Woody Harrelson is an actor who, once you see one performance, you’re want to track down everything else he’s ever done. The Texas native has a charming charisma about him, usually playing characters that do whatever they feel like doing. Harrelson’s father was convicted hitman Charles Voyde Harrelson, who was convicted of assassinating a federal judge. Prior to his conviction, he threatened to kill himself and claimed that he killed John F. Kennedy. With his father serving two life sentences, Woody and his two brothers grew up poor, living off his secretary mother’s wages. After graduating high school, he studied theater in Indiana and landed the role of bartender Woody Boyd in Cheers. He joined in the sitcom’s fourth season and remained until the show’s end, eight seasons later.
While still working on Cheers, Harrelson started his film career in 1986’s Wildcats alongside Goldie Hawn. Four years later, he starred in the 1990 romantic comedy Cool Blue. The ’90s was a great decade for him; he starred in White Men Can’t Jump, Money Train, Indecent Proposal, Natural Born Killers, and The People vs. Larry Flynt, among others.
Harrelson’s Surprise Brother
In 2023, Harrelson’s longtime friend and co-star Matthew McConaughey revealed that they could potentially be brothers from the same mother. McConaughey’s mother claimed to have been intimate with Harrelson’s father around the time of McConaughey’s conception. While appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Harrelson said, “Well, I’ll just say there is some veracity to that thought.” While taking a joint vacation with Harrelson and McConaughey’s families, Matthew’s mom Mary let them know of the possibility.
When the topic of regrets came up, Harrelson recalled he said, “‘You know, it’s odd that my father has no regrets.'” That’s when “Ma Mac” told Woody, “‘I knew your father.’” He described Mary’s pause to be “filled with innuendo.” By doing the math, Harrelson said the year of McConaughey’s birth was nine months before his. “She was on a sabbatical from her relationship with his supposed father, Jim.”
See below our top five picks of Woody Harrelson’s best roles in film and television.