Tommy Lee Jones

For the American musician, see Tommy Lee.
For the professional wrestler, see Tommy Lane.
Tommy Lee Jones

Born (1946-09-15) September 15, 1946
San Saba, Texas, U.S.
Residence Terrell Hills, Texas
Alma mater Harvard University (BA)
Occupation Actor, director, producer, screenwriter
Years active 1970–present
  • Katherine "Kate" Lardner (m. 1971–78)
  • Kimberlea Cloughley (m. 1981–96)
  • Dawn Laurel (m. 2001)
Children 2
Awards Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (1993)
Golden Globe Award (1993)
Emmy Award (1983)

Tommy Lee Jones (born September 15, 1946) is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received four Academy Award nominations, winning Best Supporting Actor for his performance as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive.

His other notable starring roles include former Texas Ranger Woodrow F. Call in the TV mini-series Lonesome Dove, Agent K in the Men in Black film series, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in No Country for Old Men, the villain Two-Face in Batman Forever, terrorist William Strannix in Under Siege, a Texas Ranger in Man of the House, rancher Pete Perkins in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which he directed, Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger and Warden Dwight McClusky in Natural Born Killers. Jones has also portrayed real-life figures such as businessman Howard Hughes, Radical Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, executed murderer Gary Gilmore, U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur, Oliver Lynn, husband of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, and baseball great Ty Cobb.

Early in Jones' career he first gained recognition for his contract role as Dr. Mark Toland on the soap opera One Life to Live for 6 years.

Early life

Jones as a junior in high school, 1964

Jones was born on September 15, 1946, in San Saba, Texas.[1][2] His mother, Lucille Marie (née Scott), was a police officer, school teacher, and beauty shop owner, and his father, Clyde C. Jones, was an oil field worker.[1] The two were married and divorced twice. He was raised in Midland, Texas[3] and attended Robert E. Lee High School.

Jones soon moved to Dallas and graduated from the St. Mark's School of Texas,[4] which he attended on scholarship; he now serves on the board of directors. He attended Harvard College on a need-based scholarship. He stayed in Mower B-12 as a freshman,[5] across the hall from future Vice President Al Gore, the son of Senator Albert Gore, Sr. of Tennessee. As an upperclassman, he stayed in Dunster House[6] with roommates Gore and Bob Somerby, who later became editor of the media criticism site the Daily Howler. Jones played offensive guard[7] on Harvard's undefeated 1968 varsity football team, was nominated as a first-team All-Ivy League selection, and played in the 1968 Game, which featured a memorable and literally last-minute Harvard 16-point comeback to tie Yale. He recounts his memory of "the most famous football game in Ivy League history" in the documentary Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. Jones graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1969; his senior thesis was on "the mechanics of Catholicism" in the works of Flannery O'Connor.[8][9]


Early acting and film (1960s-1980)

Jones in August 2006

Jones moved to New York to become an actor, making his Broadway debut in 1969's A Patriot for Me in a number of supporting roles. In 1970 he landed his first film role, coincidentally playing a Harvard student in Love Story (Erich Segal, the author of Love Story, said that he based the lead character of Oliver on the two undergraduate roommates he knew while attending Harvard, Jones and Gore).[10]

In early 1971, he returned to Broadway in Abe Burrows' Four on a Garden where he shared the stage with Carol Channing and Sid Caesar. Between 1971 and 1975 he portrayed Dr. Mark Toland on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live. He returned to the stage for a 1974 production of Ulysses in Nighttown with Zero Mostel. It was followed by the acclaimed TV movie The Amazing Howard Hughes, where he played the lead role.

In films, he played an escaped convict hunted in Jackson County Jail (1976), a Vietnam veteran in Rolling Thunder, (1977) an automobile mogul, co-starring with Laurence Olivier in the Harold Robbins drama The Betsy, and Police Detective 'John Neville' opposite Faye Dunaway in the 1978 thriller, "The Eyes of Laura Mars"

In 1980, Jones earned his first Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of country singer Loretta Lynn's husband, Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn, in the popular Coal Miner's Daughter. In 1981 he played a drifter opposite Sally Field in Back Roads, a comedy that received middling reviews.[11]

Increased exposure (1983-2004)

In 1983, he received an Emmy[12] for Best Actor for his performance as murderer Gary Gilmore in a TV adaptation of Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song. That same year he starred in a pirate adventure, Nate and Hayes, playing the heavily-bearded pirate Captain Bully Hayes.

