Recently celebrating his 62nd birthday, Hollywood’s wild child Woody Harrelson opened up about his life, including the influence of his father, a real-life hitman.
The Cheers star, known for his killer versatility on and off screen, used his celebrity as a platform to support the legalization of marijuana, advocate crazy conspiracy theories and to champion PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
But instead of splitting with him, what the Hawaiian-born Laura Louie did was extraordinary.
Keep reading to learn more about Harrelson and Louie!
In 2007, Woody Harrelson, famously known for his role as the gregarious and dopey Woody Boyd on the TV sitcom Cheers, appeared in the crime thriller No Country for Old Men. In the film, the sheriff says, “Here a while back in San Antonio they shot and killed a federal judge,” which references the real-life murder of Judge John H. Wood Jr. by Harrelson’s contract killer father, Charles Voyde Harrelson.
In 1979 the senior Harrelson, who divorced Woody’s mother Diane in 1964, was convicted in the assassination of U.S. district judge, John H. Wood Jr. His second wife, Jo Ann was also implicated in the slaying of the 63-year-old judge.
In 2007, Harrelson’s dad–behind a string of murders and an armed robbery in 1960–died at 68 in a maximum-security state prison of a heart attack.
Born in 1961, Harrelson was only seven when–after his dad was prisoned the first time in the killing of a Texas grain dealer–his mother moved him and his brother Brett to Ohio.
He was in college when his father was convicted of the judge’s assassination.
The multiple award-winning actor–whose versatile talents allow him to appear in indie films on a dollar to major franchises–says he still follows his father’s advice to “‘Keep an open mind.’ That’s what he said: ‘All I’m asking is, keep an open mind.’ That’s pretty good advice from a father.’” He continued, “I think that philosophy has helped me at times to take another look and not shut down to things that I might otherwise have been closed off to.”
Explaining it was his mother who was offered the real guidance, the Natural Born Killers star shared, “I do feel she was a great influence on me and instilled a lot of good values–just the way you treat people, behaving honourably, which I don’t always do, but she was a great role model for that and still is.”
Not surprisingly, the White Men Can’t Jump star is drawn to strong women, and he even married one.
In 1987, he met Hawaiian-born Laura Louie, his former personal assistant, on the set of Cheers. After wooing her with his charm, and even writing a song for her, the two started dating.
They met at a time when the actor was drunk with success after his breakthrough role as the lovable barman, Woody Boyd, a role he played for eight years.
Speaking with Hollywood Reporter, Harrelson shared, “It was phenomenal all the way through. Just the best people. And everybody watched, not like a lot of times when you’ll do a movie and you’ll be like, ‘Will anybody see it?’ I couldn’t have imagined leaving because, really, that show made me. I mean, I was anonymous and poor before that show.”
The Zombieland star, who admits to “having my head up my ass,” said, “I never believed in the concept of [marriage]. I just never believed that it made any sense, this long-term monogamy thing that humans do. Also, relationships do tend to get very proprietary. And so you end up, before you realize it, in a cage–maybe a very comfortable cage, but still a cage–and you can’t be the person you want. Obviously, you can’t have sex with anyone else, but many times you can’t even be the person that you were before. I just was incapable of long-term relationships. I was with whoever would have me. Then I met my wife.”
The couple married in 2008, and share three daughters: “But, luckily, this life and my family–my wife and my daughters [Deni, Zoe, and Makani] they kind of loved me into a better human being.”But things would have looked a lot different if Louie hadn’t shown him compassion after one night of drunken debauchery in 2002.In London filming Hunger Games and Solo: A Star Wars Story, the True Detective star describes the infamous night of infidelity as the “worst night of my life.”
“[In 2002] I went to this bar in London, and afterward these girls came up to me, these two girls, and asked me, ‘So you want to take a walk on the wild side?’ So I said, ‘I guess I do.’ And then I hopped in the car, and another girl I didn’t even know hopped in.” The Now You See Me star continued, “We went to my place, and one of the girls was a razzi [paparazzi] or worked for them, worked for the rags. And she got a photographer to come out. That one girl manipulated the other two. I was bummed when they all left together ’cause I knew it was going to happen [an article].”Keeping things from the public aren’t easy for a celebrity like Woody Harrelson.
“I’m not sure how Laura found out, but she did. I was kind of hoping she wouldn’t see it. I can’t remember the details; I’ve doubtlessly repressed it. She never saw the thing. But someone told her.”
The incident almost destroyed the beautiful Louie but she eventually forgave him and in gratitude, Harrelson became a loving, loyal husband and a devoted father to his three gorgeous girls (born 1993, 1996 and 2006). And, fully committed, Harrelson is frequently seen with his family marching the red carpet at Hollywood events.
Living in an eco-village Hawaii, Louie is a yoga instructor, also selling health foods, while Harrelson farms the land in his time off.
The actor adds, “I got the most amazing wife I could imagine. But did marriage calm me down? I don’t think anything will ever calm me down.”
Woody Harrelson is weird! But, he is so charismatic, entertaining and lovable that everything he does is gold!
We are happy that he’s found love with Laura Louie and their three beautiful girls!
What do you think about Harrelson’s life? Did you know his father was a contract killer?
Meanwhile, if you thought this article was interesting, check out this shocking story about Woody and his young and rowdy Texas upbringing.