TV lovers always get excited when big-named movie stars make the transition to the small screen. What they may not realize is that a lot of actors got their start in TV when they were lesser known.
Such is the case with Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton. The Hot Springs, Ark., native has gotten rave reviews for his haunting portrayal as hit man Lorne Malvo on FX’s Fargo.
But fans are likely unaware of Thornton’s turn as a pawnshop clerk on Matlock back in 1987. Thornton landed the part after living in Los Angles for six years and struggling to become an actor and writer. Thornton held a number of odd jobs while pursuing his dream including gigs as an offshore wind farmer, waiter and fast-food manager.
His dedication paid off and 10 years after his Matlock role, the father of 4 won a screenplay Oscar for Sling Blade, in which he starred in and penned.
Other roles of note include big-screen hits such as Armageddon, Bad Santa and Monster’s Ball as well as small but noteworthy performances in Primary Colors, Love Actually and Puss in Boots.