Billy Bob Thornton

Though he spent almost a decade struggling to make a name for himself, actor Billy Bob Thornton took matters into his own hands when he wrote, directed and starred in the career-making independent drama, "Sling Blade" (1996), which earned the then-unknown performer an Oscar for Best Screenplay and another nomination for Best Actor. Ever since his sudden rise to stardom, Thornton became a prominent leading man and supporting player whose short-lived but high-profile marriage to offbeat starlet Angelina Jolie overshadowed his exemplary work in films like "Monster's Ball" and "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001). After their divorce, Thornton receded a bit from the public eye, though he continued his streak of fine performances in "Bad Santa" (2003) and "Friday Night Lights" (2004), two wildly different films that displayed his prowess for disappearing into what ever character he played. Occasionally, Thornton incorporated his own personal issues - namely his battles with eating and obsessive-compulsive disorders, like a fear of Louis XIV furniture - into his characters, as he did in "Bandits" (2001). Despite his seemingly bizarre personal life, Thornton nonetheless maintained a steady stream of quality work that always kept him near the top of the game.