In 1989, he earned another Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Texas Ranger lawman Woodrow F. Call in the acclaimed television mini-series Lonesome Dove, based on the best-seller by Larry McMurtry.

In the 1990s, blockbuster hits such as The Fugitive co-starring Harrison Ford, Batman Forever co-starring Val Kilmer, and Men in Black with Will Smith made Jones one of the best-paid and most in-demand actors in Hollywood. His performance as Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in The Fugitive received broad acclaim and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a sequel. When he accepted his Oscar, his head was shaved for his role in the film Cobb, which he made light of in his speech: "The only thing a man can say at a time like this is 'I am not really bald'. Actually I'm lucky to be working".

Among his other well-known performances during the 1990s were those of the accused conspirator Clay Shaw/Clay Bertrand in the 1991 film JFK (which earned him another Oscar nomination), as a terrorist who hijacks a U.S. Navy battleship in Under Siege and as a maximum-security prison warden who's in way over his head in Natural Born Killers.

Jones co-starred with director Clint Eastwood as astronauts in the 2000 film Space Cowboys, in which both played retired pilots and friends/rivals leading a space rescue mission together.

Recent years (2005-present)

In 2005, the first theatrical feature film Jones directed, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, was presented at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. Jones's character speaks both English and Spanish in the film. His performance won him the Best Actor Award. His first film as a director had been The Good Old Boys in 1995, a made-for-television movie.

Two strong performances in 2007 marked a resurgence in Jones's career, one as a beleaguered father investigating the disappearance of his soldier son in In the Valley of Elah, the other as a Texas sheriff hunting an assassin in the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men. For the former, he was nominated for an Academy Award.

Jones has been a spokesperson for Japanese brewing company Suntory since 2006. He can be seen in various Japanese TV commercials of Suntory's Coffee brand Boss as a character called "Alien Jones," an extraterrestrial who takes the form of a human being to check on the world of humans. There are 34 such commercials, many of which can be seen on YouTube.[13] In 2011, Jones appeared in public service announcements on Japanese television, joining a number of other popular figures who sang two sentimental songs in remembrance of those lost in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

In 2010, Jones appeared alongside Ben Affleck in the recession drama The Company Men. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, where early reviews praised Jones's performance as "pitch-perfect."[14] Jones had a role in the Marvel Studios film, Captain America: The First Avenger.[15] He also directed, produced and co-starred with Samuel L. Jackson in an adaptation of The Sunset Limited.

In 2012 there was another turning point in Jones's career, starting in a reprisal of his role as Agent K in Men in Black 3, the romantic dramedy Hope Springs, and co-starring as Thaddeus Stevens in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Jones's performance in Lincoln received wide critical acclaim. For this performance, Jones received his fourth Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor.

Personal life

Jones was married to Kate Lardner, the daughter of screenwriter and journalist Ring Lardner Jr., from 1971 to 1978. He has two children from his second marriage to Kimberlea Cloughley, the daughter of Phil Hardberger, former mayor of San Antonio: Austin Leonard (born 1982) and Victoria Kafka (born 1991). On March 19, 2001, he married his third wife, Dawn Laurel.

Jones resides in Terrell Hills, Texas, a suburb of San Antonio, and speaks fluent Spanish.[16] He owns a 3000-acre cattle ranch in San Saba County, Texas,[17] and a ranch near Van Horn, Texas, which served as the set for his film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. He also owns a home and farm in polo mecca Wellington, Florida. Jones is a polo player and he has a house in a polo country club in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a supporter of the Polo Training Foundation.[18] He is an avid San Antonio Spurs fan; he is often seen court-side at Spurs games. At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, he presented the nominating speech for his college roommate, Al Gore, as the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States.



