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Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam

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Also Known As: Dwight David Yoakam Died:
Born: October 23, 1956 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Pikesville, Kentucky, USA Profession: singer, actor, screenwriter, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

turn into Richard Linklater¿s rather tame heist flick "The Newton Boys" (1998), as a nitroglycerin expert who helps a band of Depression-era brothers rob banks. He returned to the country album charts with 1998¿s A Long Way Home, which continued to push the stylistic boundaries and was well-received though it failed to produce any hits in the New Country environment of Garth Brooks and friends. After playing a detective on the trail of a quiet, elusive, killer (Owen Wilson) in the indie "The Minus Man" (1999), Yoakam made his screenwriting and directing debut with "South of Heaven, West of Hell" (2000). Unfortunately, not even a strong cast that included Thornton, Vince Vaughn and Bridget Fonda could not save the lackluster attempt at a philosophical revisionist Western in which Yoakam starred as a moral Marshal in the lawless turn-of-the-century West. On a positive note, the film did spark a long-term romance with co-star Fonda, and the publicity of their relationship did not hurt the release of two Yoakam albums that year.With dwightyoakamacoustic.net, Yoakam offered sparse, man-and-his-acoustic-guitar renderings of selections spanning his career, while Tomorrow¿s Sounds Today poked fun at his...

turn into Richard Linklater¿s rather tame heist flick "The Newton Boys" (1998), as a nitroglycerin expert who helps a band of Depression-era brothers rob banks. He returned to the country album charts with 1998¿s A Long Way Home, which continued to push the stylistic boundaries and was well-received though it failed to produce any hits in the New Country environment of Garth Brooks and friends. After playing a detective on the trail of a quiet, elusive, killer (Owen Wilson) in the indie "The Minus Man" (1999), Yoakam made his screenwriting and directing debut with "South of Heaven, West of Hell" (2000). Unfortunately, not even a strong cast that included Thornton, Vince Vaughn and Bridget Fonda could not save the lackluster attempt at a philosophical revisionist Western in which Yoakam starred as a moral Marshal in the lawless turn-of-the-century West. On a positive note, the film did spark a long-term romance with co-star Fonda, and the publicity of their relationship did not hurt the release of two Yoakam albums that year.

With dwightyoakamacoustic.net, Yoakam offered sparse, man-and-his-acoustic-guitar renderings of selections spanning his career, while Tomorrow¿s Sounds Today poked fun at his revivalist reputation and delivered another acclaimed selection of timeless songs. He returned to acting in David Fincher¿s atmospheric thriller "Panic Room" (2002), as a sociopathic criminal and one of a trio of men who terrorize a homeowner (Jodie Foster) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) during an all-night standoff. He melded his psycho strengths into his role as a crooked cop in the slightly-smarter-than-average Harrison Ford cop movie "Hollywood Homicide" (2003). Having dropped his longtime record label, Reprise, Yoakam was full of more surprises ¿ including a Burt Bacharach cover ¿ with his 2003 Audium Records release Population, Me. He gave longtime producer Pete Anderson a break and produced his own follow-up Blame the Vain; the following year, he enjoyed one of his higher-profile supporting roles in the gimmicky and gruesome actioner "Crank" (2006), where he incited the creeps with his portrayal of the sweat suit clad doctor who advises a poisoned Jason Statham to maintain high levels of adrenaline if he wants to live. The film cultivated a sizeable cult following and Yoakam was next seen as part of Vince Vaughn¿s retro "Wild West Comedy Show," a touring variety show hosted by the wiseacre that was released in documentary form in 2006.

In the little-seen female-powered heist movie "Bandidas" (2006) starring Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz, Yoakam had a supporting role as a ne¿er do well land baron and went on to earn positive notice for his portrayal of a Texas sheriff in "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" (2006), which earned a number of awards at the Cannes Film Festival for director and star Tommy Lee Jones and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga. He enjoyed a small comedic turn opposite Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn as the pastor boyfriend of Witherspoon¿s mother in the 2008 holiday comedy "Four Christmases" (2008) before reprising his role as the good Doctor in the sequel "Crank 2: High Voltage" (2009) the following spring.

By Susan ClarkeMusic.

Yoakam followed up his platinum-seller with the No. 1 album Hillbilly Deluxe (1987), which left no questions as to whether his breakout success had been a freshman fluke. He and Anderson cemented their role as keepers of the Bakersfield flame, while Yoakam continued to earn kudos for the dry wit, classic country imagery and poignant heartache in his songwriting. He also pleased his record company with four Top Ten singles including "Please Baby Please" and "Little Sister." The following year, the prolific newcomer enjoyed his first No. 1 single with "Streets of Bakersfield," a duet sung with his idol Buck Owens from the album Buenas Noches from a Lonely Room (1988). The No. 1 charting album and follow-up No. 1 single "I Sang Dixie" led to Yoakam¿s first greatest hits album and a little breathing room to write his next album, If There Was a Way, which topped a million album sales in 1990. Despite Yoakam¿s million-selling albums and Top Ten hits, Nashville was reluctant to embrace him as they had "new traditionalists" like George Strait and the Judds, mainstays at the Country Music Awards throughout the 1990s. Outsider Yoakam continued to be overlooked by the industry, but one person who did not overlook the lanky moaner with the famously tight pants was Sharon Stone, who invited Yoakam to accompany her to the 1992 Academy Awards. Their tabloid-fodder affair was brief, with the actress later famously likening the singer to being as exciting as "a dirt sandwich."

