- Nicholas King "Nick" Nolte
February 08, 1941 (age 79)
- Actor, Comedian, Voice Actor, Model
- Clytie Lane
- Helen Nolte, Franklin A. Nolte
Nicholas King "Nick" Nolte (born February 8, 1941) is an American actor.
Nolte has appeared in films such as The Deep (1977), 48 Hrs. (1982), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Everybody Wins (1990), The Prince of Tides (1991), Cape Fear (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), Affliction (1997), The Thin Red Line (1998), Hulk (2003), The Good Thief (2003), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Tropic Thunder (2008), and Warrior (2011). He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, twice for Best Actor and once for Best Supporting Actor.
Nolte was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His mother, Helen (née King), was a department store buyer. His father, Franklin Arthur "Frank" Nolte, was a farmer's son who ran away from home as a boy, nearly dropped out of high school, and was a three-time letter winner in football at Iowa State University from 1929 to 1931. His ancestry includes German, English, Scots-Irish, Scottish, and Swiss-German. 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.
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 and they appeared on the packaging.
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 television film made as the pilot of a possible television series, and another one, Adams of Eagle Lake, but neither was picked up as a series.
Nolte's first major film role was The Deep in 1977 with Jacqueline Bisset and Robert Shaw. 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. He began the 1990s working with Murphy again in the sequel Another 48 Hrs.. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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." 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.
Nolte has been in relationships with Debra Winger and Vicki Lewis.