Date of Birth : Dec 29th 1938
Father of Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight had his breakout role in “Midnight Cowboy” (1969) as a male prostitute. He has since acted in many feature films and even tried his hand at directing with “The Tin Soldier” (1995).
Voight’s film debut did not come until 1967, when he took a part in Phillip Kaufman’s crimefighter spoof, Fearless Frank. Voight also took a small role in 1967’s western, Hour of the Gun, directed by veteran helmer John Sturges. That year he and Lauri Peters were divorced, after five years of marriage. In 1968 Voight took the lead role in counterculture director Paul Williams’ Out of It. Shot in a vérité style reminiscent of John Cassavettes, Out of It tapped into the zeitgeist and was geared toward the burgeoning youth culture.
Now a “name” actor, in 1970 Voight went on to join the all-star cast of Mike Nichols’ ill-fated adaptation of Catch-22. Adapted by Buck Henry from Joseph Heller’s comic anti-war novel, and featuring the acting talents of Voight, Alan Arkin as the main character of John Yossarian, Anthony Perkins, Art Garfunkel, Bob Newhart, Richard Benjamin, and Orson Welles, the film failed to connect with either the critics or audiences, despite the film’s intentional parallels with the then-raging war in Vietnam. The same year, Voight re-teamed with director Paul Williams to star in The Revolutionary, as a left wing college student struggling with his conscience.
On 12 December 1971 Voight married model Marcheline Bertrand. Their son James Haven was born in 1973, followed by daughter Angelina Jolie in 1975. Both children would go on to enter their father’s business, James as an actor and assistant director, and Angelina as a major Oscar-winning movie star in her own right.
In 1978, Voight assumed a role that would earn him a second major triumph, that of the paraplegic Vietnam vet Luke Martin in the Hal Ashby-directed film Coming Home. The film marked the beginning of the post-Vietnam War era and reflected a coming-to-terms with the emotional costs of both the war and the anti-war movement. The presence of Jane Fonda in the female lead assured some controversy, given her outspoken views during the war, but her portrayal of a military wife who volunteers her services to help disabled vets was well-received. Voight played an embittered paraplegic, reportedly based on real-life Vietnam veteran-turned-anti-war activist Ron Kovic, with whom Fonda falls in love. The film included a much-talked-about love scene between the two. The film was major winner at the Oscars that year with Jane Fonda winning her second Best Actress statuette and presenter Diana Ross calling Voight to the podium, where she presented him with his first Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.