1. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1991 film The Prince of Tides.
2. His maternal grandmother ran the student union at Iowa State University.
3. He has an older sister, Nancy, who was an executive for the Red Cross.
4. Nolte studied at Westside High School in Omaha, where he was the kicker on the football team.
5. He also attended Benson High, but was expelled for fighting and hiding beer before practice and being caught drinking it during a practice session. He later attended Pasadena City College in Southern California, Arizona State University in Tempe , Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher and Phoenix College in Phoenix.
6. At Eastern Arizona, Nolte lettered in football as a tight end and defensive end in basketball with forward, and as a catcher on the baseball team.
7. Poor grades eventually ended his studies, at which point his career in theatre began in earnest.
8. While in college, Nolte worked for the Falstaff Brewery in Omaha.
9. After stints at the Pasadena Playhouse and The Stella Adler Academy in Los Angeles, Nolte spent several years traveling the country and working in regional theaters, including the Old Log Theater in Minnesota for three years.
10. Nolte was a model in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
11. Later he appeared in over forty films, playing a wide variety of characters.
12. Diversity of character, and his trademark athleticism, and gravelly voice are signatures of his career.
13. In 1973, he guest-starred in the Griff episode, “Who Framed Billy the Kid?”, as Billy Randolph, a football player accused of murder.
14. He co-starred with Andy Griffith in Winter Kill, a television film made as the pilot of a possible television series, and another one, Adams of Eagle Lake, but neither was picked up.
15. In 1991, Nolte starred in The Prince of Tides and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
16. He received his second Academy Award nomination the same year for Affliction.