Woodrow Tracy Harrelson (born July 23, 1961) is an American actor and playwright. He first became known for his role as bartender Woody Boyd on the NBC sitcom Cheers (1985–1993), with Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Nicholas Colasanto, Rhea Perlman, George Wendt, John Ratzenberger, Kelsey Grammer, Kirstie Alley, and Bebe Neuwirth; for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series from a total of five nominations. He made his film debut as an uncredited extra in Harper Valley PTA (1978), with Barbara Eden, Nanette Fabray, Ronny Cox, Louis Nye, and Susan Swift; then had his first credited film role in Michael Ritchie’s Wildcats (1986), with Goldie Hawn, James Keach, and Swoosie Kurtz.
Films in the early 1990s include Cool Blue (1990), with Hank Azaria, Ely Pouget, and Sean Penn; Michael Caton-Jones’ Doc Hollywood (1991), with Michael J. Fox, Julie Warner, Barnard Hughes, David Ogden Stiers, Frances Sternhagen, and Bridget Fonda; Ted & Venus (1991), with Bud Cort (who also directed), James Brolin, Carol Kane, Martin Mull, and Rhea Perlman; Ron Shelton’s White Men Can’t Jump (1992), with Wesley Snipes and Rosie Perez; Indecent Proposal (1993), with Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Oliver Platt, and Seymour Cassel; Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994), with Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Sizemore, Tommy Lee Jones, and Rodney Dangerfield; The Cowboy Way (1994), with Kiefer Sutherland, Dylan McDermott, and Ernie Hudson; and James L. Brooks’ I’ll Do Anything (1994), with Nick Nolte, Albert Brooks, Julie Kavner, Joely Richardson, Tracey Ullman, and Whittni Wright.
Harrelson was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Miloš Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), with Courtney Love, Edward Norton, Richard Paul, James Cromwell, Crispin Glover, and Vincent Schiavelli. Other films in the mid 1990s include Money Train (1995), with Snipes, Jennifer Lopez, Robert Blake, and Chris Cooper; Peter & Bobby Farrelly’s Kingpin (1996), with Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, and Bill Murray; and Michael Cimino’s Sunchaser (1996), with Jon Seda and Anne Bancroft.
Films in the late 1990s include Barry Levinson’s Wag the Dog (1997), with Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, Denis Leary, Willie Nelson, Andrea Martin, Kirsten Dunst, and William H. Macy; Michael Winterbottom’s Welcome to Sarajevo (1997), with Stephen Dillane, Marisa Tomei, Goran Višnjić, James Nesbitt, and Emily Lloyd; Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line (1998), with Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, Ben Chaplin, George Clooney, John Cusack, Elias Koteas, Nolte, John C. Reilly, and John Travolta; Palmetto (1998), with Elisabeth Shue, Gina Gershon, Rolf Hoppe, Chloe Sevigny, Tom Wright, and Michael Rapaport; Stephen Frears’ The Hi-lo Country (1998), with Billy Crudup, Penélope Cruz, Cole Hauser, Sam Elliott, Patricia Arquette, Enrique Castillo, and Katy Jurado; Play It to the Bone (1999), with Antonio Banderas, Lolita Davidovich, Sizemore, Lucy Liu, and Robert Wagner; and Ron Howard’s EDtv (1999), with Matthew McConaughey, Jenna Elfman, Ellen DeGeneres, Martin Landau, Rob Reiner, Sally Kirkland, Elizabeth Hurley, Clint Howard, and Dennis Hopper.
Films in the 2000s include Peter Segal’s Anger Management (2003), with Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Tomei, Luis Guzmán, and John Turturro; Scorched (2003), with Alicia Silverstone, Rachael Leigh Cook, and John Cleese; After the Sunset (2004), with Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Don Cheadle, and Naomie Harris; Spike Lee’s She Hate Me (2004), with Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Ellen Barkin, Monica Bellucci, Brian Dennehy, Bai Ling, and Turturro; North Country (2005), with Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sean Bean, Richard Jenkins, Michelle Monaghan, Jeremy Renner, and Sissy Spacek; The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005), with Julianne Moore and Laura Dern; and The Big White (2005), with Robin Williams, Holly Hunter, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Blake Nelson, W. Earl Brown, and Alison Lohman.
