Jon Voight Biography

(Best Known for His Performance in the Films: 'Midnight Cowboy', 'Coming Home' and 'The Champ')

Birthday: December 29, 1938 (Capricorn)

Born In: Yonkers, New York, United States

Jon Voight is an ‘Academy’ award-winning American actor best known for his role in the film ‘Coming Home.’ A critically acclaimed character actor, he is the recipient of four ‘Golden Globe Awards’ and several other prestigious awards. The son of a Czechoslovakian-American professional golfer, he became interested in acting while in high school. Following his graduation from the ‘Catholic University of America,’ he proceeded to pursue an acting career in New York City. He ventured into theater where he found considerable success which enabled him to find work in the television industry. Even though he started appearing in films in the mid-1960s, it was not until after a few years that he began to enjoy mainstream success. His performance as ‘Young Joe Buck’ in the drama film ‘Midnight Cowboy’ earned him an ‘Academy Award’ nomination and launched his Hollywood career. Over the next two decades, he acted in a number of notable films. He also had his share of flops which threatened his acting career time and again. His portrayal of ‘Nate’ in ‘Heat’ in the mid-1990s re-established him as a sought-after star. In recent years, he has enjoyed tremendous success as a character actor in films and television.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Jonathan Vincent Voight

Age: 85 Years, 85 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Lauri Peters (m. 1962–1967), Marcheline Bertrand (m. 1971–1980)

father: Elmer Voight

mother: Barbara Voight

siblings: Barry Voight, Chip Taylor

children: Angelina Jolie, James Haven

Born Country: United States

Actors American Men

Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males

Notable Alumni: Lee Strasberg Theatre And Film Institute, Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre, Catholic University Of America

Ancestry: German American, Slovak American

U.S. State: New Yorkers

City: Yonkers, New York

More Facts

education: Catholic University Of America, Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre

  • 1

    Is Jon Voight related to Angelina Jolie?

    Yes, Jon Voight is the father of Angelina Jolie.
  • 2

    What is Jon Voight's most famous movie role?

    One of Jon Voight's most famous movie roles is as Joe Buck in the film "Midnight Cowboy."
  • 3

    Has Jon Voight worked with director Michael Mann?

    Yes, Jon Voight has worked with director Michael Mann on the film "Heat."
  • 4

    Is Jon Voight known for his political views?