Year Title Role Director Notes
1970 Love Story Hank Simpson Arthur Hiller
1973 Life Study Gus Michael Nebbia
1975 Eliza's Horoscope Tommy Lee
1976 Jackson County Jail Coley Blake Michael Miller
1977 Rolling Thunder Corporal Johnny Vohden John Flynn
1978 The Betsy Angelo Perino Daniel Petrie
1978 Eyes of Laura Mars John Neville Irvin Kershner
1980 Coal Miner's Daughter Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn Michael Apted
1980 Barn Burning Ab Snopes Short film
1981 Back Roads Elmore Pratt Martin Ritt
1983 Nate and Hayes Captain Bully Hayes Ferdinand Fairfax
1984 The River Rat Billy Thomas Rickman
1986 The Park Is Mine Mitch Steven Hilliard Stern
1986 Black Moon Rising Quint Harley Cokliss
1987 The Big Town George Cole Ben Bolt & Harold Becker
1988 Stormy Monday Cosmo Mike Figgis
1988 Gotham Eddie Mallard Lloyd Fonvielle
1989 The Package Thomas Boyette Andrew Davis
1990 Fire Birds Brad Little David Green
1991 JFK Clay Shaw/Clay Bertrand Oliver Stone
1992 Under Siege William Strannix Andrew Davis
1993 House of Cards Jake Beerlander Michael Lessac
1993 The Fugitive Marshal Samuel Gerard Andrew Davis Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
1993 Heaven & Earth Steve Butler Oliver Stone
1994 Blown Away Ryan Gaerity Stephen Hopkins
1994 The Client "Reverend" Roy Foltrigg Joel Schumacher
1994 Natural Born Killers Warden Dwight McClusky Oliver Stone
1994 Blue Sky Maj. Henry "Hank" Marshall Tony Richardson
1994 Cobb Ty Cobb Ron Shelton
1995 Batman Forever Harvey Dent/Two-Face Joel Schumacher
1997 Volcano Mike Roark Mick Jackson
1997 Men in Black Kevin Brown/Agent K Barry Sonnenfeld
1998 U.S. Marshals Samuel Gerard Stuart Baird
1998 Small Soldiers Chip Hazard Joe Dante Voice
1999 Double Jeopardy Travis Lehman Bruce Beresford
2000 Rules of Engagement Col. Hayes "Hodge" Hodges William Friedkin
2000 Space Cowboys William "Hawk" Hawkins Clint Eastwood
2002 Men in Black II Kevin Brown/Agent K Barry Sonnenfeld
2003 The Hunted L. T. Bonham William Friedkin
2003 The Missing Samuel Jones Ron Howard
2005 Man of the House Roland Sharp Stephen Herek
2005 The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Pete Perkins Tommy Lee Jones Also director
2006 A Prairie Home Companion Axeman Robert Altman
2007 No Country for Old Men Ed Tom Bell Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
2007 In the Valley of Elah Hank Deerfield Paul Haggis
2009 In the Electric Mist Dave Robicheaux Bertrand Tavernier
2010 The Company Men Gene McClary John Wells
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger Colonel Chester Phillips Joe Johnston
2012 Men in Black 3 Kevin Brown/Agent K Barry Sonnenfeld
2012 Hope Springs Arnold Soames David Frankel
2012 Lincoln Thaddeus Stevens Steven Spielberg
2012 Emperor General Douglas MacArthur Peter Webber
2013 The Family[19] Robert Stansfield Luc Besson
2014 The Homesman George Briggs Tommy Lee Jones Also director; selected for the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival[20]
2016 Criminal Dr. Franks Ariel Vromen
2016 Jason Bourne Robert Dewey Paul Greengrass
2016 Mechanic: Resurrection Max Adams Dennis Gansel
2017 Villa Capri Ron Shelton Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1971–77 One Life to Live Dr. Mark Toland Unknown episodes
1975 Barnaby Jones Dr. Jim Melford Episode: "Fatal Witness"
1976 Smash-Up on Interstate 5 Officer Hutton Movie
1976 Baretta Sharky Episode: "Dead Man Out"
1976 Charlie's Angels Aram Kolegian Episode: "Charlie's Angels"
1976 Family David Needham Episode: "Coming of Age"
1977 The Amazing Howard Hughes Howard Hughes
1982 The Executioner's Song Gary Gilmore Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
1982 The Rainmaker Starbuck Movie
1984 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Brick Pollitt Movie
1985 The Park is Mine Mitch Movie
1986 Yuri Nosenko: Double Agent Steve Daley Movie
1987 Broken Vows Pater Joseph McMahon Television movie
1988 Stranger on My Land Bud Whitman Movie
1988 April Morning Moses Cooper Movie
1989 Lonesome Dove Woodrow F. Call Miniseries; 4 episodes
1995 The Good Old Boys Hewey Calloway Movie; also director
2011 The Sunset Limited White Movie; also director and executive producer

