For a celebrity of Billy Bob Thornton’s status, with tremendous and reel success in the various areas he explores within the entertainment community, it is rather surprising that not much about him is out there. He is an award-winning American actor and filmmaker, a singer, songwriter, and musician but is also an accomplished family man. You may not be in the know about the latter because Thornton has chosen to eschew celebrity culture which perpetuates celebrities’ personal lives on a global scale.
The screen great has spoken out about his distaste for this culture and tries as much as he could to keep the media attention at bay, though it has proven unavoidable in certain cases. For instance, his marriage to Angelina Jolie from 2000 to 2003, was the case of a golden fish that has no hiding place.
He is known for such films and TV shows as Sling Blade (1996), All the Pretty Horses (2000), The Gift (2000), Eagle Eye (2008), Faster (2010), and Fargo (2014). Thornton has also received numerous recognitions for his works, including nominations for an Emmy Award, four Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Golden Globe, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also has an Academy Award under his belt. On the music front, he has released four solo albums and is also the frontman of the blues-rock band known as The Boxmasters.
One of the unique qualities about Thornton is that despite his fame, he has managed to keep his private life away from the public and eagle-eyed media, one quality most celebrities are still struggling with. He is a big-time celebrity but is not crazy about it. We explore Billy Bob Thornton’s personal life with an emphasis on his brother and children.
Does Billy Bob Thornton Have a Brother?
The eccentric actor is the son of a self-proclaimed psychic, Virginia Roberta (née Faulkner) and a high school history teacher and basketball coach named William Raymond “Billy Ray” Thornton. He is part Irish. One of three brothers, Thornton was born on August 4, 1955, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. His brothers are Jimmy Don and John David Thornton.
His brother, Jimmy, born on April 12, 1958, was also a musician. He was an accomplished guitarist, banjo player, and songwriter and wrote a number of songs. Although he never got to record an album before his unfortunate demise in 1988, two of his songs, Island Avenue and Emily were recorded on one of Billy’s solo albums titled The Edge of the World (2003). He suddenly died of a heart condition on the 3rd of October 1988, in San Francisco, California.
Jimmy’s death had a traumatic effect on the actor and left him forever changed. Although he has come to accept that he can’t change what happened more than three decades ago, as much as he would want to, Billy Bob Thornton admits that the sadness will never go away. He’s come to accept that he’ll never be completely happy nor content again. While he still nurses his grief, he has also shared his poignant advice for others who have lost a loved one and is experiencing the same kind of emotional pain, in an archived YouTube video.
Thornton has been married a total of six times, five of which ended in divorce and has dated quite a number of other women. He has four children by three of his wives.
He started his marital journey with Melissa Lee Gatlin in 1978. They had one child, a daughter named Amanda Brumfield (June 30, 1979) before their divorce in 1980. In 2008, Amanda was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the death of her friend’s 1-year-old daughter.
Thornton had two other sons, Harry James (June 19, 1994) and William Langston (June 27, 1993) with Playboy model Pietra Dawn Cherniak, with whom he tied the knot in 1993. Their union ended four years later, in 1997. His fourth child, a daughter, Bella (b. September 24, 2004) came through makeup effects crew member Connie Angland, with whom he started a relationship in 2003, shortly after he divorced Jolie. The duo would go on to tie the knot on October 22, 2014.
His other wives include actress Toni Lawrence who he was married to from 1986 to 1988, actress Cynda Williams (1990-1992), and Angelina Jolie (2000-2003).