TOMMY LEE JONES
September 15, 1946
San Saba, Texas
Growing up, Tommy Lee was raised by parents, Clyde C. and Lucille Marie. Winning a scholarship, he attended St. Mark's School of Texas, a prestigious prep school for boys in Dallas. For a while he worked with his father in the oil fields and did some underwater construction before entering Harvard University on yet another scholarship. During his studies he became a star offensive guard from 1966 to '68, and was roommates with future Vice-President, Al Gore. [The two remain friends]. In 1969 he graduated cum laude with a degree in English literature.
Although he never took an acting class, his heart was set on living the life of a thespian. So upon graduation, Tommy Lee packed his bags and moved to New York, where he quickly made his Broadway debut in 1969 in John Osborne's A Patriot for Me. Other Broadway appearances include Four in the Garden with Carol Channing and Sid Caesar, Ulysses in Nighttown opposite Zero Mostel, and the New York Shakespeare Festival staging of Sam Shepard's True West. Some fans will remember him from his infamous role on the Soap Opera, One Life To Live, where he played a doctor who unexpectantly goes ballistic and kills his parents. [The real reason for the doctor's sudden psychotic behavoir was that Tommy Lee gave notice he was leaving the show and the writers had to scramble to wrap up the storyline] "That's the character people remember," he said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly back in 1993, "the one I played for three weeks. I'd hear, 'Oh, you played the horrible doctor. Boy, you'd make a great ax murderer." Such shows as Barnaby Jones and Charlies Angels followed.
In 1975 he landed his first starring role in Roger Corman's action quickie Jackson County Jail playing a criminal with a heart of gold. His breakthrough came in 1978 as a killer cop in the thriller Eyes of Laura Mars. Two years later, he solidified his rep as the "rugged leading man" with his performance opposite Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter. Following his 1983 Emmy for Best Actor for his performance as Gary Gilmore in The Executioner's Song, Tommy Lee's reached extended when he played Woodrow Call in the hugely successful Lonesome Dove miniseries.
Movies such as The Fugitive opposite Harrison Ford, Men In Black with Will Smith, and Double Jeopardy alongside Ashley Judd, has not only made "Tommy Lee Jones" a household name, but has skyrocketed this hardworking thespian's paycheck into the tens of millions.
On his spare time, Tommy Lee is a part time cattle rancher on a 4,000-acre ranch near San Antonio, TX. An avid polo fan, Tommy Lee not only raises ponies for the sport, but plays the game quite handsomely and proved this fact when his team won the 1993 U.S. Polo Association's Western Challenge Cup.
Photo © Unknown
Bio by K. Kamarauskas ©2002 - [please let us know of any errors]
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