    Yes, Jon Voight is known for being politically active and expressing conservative views in public.
Childhood & Early Life
Jonathan Vincent "Jon" Voight was born on December 29, 1938, in Yonkers, New York, USA, to Barbara and Elmer Voight. His father was a professional golfer. He has two brothers. He is of mixed ancestry.
He was sent to ‘Archbishop Stepinac High School.’ It was here that he discovered his love for acting while performing in school plays. He graduated in 1956 and joined ‘The Catholic University of America’ in Washington, D.C. He completed his B.A. in 1960, majoring in art.
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Following his graduation, he moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. His initial years were not easy, but he did not give up. He began appearing on television during the mid-1960s, acting in several episodes of ‘Gunsmoke’ between 1963 and 1968.
In the mid-1960s, his theater career took off and he enjoyed a stint in Broadway. After gaining experience as theater artist he made his first film appearance in ‘Fearless Frank’ in 1967.
In 1969, he was cast as ‘Joe Buck,’ a naive male hustler, in the drama film ‘Midnight Cowboy.’ The film, which explores the poignant friendship between the two main characters, played by Voight and Dustin Hoffman, proved to be a critical success. It also launched Voight’s film career.
He played ‘Ed Gentry’ in the dramatic thriller ‘Deliverance’ in 1972. The movie was a critical success. Voight’s performance received great critical acclaim and became popular with the audience.
During the 1970s, he appeared in several hit films like ‘Conrack’ (1974), ‘The Odessa File’ (1974), ‘End of the Game’ (1976), and ‘Coming Home’ (1978). In 1979, Voight played an alcoholic ex-heavyweight in the remake of the 1931 film ‘The Champ’ which went on to become an international hit.
His career suffered a setback during the 1980s. For many years, he went without appearing in any notable film but finally made a mark with his role as ‘Oscar "Manny" Manheim’ in the survival-thriller film ‘Runaway Train’ in 1985 for which he was nominated for an ‘Academy Award.’
In the 1990s, he became active on television, appearing in the television movie ‘Chernobyl: The Final Warning’ in 1991, followed by ‘The Last of his Tribe’ in 1992. He also acted in ‘The Rainbow Warrior’ in 1992. Directed by Michael Tuchner, the made-for-television drama film was based on the true story of the Greenpeace ship ‘Rainbow Warrior.’
In 1996, he shared screen space with Tom Cruise in the action spy film ‘Mission: Impossible’ which went on to become a blockbuster. In 1997, he appeared in films like ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Most Wanted’ and was nominated for ‘Razzie Award’ for ‘Worst Actor’ for both these films.
He delivered critically acclaimed performance in many biographical films during the 2000s. In 2001, he portrayed the famous sportscaster ‘Howard Cosell’ in 'Ali.' His performance earned him a nomination for an ‘Academy Award.’ His television career continued to thrive with many award-winning performances.
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In 2004, he played ‘Patrick Gates’ in the Nicolas Cage-starrer adventure film ‘National Treasure.’ He reprised his role as ‘Gates’ in the film’s 2007 sequel ‘National Treasure: Book of Secrets.’ He continued to play supporting roles in films like ‘Pride and Glory’ (2008), ‘Beyond’ (2012), and ‘Dracula: The Dark Prince’ (2013). He then played football coach ‘Paul William "Bear" Bryant’ in ‘Woodlawn’ (2015).
In 2016, he played ‘Henry Shaw Sr.’ in the fantasy film ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’ Directed by David Yates, the movie went on to become a massive box-office success and received positive reviews.
He then appeared in movies like ‘Same Kind of Different as Me’ (2017), ‘Surviving the Wild’ (2018), and ‘Orphan Horse’ (2018). From 2013 to 2020, he played ‘Mickey Donavan,’ the father of the titular character in ‘Showtime’ crime drama series ‘Ray Donavan.’
He is all set to play ‘Warren E. Burger’ in the upcoming American political legal drama film 'Roe v. Wade.' Directed by Nick Loeb and Cathy Allyn, the film also stars Nick Loeb, Stacey Dash, Jamie Kennedy, and Joey Lawrence in important roles.
Major Works
His portrayal of ‘Luke Martin,’ a paralyzed ‘Vietnam War’ veteran, in the drama film ‘Coming Home’ is one of his most memorable works. His poignant portrayal of a traumatized war veteran who falls in love with a married woman earned him several accolades, including an ‘Academy Award.’
He played ‘Howard Cosell,’ an American sports journalist, in the biographical sports drama film ‘Ali.’ The film was based on the story of famous boxer Muhammad Ali. He was nominated for an ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’ for his performance.
Awards & Achievements
He won the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ for his role in ‘Coming Home’ (1978). He also won the ‘Cannes Film Festival Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama’ for the same role.
He won the ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama’ for his portrayal of ‘Oscar Manheim’ in ‘Runaway Train’ (1985).
Personal Life & Legacy
His first marriage was to actress Lauri Peters in 1962. The marriage ended in 1967.
In 1971, he married actress Marcheline Bertrand and had two children with her. Their children—James Haven and Angelina Jolie—went on to make a name for themselves in Hollywood. Jon Voight and Marcheline divorced in 1980 after years of separation.
Facts About Jon Voight
Jon Voight is an accomplished dancer and even considered pursuing a career in ballet before becoming an actor.
He is a talented painter and has showcased his artwork in various galleries.
Jon Voight has a passion for flying airplanes and holds a pilot's license.
He has a keen interest in astrology and has studied the subject for many years.
Jon Voight is known for his philanthropic efforts, supporting various charitable causes and organizations.

Jon Voight Movies

1. Midnight Cowboy (1969)


2. Deliverance (1972)

  (Adventure, Thriller, Drama)

3. Coming Home (1978)

  (Drama, War, Romance)

4. Conrack (1974)


5. Heat (1995)

  (Drama, Crime, Thriller, Action)

6. The Odessa File (1974)

  (Drama, Thriller)

7. Catch-22 (1970)

  (War, Drama, Comedy)

8. The Champ (1979)

  (Drama, Sport)

9. Runaway Train (1985)

  (Action, Drama, Adventure, Thriller)

10. Enemy of the State (1998)

  (Thriller, Action, Mystery, Crime)


Academy Awards(Oscars)
1979 Best Actor in a Leading Role Coming Home (1978)
Golden Globe Awards
2014 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Ray Donovan (2013)
1986 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Runaway Train (1985)
1979 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Coming Home (1978)
1970 Most Promising Newcomer - Male Midnight Cowboy (1969)
BAFTA Awards
1970 Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles Midnight Cowboy (1969)

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