JON VOIGHT


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Jon Voight was born in New York in 1938. After some stage acting and some incredibly minor film roles, he was cast as one of the two leads in John Schlesinger's X-rated Midnight Cowboy in 1969. Although Dustin Hoffman was a major star (coming off The Graduate the year before) and had the far flashier role as Ratso Rizzo, Voight pretty remarkably held has own in the role of Joe Buck, would-be male hustler in New York City, and he deservedly was nominated for Best Actor (although that sadly likely cost Hoffman a much deserved Oscar, losing to sentimental choice John Wayne). Midnight Cowboy did deservedly win Best Picture, and will surely be the only x-rated movie to do so. After a couple of more movies, Voight starred in John Boorman's Deliverance, and he once again was superb, as was the movie. In 1978 Voight played a paraplegic Vietnam veteran in Coming Home, and won the Best Actor Oscar. In 1985, he had perhaps his greatest role ever, in Andrei Konchalovsky's Runaway Train (nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this film). His career slowed greatly in the early 1990s, but he suddenly returned to do much acting in 1997, with a notable appearance in Anaconda, as a cartoon-like villain. He also appeared as Howard Cosell in Ali (although he wore so much make-up that he was almost unrecognizable!) but he gave a great performance. He was also notable as Mr. Sir in Holes. Voight's personal politics have been pretty bizarre! He was a major anti-War activist, a member of the counter-culture, and an extreme liberal in the 1960s and 1970s, and he is now an ultra-conservative, saying that his earlier views were the result of "Marxist propaganda". He is also of course the father of wacko actress Angelie Jolie, and it seems clear that "the acorn did not fall far from the oak"! Voight has given some of the finest performances the movies have ever seen, and even his lesser movies are quite "watch-able", if only for his performances. As of 2020, he is still alive at the age of 81!
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