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Academy Award-winning writer, actor and director BILLY BOB THORNTON (Russell Bell) has an extensive and impressive career in motion pictures, television and theater. Charismatic and uniquely talented, Thornton has established himself as one of the most sought-after filmmakers of his generation.

He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in last year's A Simple Plan and was honored with a Los Angeles Film Critics Award and Broadcast Film Critics Award for his supporting performance in Primary Colors.

The 1996 release of the critically acclaimed and phenomenally popular feature film Sling Blade, in which he starred and directed from a screenplay he wrote, secured Thornton's status as a preeminent filmmaker. For his efforts, he was honored with an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Sling Blade also starred Robert Duvall, Dwight Yoakam, John Ritter and the late J. T. Walsh.

Prior to Sling Blade, Thornton had an already extensive motion picture credit list. He wrote and starred in the thrilling character drama One False Move, which brought him immediate critical praise. The powerful script (co-written with Tom Epperson) was enhanced by his intense performance as a hunted criminal. Directed by Carl Franklin, the film was an unheralded sleeper success.

In addition, Thornton was seen starring opposite Bruce Willis in Armageddon and co-starring opposite Sean Penn in Oliver Stone's U-Turn and Stephen Gyllenhaal's Homegrown. He has been featured in such films as The Winner for director Alex Cox, Indecent Proposal, directed by Adrian Lyne, Deadman for director Jim Jarmusch, and in George Cosmatos' Tombstone. Thornton also appeared in On Deadly Ground, Bound by Honor, For the Boys and The Stars Fell On Henrietta.

As a writer, Thornton has worked on numerous projects for United Artists, Miramax, Universal, Warner Bros., Touchstone, Island Pictures, David Geffen Productions and HBO. He also scripted A Family Thing, a highly regarded feature film that starred Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones.

Thornton has also appeared on television, including his regular role on the CBS comedy series Hearts Afire and the Fox series The Outsiders. Thornton's stage work includes performances in such productions as Lone Star and A Streetcar Named Desire.

He recently completed his second directing effort, Daddy and Them, which he also scripted. He co-stars in the film with Laura Dern, Andy Griffith and Kelly Preston. Thornton is presently directing All the Pretty Horses, starring Matt Damon and Henry Thomas.

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