Billy Bob Thornton is an Academy Award-winning American screenwriter, actor, director, playwright and singer who rose to fame in the mid 1990s after writing and starring in the film Sling Blade.
He also starred in movies such as Armageddon, A Simple Plan, Monster's Ball, Pushing Tin, The Alamo and Bad Santa, to name a few.
Thornton was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas to Billy Ray Thornton (educator, high school history teacher, basketball coach) and Virginia R. Faulkner, a psychic.
He began his artistic career as a musician, playing drums and singing in a band called Tres Hombres, which once opened for Hank Williams Jr.. In 1981, he moved to Los Angeles with childhood friend Tom Epperson to pursue an acting and writing career.
On the side, Billy Bob also sought work as a singer and drummer. He and Epperson tried for years to sell their scripts but no one was buying. During those rough times, Billy Bob neglected his health and subsequently landed in the hospital with heart problems due to malnutrition.
In 1992, Billy Bob starred in One False Move (1992), a movie he co-wrote with Epperson. The team finally received attention because of this work, which was very well received in Hollywood. His popularity increased steadily, especially after Sling Blade (1996) which he wrote, directed and in which he starred.
Thornton is the cousin of ECW wrestler Terry Funk.
He was married to Angelina Jolie for three years, from 2000 - 2003. The couple famously wore vials of each other's blood around their necks as a sign of their devotion to one another.
In 2014 he had a starring role in the original television adaptation of the 1996 feature film Fargo, in which he play Lorne Malvo, a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (played by Martin Freeman).