With his electrifying stage performances that owed more than a little to Elvis Presley, it was only natural that Yoakam would want to test the acting waters. His first foray onto the screen was in the short-lived CBS series "P.S. I Luv You" (CBS, 1991-92), but he made a more substantial impact with his 1993 stage performance as a mental patient in "Southern Rapture," directed by Peter Fonda. He made his film debut with a small role as a truck driver who has an encounter with a drifter on the run (Nicolas Cage) in John Dahl's moody art house thriller "Red Rock West" (1993) ¿ a role that introduced his oft-used screen persona of the irritated, often shouting redneck. The same year found Yoakam branching out musically with This Time, which effectively introduced lush arrangements that only added to the emotional impact of his evolving songwriting. The album spawned three No. 2 charting singles including "Ain¿t That Lonely Yet," which was honored with a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. It was three years before Yoakam released another album of original material, but in the meantime he continued to stand out onscreen, first with a believable performance as a (shouting and irritated) rancher who discovers space debris on his land in the fact-based TV movie "Roswell" (Showtime, 1994). Off-screen, he was photographed around town with his latest celebrity love, MTV vee-jay Karen Duffy.

In his first leading role, Yoakam starred as a drifting rodeo clown who returns home to Texas to face an uncomfortable past in "Painted Hero" (1995). The film never hit theaters, and Yoakam¿s follow-up turn as a photographer obsessed with a rich businessman's wife in the dreadful "The Little Death" (1995), was also released direct to video. But Yoakam was back on top musically with the release of Gone, which again built on his solid Bakersfield foundation and introduced 1960s R&B elements like horns and Hammond organ. He racked up more critical praise for the Top Five album, and for the first time found himself the subject of theatrical acclaim for his role in Billy Bob Thornton's "Sling Blade" (1996), a moody Southern fable about a simple man (Thornton) who finds a non-traditional home with a kindly single mom and her 12-year-old son following his release from a mental institute. The film topped countless critic¿s lists and earned Yoakam attention for taking his role of the single mom¿s abusive and alcoholic boyfriend beyond the one-dimensional villain and into nuanced, pathos-riddled territory. The film was ineligible for most Oscar Awards due to its previous incarnation as a short film, however Yoakam and the cast were given a Screen Actor¿s Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance from a Cast.

Thornton next tapped the musician-slash-actor to play the sleazy drug dealer to a down-and-out L.A. rocker in "Don¿t Look Back" (HBO, 1996). Yoakam and Thornton collaborated again with co-guest appearances in the infamous "Puppy Episode" of "Ellen" (ABC, 1994-98) and an episode of the animated series "King of the Hill" (Fox, 1997-2010). Following a supporting role as military brass in the WWII-set HBO movie "When Trumpets Fade" (1998), Yoakam had a memorable

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Boomtown (2016)
2.
3.
 Dirty Girl (2011)
4.
 Two: Thirteen (2011)
6.
 Bloodworth (2010)
7.
8.
 Four Christmases (2008)
9.
 Bandidas (2006)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Kentucky
:
Raised in Columbus, Ohio
1962:
Learned to play guitar at age six (date approximate)
1965:
Reportedly wrote his first song at age nine, "How Far Is Heaven", inspired by news coverage of the Vietnam War (date approximate)
:
While in high school, formed first bands
:
Moved to Nashville in the late 1970s; met Pete Anderson
:
With Anderson, moved to L.A.
1984:
Released first recording, an EP titled "A Town SOuth of Bakersfield"; based on airplay in L.A., was signed by Reprise Records
1986:
Released debut album, "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc."
1991:
TV acting debut, guest appearance on the short-lived series "P.S. I Luv You"; had played himself in the pilot for the series
1992:
Headlined own special "Dwight Yoakam in Concert" on The Nashville Network
1993:
Made feature acting debut in John Dahl's "Red Rock West"
1993:
Stage acting debut, "Southern Rapture", directed by Peter Fonda
1994:
TV-movie acting debut, "Roswell" (Showtime)
1995:
First leading role in a feature, "Painted Hero"
1996:
Breakthrough screen role, "Sling Blade", directed by Billy Bob Thornton
1998:
Had featured role in "The Newton Boys"
2000:
Feature directorial debut, "South of Heaven, West of Hell"; also co-wrote script
2002:
Played one of a trio menacing a woman and a child while searching for missing money in "Panic Room"
2002:
Served as a producer on the road picture-comedy "Waking Up in Reno", featuring Billy Bob Thornton
2003:
Appeared in a small role in the action-comedy "Hollywood Homicide"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ohio State University: Columbus , Ohio -
Ohio State University: Columbus , Ohio -
University of California at Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
Los Angeles Community College: Los Angeles , California -

Notes

Yoakam started a country western line of clothes, DY Ranchwear.

He has a dance move, The Dwight, named for him.

"At this point in my life, it's a means of escape from being me. I'm famous for being me. Music is much more directly connected to an everyday side of me--a literal side of me--whereas acting allows me to escape into subliminal aspects of myself and to create a whole new living character." --Dwight Yoakam in the press material for "Sling Blade"

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Sharon Stone. Actor. Stone referred to Yoakam as a "dirt sandwich" after their breakup.
companion:
Karen Duffy. TV host. No longer together.
companion:
Bridget Fonda. Actor. Dating as of late fall 1998.

Family close complete family listing

father:
David Yoakam.
mother:
Ruth Ann Yoakam.
brother:
Ronald Yoakam.
sister:
Kimberly Yoakam.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"A Long Way Home: Twelve Years of Words" Hyperion

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