American actor Jonathan Vincent Voight was born on December 29th, 1938, in Yonkers, New York. Voight became interested in acting while in high school, where he performed in school plays. After his graduation, he attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., getting a degree in art in 1960. Voight then returned to New York to pursue an acting career. While in NYC, he was a student at the conservatory Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.
Voight’s acting credits date back to 1963, when he made his small screen debut in television series Naked City and The Defenders. These were followed by appearances in episodes of NET Playhouse, 12 O’Clock High, Gunsmoke, Coronet Blue, and N.Y.P.D. After doing an episode of western show Cimarron Strip in 1968, Jon would not return to television for another three decades, instead deciding to solely focus on his film career. He made his feature debut in 1967’s Fearless Frank as the title character. After a minor role in Hour of the Gun (1967), Voight was cast in his breakout role in the drama film Midnight Cowboy (1969), which became a commercial and critical success. The movie earned him nominations for the Academy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor.
The actor kicked off the 1970s by starring in the black comedy adaptation Catch-22 and in the political drama The Revolutionary. In 1972, Voight starred in Deliverance, which proved to be another successful film for him. Subsequent movie roles were in The All-American Boy (1973), Conrack (1974), The Odessa File (1974), End of the Game (1975), and Coming Home (1978). The latter was met with critical acclaim and won Voight the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. In 1982, Jon co-wrote and starred in the comedy film Lookin’ to Get Out. During this decade, his film appearances became more sparse, only being seen in Table for Five (1983), Runaway Train (1985), and Desert Bloom (1986). Voight won the Golden Globe for Best Actor and received another Academy Award nomination for his role in Runaway Train.
In 1991, Jon returned to television to star mainly in movies. His first television credit of the decade was in Chernobyl: The Final Warning. On the big screen, Voight had a supporting role in 1995’s crime drama Heat. In 1996 he was cast in the first installment of the blockbuster franchise Mission: Impossible. The following year he appeared in six films, among them Rosewood, Anaconda, and The Rainmaker. In 2001, Voight appeared in Pearl Harbor, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (opposite real-life daughter Angelina Jolie in the title role), Zoolander, Uprising, and Ali, all of them enjoying some level of success. Other notable film roles of this time include The Manchurian Candidate and National Treasure (both in 2004), Transformers (2007), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), and Tropic Thunder (2008). In television, he played the Pope in miniseries Pope John Paul II (2005), and had a recurring role in drama series 24 in 2009. From 2013 to 2020, Voight was part of the main cast in crime drama Ray Donovan, a role that got him a Golden Globe Award in 2013. He reprised his role in the 2022 film Ray Donovan: The Movie. In recent years, Voight can be seen in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Surviving the Wild (2018), and Roe v. Wade (2020).