Films in the mid 2000s include Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly (2006), with Keanu Reeves, Downey, Winona Ryder, and Rory Cochrane; Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion (2006), with Jones, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Meryl Streep, and Lily Tomlin; Paul Schrader’s The Walker (2007), with Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Ned Beatty, Tomlin, Willem Dafoe, Moritz Bleibtreu, and Mary Beth Hurt; Joel & Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men (2007), with Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Kelly Macdonald; Battle in Seattle (2008), with André Benjamin, Jennifer Carpenter, Martin Henderson, Ray Liotta, Connie Nielsen, Michelle Rodriguez, Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, and Ivana Miličević; The Grand (2008), with Ray Romano, Chris Parnell, Werner Herzog, Jason Alexander, Dennis Farina, David Cross, Gabe Kaplan, and Cheryl Hines; and Semi-Pro (2008), with Will Farrell, Benjamin, Maura Tierney, Will Arnett, David Koechner, and Jackie Earl Haley.
Harrelson received his second Academy Award nomination (this time for Best Supporting Actor), for Oren Moverman’s The Messenger (2009), with Ben Foster, Samantha Morton, Steve Buscemi, and Jena Malone. Other films in the late 2000s include Sleepwalking (2008), with Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, Theron, and Hopper; Brad Anderson’s Transsiberian (2008), with Emily Mortimer, Kate Mara, Eduardo Noriega, Thomas Kretschmann, and Ben Kingsley; Surfer, Dude (2008), with McConaughey, Alexie Gilmore, Scott Glenn, Jeffrey Nordling, Willie Nelson, and Sarah Wright; Seven Pounds (2008), with Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Michael Ealy, and Barry Pepper; Management (2009), with Jennifer Aniston, Steve Zahn, Fred Ward, and Margo Martindale; Reuben Fleischer’s Zombieland (2009), with Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin; and 2012 (2009), with Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, OPlatt, Thandiwe Newton, and Danny Glover.
Films in the 2010s include Defendor (2010), with Koteas, Michael Kelly, Sandra Oh, and Kat Dennings; Friends with Benefits (2011), with Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Patricia Clarkson, Elfman, Bryan Greenberg, Nolan Gould, and Jenkins; Bunraku (2011), with Josh Hartnett, Gackt, Kevin McKidd, Ron Perlman, and Moore; Rampart (2012), with Ned Beatty, Foster, Anne Heche, Ice Cube, Cynthia Nixon, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, and Buscemi; Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths (2012), with Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, and Željko Ivanek; Louis Leterrier’s Now You See Me (2013), with Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman; the animated film Free Birds (2013), with Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, and Dan Fogler; and Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace (2013), with Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Dafoe, and Sam Shepard.
Harrelson is well known for his role in The Hunger Games franchise (2012-2015), collectively with Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Sam Claflin, Lynn Cohen, Malone, Amanda Plummer; Moore, Mahershala Ali, and Natalie Dormer.
Films in the late 2010s include Triple 9 (2016), with Affleck, Ejiofor, Mackie, Aaron Paul, Clifton Collins Jr., Norman Reedus, Teresa Palmer, Michael K. Williams, Gal Gadot, and Kate Winslet; John M. Chu’s Now You See Me (2016), with much of the returning cast plus Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, and Sanaa Lathan; The Duel (2016), with Hemsworth, Alice Braga, Emory Cohen, Felicity Price, José Zúñiga, and William Sadler; and Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen (2016), with Hailee Steinfeld, Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, and Hayden Szeto.
