A fine blend of talent and look who has triumphantly made a smooth transition from small to big screen feature, Woody Harrelson wonderfully surpasses the actors of his ilk to shine brightly as one of the lauded leading men Hollywood ever has. The second of three children in his family, Woody was born Woodrow Tracy Harrelson on July 23, 1961 in Midland, Texas and grew up in Lebanon, Ohio under the sole nurture of his mother, Diane Lou Oswald, following her divorce from husband Charles Voyde Harrelson in 1964. Though as a child he initially was deemed dyslexic, hyperactive, also psychologically disturbed, the guy instead managed to obtain a Presbyterian scholarship to study theater arts and English at Indiana's Hanover College where he later was able to hone his acting craft properly with more than 25 appearances in its stage productions up to his graduation in 1983.
Already fixed his mind to pursue a professional acting career, Woody later chose New York to be his first destination and within a short time delightfully landed his first stint as Matthew Broderick's understudy in Neil Simon's "Biloxi Blues" before joined the regular cast of NBC's sitcom "Cheers" in 1985. Adding another color to this high-rated show through his portrayal of a dim-witted but good-hearted bartender named Woody Boyd, he immediately found himself to be the center of widespread attention as consequence, particularly after scoring five consecutive Emmys nods of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series category from 1987 to 1991. Successfully took home one at the 1989 event, the superb attainment thereby really provided him solid base to continue his way in the industry by the time "Cheers" ended in 1993 for he next was seen in a series of well-known film features which included "Natural Born Killers" (1994), "Money Train" (1995), plus "Kingpin" (1996) among others.
Kept sticking to big screen productions, Woody ultimately came to his career highlight in 1997 when he nabbed triple honors of Oscar, Actors, and Golden Globes nominations in leading actor category for his enactment in "The People vs. Larry Flint" (1996) alongside Edward Norton and Courtney Love. Rode high on this success, he wisely used the chance to gain more prominence through his next pictures of "Wag the Dog" (1997), "The Thin Red Line" (1998), also "Edtv" (1999) which all resulted quite well in box-office with domestic income of over 22 million U.S dollar each. The glory amazingly still continued at the end of the era as the blond actor satisfyingly earned another Emmys nomination, this time in Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series category, through his performance in an episode of "Cheers" spin-off series, "Frasier", entitled "The Show Where Woody Shows Up" (1999).
Surely had no difficulty to move on his path in Hollywood afterwards, Woody instead chose to make a return to theater by the beginning of the third millennium, appearing onstage to act together with Nick Nolte also Sean Penn in Sam Shepard's "The Late Henry Moss." It was not until 2003 that he made his comeback on movie feature to then be seen finely portraying various human characters for the next few years, such as a transvestite prostitute in "Anger Management" (2003), a buffoonish FBI Agent in "After the Sunset" (2004), an alcoholic husband in "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio" (2005), and an idealistic lawyer in "North Country" (2005). Next billed in high-profile flicks of "A Prairie Home Companion" plus "A Scanner Darkly" for 2006 releases, there were even more roles for this striking hunk to explore as he signed on to film at least twelve titles for the next two years. Certainly of various genres, they included "No Country for Old Men" (2007), "The Walker" (2007), "Battle in Seattle" (2008), "Semi-Pro" (2008), and "Pinkville" (2008), among others.
Aside from his glowing profession as an actor, Woody is also known to be either a very outspoken supporter concerning the legalization of marijuana and hemp in the States or an eager social activist, notably on environmental and anti-war matters besides his involvement with Amnesty International and the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. As for his private life, the star had once married to Neil Simon's daughter, Nancy Simon, whom he tied the knot with by 1985 in Tijuana. Much to everyone's shock, the couple instantly revealed their intention to divorce in the following day, but it was not until 10 months later that they officially split, letting Woody to freely date several actresses like Glenn Close, Moon Unit Zappa, and Ally Sheedy among others. However, he finally gave his heart to his former assistant Laura Louie and happily married her on January 11, 1998 after living together since 1990. Already had two daughters named Deni Montana in 1993 and Zoe Giordano in 1996, the couple later happily welcomed their third one, Makani Ravello, on June 3, 2006.