-life daughter, Angelina Jolie.

That year, he also appeared in "Zoolander", directed by Ben Stiller who starred as the title character, a vapid supermodel with humble roots. Voight appeared as Zoolander's coal-miner father. The film extracted both pathos and cruel humor from the scenes of Zoolander's return home, when he entered the mines alongside his father and brothers and Voight's character expressed his unspoken disgust at his son's chosen profession.

Also in 2001, Voight joined Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, and David Schwimmer in the made-for-television movie "Uprising", which was based on the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto. Voight played Major-General Juergen Stroop, the officer responsible for the destruction of the Jewish resistance.

Director Michael Mann tagged Voight for a small, but crucial role in the 2001 biopic "Ali", which starred Will Smith as the controversial former heavyweight champ, Muhammad Ali. Voight was almost unrecognizable under his make-up and toupee, as he impersonated the sports broadcaster Howard Cosell. As Ella Taylor, in LA Weekly, wrote, "Ali boasts a whole tribe of outstanding secondary performances, of which Jon Voight's Cosell, in an outrageous rug and several tons of pasty-face makeup, is easily the funniest." Voight received his fourth Academy Award nomination, this time for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for his performance, extending his reign as a talented actor.

In the critically-acclaimed CBS miniseries Pope John Paul II, released in December 2005, Voight portrayed the pontiff from the time of his election until his death, garnering an Emmy nomination for the part.

In 2003 he played the role of Mr. Sir in the movie "Holes"

In 2004, Voight joined Nicolas Cage, in "National Treasure". He played Patrick Gates, the father of Cage's character.

In 2006, he played the role of Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp in the Disney hit movie " Glory Road".

In 2007, he played United States Secretary of Defense John Keller in the summer blockbuster film " Transformers", reuniting him with "Holes" star Shia LaBeouf.

Also in 2007, Voight reprised his role as Patrick Gates, the father of Ben Gates, in the sequel to National Treasure, .

In 2008, Voight will play Jonas Hodges, the villain, in the hit FOX drama "24" in the upcoming seventh season, marking his first appearance in a television series since "Gunsmoke". Voight will make his first appearance in the two-hour prequel episode, "", scheduled to air on November 23.


In the 1970s during the Nixon administration, Voight actively protested against the Vietnam War. However, he wrote that he regrets his youthful anti-war activism in a July 28, 2008 op-ed piece in the "Washington Times", calling it the result of "Marxist propaganda."

Voight appeared on "Fox & Friends" to endorse former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the 2008 Republican Party nomination. He attended a Giuliani campaign event and said New York City was transformed into a much safer, cleaner and more livable city. He said "God sent an angel, his name was Rudy Giuliani." [ Yahoo News. Retrieved on 2008-01-28. ] In another interview in Miami with, Voight said he first met Giuliani "years ago" at a movie premiere in New York City and the main reason for his support was Giuliani's public poise in the wake of the September 11 attacks. [ Jon Voight interview with] In the interview, Voight revealed he and then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton "are friends."

In March 2008 Voight appeared at a rally aboard the USS Midway in San Diego, California for the kick-off of the Vets for Freedom's National Heroes Tour.

In an April 11, 2008 interview, on the Glenn Beck show, Voight stated that he is now supporting Republican Senator John McCain for President. [ The Glenn Beck Show. Retrieved on 2008-04-21.]

In May 2008 Voight paid a solidarity visit to Israel in honor of its 60th birthday. "I’m coming to salute, encourage and strengthen the people of Israel on this joyous 60th birthday," said Voight. “This week is about highlighting Israel as a moral beacon. At a time when its enemies threaten nuclear destruction, Israel heals." [ [,7340,L-3540214,00.html Jon Voight to pay Sderot a solidarity visit - Israel Culture, Ynetnews ] ] Voight visited Israeli victims of Palestinian rocket attacks in Sderot. Voight said his experiences led him to believe that Israel should not negotiate with Palestinian militants for a truce. "They are barbarians," Voight said, referring to the Gaza militants. "They are relentless, looking to destroy (Israel). If somebody breaks your leg, don't give another. Don't play this game." [ [ The Canadian Press: Award-winning U.S. actor Jon Voight visits battered Israeli town ] ]

On July 28, 2008, he wrote an editorial in "The Washington Times" critical of Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. [ The Washington Times "My Concerns for America" Retrieved 2008-07-30]

In September 2008, Voight appeared in a video available on YouTube from the Republican National Convention admonishing viewers to support the American troops. Voight also provided the narration for a video biography of Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, that appeared on John McCain's campaign website. He was a guest at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Voight also starred with fellow Republican actors Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, and James Woods in the conservative-leaning comedy film "An American Carol", which opened on October 3, 2008.



Further reading

*cite news | last =Potton | first =Ed | coauthors = | title =Jon Voight on making Deliverance | work = | pages = | language = | publisher =The Times | date =2007-09-22 | url = | accessdate =2007-09-23

External links

* [ Q&A: John Voight on September Dawn]
* [ Jon Voight Interview with John Turturro]
* [ Jon Voight Interview with]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jon Voight — Données clés Nom de naissance Jonathan Vincent Voight Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jon Voight — en 2006. Nombre real Jonathan Vincent Voight. Nacimiento 29 de diciembre de 1938 (72 años) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jon Voight — (2011) Jonathan Vincent „Jon“ Voight (* 29. Dezember 1938 in Yonkers, New York) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jon Voight — Jonathan Voight Actor Norteamericano nacido en Yonkers, Nueva York el 29 de diciembre de 1938. Nominado a los Oscar de Hollywood en dos ocasiones por la películas Cowboy de Medianoche (1969) y El tren del infierno (1985). Ganó el Oscar de la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jon Voight — n. (born 1938) United States Academy Award winner actor, father of Angelina Jolie …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Voight — is a surname, and may refer to:* Heidi Alice Voight (born 1982), Miss Connecticut 2006 * Jack Voight (born 1945), former State Treasurer of Wisconsin * Jon Voight (born 1938), American film actoree also* Voight pipe * Voight Kampff …   Wikipedia

  • Voight — ist eine Form von Vogt und der Name von James Haven Voight (* 1973), amerikanischer Schauspieler Jon Voight (* 1938), US amerikanischer Schauspieler Angelina Jolie (* 1975), bis 2002 Angelina Jolie Voight, US amerikanische Schauspielerin Siehe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jon — ist ein männlicher Vorname. Der Name ist eine Kurzform des hebräischen Vornamens Jonathan („Geschenk Gottes“) und vor allem in Skandinavien und in den USA verbreitet.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bekannte Namensträger 1.1 Vorname 1.2 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Voight — n. family name; Jon Voight (born 1938) United States film actor, father of Angelina Jolie; Angelina Jolie Voight (born 1975), U.S. award winning film actress, daughter of Jon Voight …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Voight —   [vɔɪt], Jon, amerikan. Schauspieler, * Yonkers (N. Y.) 29. 12. 1938; spielt bevorzugt am Theater; beim Film häufige Zusammenarbeit mit Regisseuren des »New Hollywood«, künstler. Durchbruch im Spielfilm 1969 mit »Asphalt Cowboy«. Weitere Filme:… …   Universal-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.