As Joe Buck, a small town hustler with big city ambitions, Voight earned universal praise from both fans and critics, as well as his first Oscar nod. Midnight Cowboy also went on to win 1969’s Academy Award for Best Picture, the first, and still only, X-Rated film to receive that honor.
This story about a canoe trip gone bad, may be one of the creepiest films of Voight’s career, yet also one of his most lasting. The pork and ham business must have suffered dearly after the film’s iconic “squeal like a pig” scene.
Playing a paralyzed veteran that returns home after the Vietnam war, Voight won his first and only Academy Award for Best Actor. His co-star, Jane Fonda, also won an Oscar for Best Actress.
Only Jon Voight could land a supporting role in a Will Smith movie and undoubtedly outshine the film’s star. As sports legend Howard Cosell, Voight added depth and dimension to a man whose larger than life personage often fell victim to mockery. Voight also received his fourth Academy nomination for the role.
In an age where television has overtaken the movies as the medium of choice for top-level talent, the 74-year-old has received some of the best reviews in years for his role as a murderous Boston-bred father on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. If the show’s still on six years from now, Voight may be television’s first octogenarian tough guy.