Harrelson received his second Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), with McDormand, Rockwell, Abbie Cornish, John Hawkes, Lucas Hedges, Caleb Landry Jones, and Peter Dinklage. Other films in the late 2010s include Craig Johnson’s Wilson (2017), with Dern, Isabella Amara, Judy Greer, and Cheryl Hines; War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), with Andy Serkis; Destin Daniel Cretton’s The Glass Castle (2017), with Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Max Greenfield, and Sarah Snook; and LBJ (2017), with Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Kim Allen, Michael Stahl-David, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey Donovan, Doug McKeon, C. Thomas Howell, and Michael Mosle.
More films in the late 2010s include Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), with Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany; Shock and Awe (2018), with James Marsden, Reiner (who also directed), Jessica Biel, Milla Jovovich, and Jones; John Lee Hancock’s The Highwayman (2019), with Kevin Costner, Kathy Bates, John Carroll Lynch, Kim Dickens, Thomas Mann, and Sadler; Zombieland: Double Tap (2019), with previous cast members plus Dawson, Zoey Deutch, Avan Jogia, Luke Wilson, and Thomas Middleditch; and Midway (2019), with Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Quaid, and Tadanobu Asano.
Films in the 2020s include Kate (2021), with Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michiel Huisman, and Tadanobu Asano; Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), with Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Reid Scott, and Stephen Graham; The Man from Toronto (2022), with Kevin Hart, Kaley Cuoco, and Ellen Barkin.
Other TV appearances include TV movie Bay Coven (1987), with Tim Matheson, Pamela Sue Martin, Barbara Billingsley, and Jeff Conaway; TV movie Killer Instinct (1988), with Melissa Gilbert, Lane Smith, and Kevin Conroy; TV movie Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme (1990), with Shelley Duvall, Jean Stapleton, Dan Gilroy, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry, Bobby Brown, Little Richard, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Garry Shandling, and Teri Garr; recurring role on Will and Grace (2001-2002), with Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes; TV movie Game Change (2012), with Moore, Harris, Peter MacNicol, Jamey Sheridan, Sarah Paulson, and Ron Livingston; the first season of True Detective (2014), with McConaughey, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, Tory Kittles, Kevin Dunn, and Alexandra Daddario; and the upcoming series The White House Plumbers (202-), with Justin Theroux, Domhnall Gleeson, Lena Headey, Kiernan Shipka, Ike Barinholtz, Yul Vazquez, David Krumholtz, Rich Sommer, Kim Coates, Liam James, Kathleen Turner, and Judy Greer.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Harper Valley PTA (1978) – directed by Richard Bennett & Ralph Senensky (uncredited)
- Wildcats (1986) – directed by Michael Ritchie
- Bay Coven (1987) – directed by Carl Schenkel
- She’s Having a Baby (1988) – directed by John Hughes – uncredited
- Killer Instinct (1988) – directed by Waris Hussein
- Cool Blue (1990) – directed by Mark Mullin
- Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme (1990) – directed by Jeff Stein – TV movie
- L.A. Story (1991) – directed by Mick Jackson – uncredited
- Doc Hollywood (1991) – directed by Michael Caton-Jones
- Ted & Venus (1991) – directed by Bud Cort
- White Men Can’t Jump (1992) – directed by Ron Shelton
- Indecent Proposal (1993) – directed by Adrian Lyne
- Natural Born Killers (1994) – directed by Oliver Stone
- The Cowboy Way (1994) – directed by Gregg Champion
- I’ll Do Anything (1994) – directed by James L. Brooks
- Money Train (1995) – directed by Joseph Ruben
- The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) – directed by Miloš Forman
- Kingpin (1996) – directed by Peter & Bobby Farrelly
- Sunchaser (1996) – directed by Michael Cimino
- Wag the Dog (1997) – directed by Barry Levinson
- Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) – directed by Michael Winterbottom
