Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas in 1946 and raised in Midland, Texas. He went to Harvard, where he was a star football player and roommate of Al Gore. Jones studied literature and graduated with a BA in English in 1969. That same year he made his Broadway debut. The following year he had his first film role in Love Story.
He kept busy doing theater, film, and television, including a four year stint on the soap opera One Life to Live.
Tommy Lee Jones has been nominated for four Oscars, winning one in 1994 for Best Supporting Actor in The Fugitive. He also has a Golden Globe and an Emmy.
He has appeared in 57 theatrical films and another dozen television films, including the classic Lonesome Dove for which he was nominated for an Emmy and Golden Globe.
Tommy Lee Jones is one of my favorite actors. He adds class to everything. His gravelly central Texas accent and sun wearied face is a welcome respite from the typical overly smooth and groomed Hollywood stars. Tommy?s characters look like they have lived life and have something to share. He?s also becoming a very good director. He has directed two films for television and two theatrical films. Both of those theatrical films appear in this list.
10. The Client (1994) ? Based on the novel by John Grisham, this legal thriller has Sarandon playing a lawyer looking out for a kid whom has witnessed a mafia death. Tommy Lee Jones plays a prosecutor that just wants the kid to say what he saw.
?You?ve been awful busy, Reggie, obstruction of justice, tampering with federal evidence, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, you?ve been REAL busy.? ? Roy Foltrigg
9. Men in Black (1997) ? Tommy Lee Jones plays mentor to Will Smith is this creative science fiction story about the agents that protect Earth from aliens.
?We are the best kept secret in the galaxy. We monitor, licence and police all alien activity on the Earth. We?re your first, last, and only line of defense. We live in secret, we exist in shadow.? ? Kay
8. Hope Springs (2012) ? Two great actors, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, elevate what should be an average movie into something special. It?s a funny, frank, and sweet story about a couple seeing a marriage counselor after decades of marriage. It?s quite a departure for Tommy Lee Jones.
?If you want to go to intensive couples counselling all by yourself, I?ll see you when you get back.? ? Arnold
7. Lincoln (2012) ? A small story plucked from a large story and then magnified by giant performances. Daniel Day-Lewis became the 16th President. Sally Field became the First Lady. Tommy Lee Jones steals every scene he is in, bringing Thaddeus Stevens to life. Jones received his fourth Oscar nomination for this role.
?Trust? Gentlemen, you seem to have forgotten that our chosen career is politics.? ? Thaddeus Stevens
6. The Fugitive (1993) ? Based on the 1960s television series about a falsely accused doctor on the run, trying to catch the real murderer of his wife. The film excels because of the interplay between Ford?s character and the US Marshall chasing him, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Jones won his Oscar for this film.
?Alright, listen up, people. Our fugitive has been on the run for ninety minutes. Average foot speed over uneven ground barring injuries is 4 miles-per-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive?s name is Dr. Richard Kimble. Go get him.? ? Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard
5. Coal Miner?s Daughter (1980) ? Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones star in the story of country singer Loretta Lynn. Spacek?s performance is something that has to be seen ? she fits perfectly whether playing Lynn at 14 or 34. Coal Miner?s Daughter was nominated for seven Oscars and won one.
?Loretta, I?m leavin? Kentucky. Goin? out west somewhere, find me another job. That damn coal mine about to kill me. There ain?t nothin? in Kentucky for me except a chest full of coal dust and being an old man before I?m forty; ask your daddy, he?ll tell you.? ? Doolittle Lynn
4. In the Valley of Elah (2007) ? A very well acted film starring Tommy Lee Jones as a father looking into the death of his son. Supporting Mr. Jones are Susan Sarandon in basically a cameo and Charlize Theron as a police detective overseeing the civilian investigation. Paul Haggis directed the film and wrote the screenplay. It?s a brave screenplay in that the film has a strong message but doesn?t really reveal it until the end of the story. Jones received his third Oscar nomination for this film.
?That?s how you fight monsters. You lure them in close to you, you look them in the eye, you smack them down.? ? Hank Deerfield
3. No Country for Old Men (2007) ? A Cormac McCarthy novel adapted and directed by the Coen brothers, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin, nominated for eight Oscars and winning four, including Best Picture. Do I need to say anything else?
?I always figured when I got older, God would sorta come inta my life somehow. And he didn?t. I don?t blame him. If I was him I would have the same opinion of me that he does.? ? Ed Tom Bell
2. The Homesman (2014) ? Tommy Lee Jones directed and co-stars in this dark western, alongside Hillary Swank. Swank plays a spinster, named Mary Bee, who takes it upon herself to escort three women driven mad by the Nebraska winter, back to civilization. On the journey they come across Tommy Lee Jones? character, left to hang. Mary Bee recruits him to help her. There?s a fine supporting cast that includes Meryl Streep, John Lithgow, James Spader, and Hailee Steinfeld. It is, as I said, a dark film but a beautiful one.
?Your mothers and your sisters and your wives and your daughters will curse your broke-dick souls.? ? George Briggs
1. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) ? This is the first feature film that Tommy Lee Jones directed. It is a very stark and atmospheric story about a rancher looking into the death of his friend Melquiades, an illegal alien killed by a border patrol officer. Jones surrounds himself with an excellent cast that includes Dwight Yoakum and Melissa Leo.
?You try to run away again, and I?ll kill you. I guess you know that by now.? ? Pete Perkins
Other films considered for this post include JFK, Rolling Thunder, A Prairie Home Companion, Captain America: The First Avenger, Space Cowboys, and Cobb. What would make your list?