Awards and nominations

Association Yr Category Film Result
Golden Globe Awards 1980 Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Coal Miner's Daughter Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards 1982 Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie The Executioner's Song Won
Primetime Emmy Awards 1989 Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie Lonesome Dove Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated
Academy Awards 1991 Best Supporting Actor JFK Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
MTV Movie Awards 1993 Best Actor in a Supporting Role The Fugitive Nominated
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Won
MTV Movie Awards MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Harrison Ford) Won
MTV Movie Awards 1994 Best Villain Blown Away Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards 1995 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie The Good Old Boys Nominated
MTV Movie Awards 1995 Best Villain Batman Forever Nominated
Satellite Awards 1997 Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Men in Black Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Will Smith) Nominated
Satellite Awards 2005 Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada Won
Gotham Awards 2006 Best Ensemble Cast A Prairie Home Companion Won
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2007 Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture No Country for Old Men Won
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Academy Awards 2007 Best Actor In the Valley of Elah Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama Nominated
Satellite Awards 2010 Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture The Company Men Nominated
Scream Awards 2011 Best Supporting Actor Captain America: The First Avenger Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2012 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Lincoln Won
Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor Nominated
BAFTA Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated

See also


  1. 1 2 "Tommy Lee Jones Biography (1946–)". Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  2. Weinraub, Bernard (August 1, 1993). "FILM; Tommy Lee Jones Snarls His Way to the Pinnacle". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  3. Waycross Journal-Herald, November 6, 1982, page 4, Google News.
  4. Hollandsworth, Skip (2006-02-01). "Tommy Lee Jones Is Not Acting". Texas Monthly., online at Retrieved 2012-02-02.
  5. The Year of Tommy Lee Jones
  6. The Year of Tommy Lee Jones
  7. Charles McGrath (2008-11-20). "Harvard Beats Yale 29–29". Yale Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  8. Scott, A. O. (February 7, 2005). "Big Questions, Smart Women, Mann's Movies". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  9. Laporte, Nicole (2011-02-06). "True Gruff". The Daily Beast. Newsweek. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  10. Fox, Margalit (January 20, 2010). "Erich Segal, 'Love Story' Author, Dies at 72". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  11. "Back Roads". Business Date for Back Roads. Retrieved March 12, 2006.
  12. "Tommy Lee Jones Emmy Nominated". Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  13. "いいなCM サントリー BOSS 宇宙人ジョーンズシリーズ (Suntory Boss - Space Alien Jones Series)". Retrieved September 21, 2013.
  14. Review: The Company Men – Sundance Film Festival – Archived January 31, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. "Tommy Lee Jones Officially Comes Aboard Captain America: The First Avenger".
  16. "BBC – Movies – interview – Tommy Lee Jones". Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  17. "Why lee jones loves black comedy - News". 2002-08-01. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
  18. "Palm Beach Today Magazine: Polo Training Foundation". 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  19. Vlessing, Etan (2012-08-14). "Toronto 2012: Paul Andrew Williams' 'Song for Marion' to Close 37th Edition". Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  20. "2014 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved April 17, 2014.

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tommy Lee Jones.
Preceded by
Billy Dee Williams
Two-Face Actor
Succeeded by
Aaron Eckhart
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