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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

Hailed as a "new traditionalist" who helped re-claim country music from its homogenized decline in the 1980s, platinum-selling musician and songwriter Dwight Yoakam eventually brought his hillbilly swagger to screens big and small with a steady string of often villainous character roles. The singer's tendency to lurk mysteriously in a half-moon shadow beneath a low cowboy hat led to his initial casting as no-nonsense rednecks in Western-set dramas like John Dahl's "Red Rock West" (1993). After Yoakam's acclaimed role in Billy Bob Thornton's "Sling Blade" (1996) exposed sizeable talent, he landed a wider range of opportunities in mainstream fare like the Harrison Ford vehicle "Hollywood Homicide" (2003), Richard Linklater's period heist "The Newton Boys" (1998), and the high-octane "Crank" films (2006, 2009). Yoakam continually won the respect of music critics for his lasting career built on a classic honkytonk foundation, while his often deliciously creepy screen performances evolved into a status above the average musician-turned-actor.

Hailed as a "new traditionalist" who helped re-claim country music from its homogenized decline in the 1980s, platinum-selling musician and songwriter Dwight Yoakam eventually brought his hillbilly swagger to screens big and small with a steady string of often villainous character roles. The singer's tendency to lurk mysteriously in a half-moon shadow beneath a low cowboy hat led to his initial casting as no-nonsense rednecks in Western-set dramas like John Dahl's "Red Rock West" (1993). After Yoakam's acclaimed role in Billy Bob Thornton's "Sling Blade" (1996) exposed sizeable talent, he landed a wider range of opportunities in mainstream fare like the Harrison Ford vehicle "Hollywood Homicide" (2003), Richard Linklater's period heist "The Newton Boys" (1998), and the high-octane "Crank" films (2006, 2009). Yoakam continually won the respect of music critics for his lasting career built on a classic honkytonk foundation, while his often deliciously creepy screen performances evolved into a status above the average musician-turned-actor.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Dirty Girl (2011)
2.
 Bloodworth (2010)
4.
 Two: Thirteen (2009)
5.
6.
 Four Christmases (2008)
8.
 Bandidas (2006)
9.
 Crank (2006)
10.
 Wedding Crashers (2005) Cast
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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