This legendary actor is unrecognizable from his 1970s heartthrob days
Although he has been considered a bit of an oddball, actor Nick Nolte has spent his life under the spotlight.
On February 8, 2023, this extraordinary man who was once considered Hollywood’s heartthrob turned 82.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Nolte started his acting career on stage at the Pasadena Playhouse and in regional theatre productions. He had his breakthrough in the TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man (1976), in which he played the role of “Tom/Tommy Jordache.”
It wasn’t just his inner talent which helped him reach Hollywood and become part of the film industry, but his looks as well. On top of that, he possesses this inner ability to play various different characters, which makes him one of the most versatile actor we know of.
Throughout his career, Nolte has received plenty of awards, among which a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama in 1991. He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film The Prince of Tides that same year.
Other roles for which he earned himself an Oscar nomination are those in Affliction and Warrior.
During the 1970s, Nolte was considered the ultimate American hero and was even named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.
When he got the role of Tommy Joradche, Nolte weighted around 150 pounds.
”I remember the different stages I went through for Rich Man, Poor Man. That was the biggest expanse in age. It went from 16 to 45. Physically, I thought of the weight I was as a sophomore in high school, which was 150 pounds. So I dropped down to that weight and got that boy body back. I ran around that Hollywood reservoir day and night,” he told Insider in 2022.
It was in 1992, that Nolte’s career sky-rocketed after he landed the iconic role in the groundbreaking action-comedy 48 Hrs in which he starred alongside Eddie Murphy.
“The thing about 48 Hrs. that really isn’t thought about much is that’s the first film where the black and the white criticize each other,” Nolte said in 2011.
“After Civil Rights, it was very awkward for whites and blacks. We didn’t know how to talk to each other.”
Over the course of his life, he went through three divorces and is currently married to Clytie Lane.
Nolte’s bad-boy antics sometimes overshadowed his talents, like in 2002, when his disheveled mug shot went viral. He has been involved in a number of problems and was arrested more than once.
Until 1990, he was a heavy drinker and during an occasion, when Katharine Hepburn accused him of falling down drunk in every gutter in town, Nolte replied: “I’ve got a few to go yet.”
After seeking professional help, Nolte has managed to stay sober for years.
”I was at a low point and I got slack,” Nolte has said.
“I drank in order to deal with anything I found difficult – relationships, failed projects – using alcohol even as a tonic against loneliness and the ironic kind of isolation that celebrity often brings.”
Nolte is a father of two, son Brawley Nolte and daughter Sophia Lane Nolte. Both his children have tried themselves in acting.
Sophia even starred alongside her father when she played Nolte’s granddaughter in Honey in the Head.
“She is kinda like this little grown-up. Sometimes she calls me Grandpa instead of Daddy because all of her friends’ fathers are young. I’m pushing 80. My son Brawley is in his 30s. He did some acting, but that’s not what he wanted. He’s studying to be a doctor,” Nolte told Saturday Evening Post.
Being 82, it’s obvious that his looks has changed drastically, but he’s still as charming and as gorgeous as he was in his younger days.
”As for being old, I don’t regret it at all. I’m not having much difficulty with age. I’m really kind of comfortable with it, knowing that there’s one more big adventure to do. It’s kind of spooky, but I accept it. You fight like hell right up until the last. I think you just have to keep moving and keep doing it,” he says.
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