- The Thin Red Line (1998) – directed by Terrence Malick
- Palmetto (1998) – directed by Volker Schlöndorff
- The Hi-Lo Country (1998) – directed by Stephen Frears
- Play It to the Bone (1999) – directed by Ron Shelton
- EDtv (1999) – directed by Ron Howard
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)* – directed by Jay Roach – cameo as himself
- Grass: History of Marijuana (1999) – directed by Ron Mann – narrator – documentary
- Anger Management (2003)* – directed by Peter Segal
- Go Further (2003) – directed by Ron Mann – himself – documentary
- Scorched (2003) – directed by Gavin Grazer
- After the Sunset (2004) – directed by Brett Ratner
- She Hate Me (2004) – directed by Spike Lee
- North Country (2005) – directed by Niki Caro
- The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005) – directed by Jane Anderson
- The Big White (2005) – directed by Mark Mylod
- Free Jimmy (2006) – directed by Christopher Nielsen – English dub
- A Scanner Darkly (2006) – directed by Richard Linklater
- A Prairie Home Companion (2006) – directed by Robert Altman
- The Walker (2007) – directed by Paul Schrader
- No Country for Old Men (2007)* – directed by Joel & Ethan Coen
- Nanking (2007) – directed by Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman – documentary
- The Grand (2008) – directed by Zak Penn
- Battle in Seattle (2008) – directed by Stuart Townsend
- Semi-Pro (2008) – directed by Kent Alterman
- Sleepwalking (2008) – directed by William Maher
- Transsiberian (2008) – directed by Brad Anderson
- Surfer, Dude (2008) – directed by S.R. Bindler
- Seven Pounds (2008) – directed by Gabriele Muccino
- Management (2009) – directed by Stephen Belber
- The Messenger (2009) – directed by Oren Moverman
- Zombieland (2009)* – directed by Ruben Fleischer
- 2012 (2009) – directed by Roland Emmerich
- Defendor (2010) – directed by Peter Stebbings
- Hempsters: Plant the Seed (2010) – directed by Michael P. Henning – documentary
- Ethos (2011) – directed by Pete McGrain – himself – documentary
- Friends with Benefits (2011)* – directed by Will Gluck
- Bunraku (2011) – directed by Guy Moshe
- Rampart (2012) – directed by Oren Moverman
- The Hunger Games (2012) – directed by Gary Ross
- Seven Psychopaths (2012) – directed by Martin McDonagh
- How to Make Money Selling Drugs (2012) – directed by Matthew Cooke – himself – documentary
- Now You See Me (2013) – directed by Louis Leterrier
- Free Birds (2013) – directed by Jimmy Hayward
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)* – directed by Francis Lawrence
- Out of the Furnace (2013) – directed by Scott Cooper
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) – directed by Frances Lawrence
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015) – directed by Frances Lawrence
- Triple 9 (2016) – directed by John Hillcoat
- Now You See Me 2 (2016) – directed by Jon M. Chu
- The Duel (2016) – directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith
- The Edge of Seventeen (2016) – directed by Kelly Fremon Craig
- Lost in London (2017) – also director, writer
- Wilson (2017) – directed by Craig Johnson
- War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – directed by Matt Reeves
- The Glass Castle (2017) – directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
- LBJ (2017) – directed by Rob Reiner
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)* – directed by Martin McDonagh
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (1918)* – directed by Ron Howard
- Shock and Awe (2018) – directed by Rob Reiner
- Venom (2018) – directed by Ruben Fleischer – mid-credits cameo
- The Highwaymen (2019) – directed by John Lee Hancock
- Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)* – directed by Ruben Fleischer
- Midway (2019) – directed by Roland Emmerich
- Kiss the Ground (2020) – directed by Joshua Tickell & Rebecca Harrell Tickell – himself – documentary
- Kate (2021) – directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
- Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) – directed by Andy Serkis
- The Man from Toronto (2022) – directed by Patrick Hughes
- Triangle of Sadness (202-) – directed by Ruben Östlund