Actor Tommy Lee Jones is about as Texas as it gets. The Oscar-winning actor has made no attempts to hide his Southern accent throughout his film career, and his gruff disposition has made him a Hollywood icon who can play comedy as well as drama seamlessly.
The eighth-generation Texan never abandoned his roots in the Lone Star State, or the cattle ranch lifestyle he was raised on, which could be why he was inspired to move back after years working in the film industry. Jones was born in the small town of San Saba outside of San Antonio. His family relocated as his father worked in the oil fields in Midland. When the industry took his family overseas, Jones moved to Dallas to attend the prestigious all-boys prep school, St. Marks School of Texas.
St. Marks allowed Jones to experience new things, from acting in plays to becoming an incredibly talented athlete. He was able to play football at Harvard, where he started getting into acting and graduated with honors. Jones famously roomed with future vice president Al Gore during his college days as well. After school, he moved to New York City, where he started performing on the stage. Jones is an incredibly serious guy, so it only makes sense that that's how he began his acting career.
While he certainly has a reputation for being as moody as some of his characters, there's no doubt that he'll go down in history as one of the most memorable actors of his time. His career kicked off when he booked the role of Mooney, Loretta Lynn's husband in Coal Miner's Daughter opposite Sissy Spacek. He went on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Fugitive opposite Harrison Ford. Jones even won an Emmy for his role in the miniseries Lonesome Dove, a role which allowed him to show off his horse-riding skills from his time on the ranch. Younger fans might know him from his role fighting aliens opposite Will Smith in the blockbuster Men In Black.
Jones is an accomplished polo player, something he is still passionate about today. In fact, according to Texas Monthly, he funds two polo teams, which include Jones and his wife Dawn, professional players and their fifty horses. They previously split their time during the year between his polo farm in Palm Beach, Florida, which Jones sold in 2019, and his San Saba polo ranch.
The house on the Texas ranch is over 150 years old, which shows how much Jones admires the history of his 3,000-acre piece of real estate. Jones told Texas Monthly that he lives the good life out there between the polo fields and cattle they have on the property.
"In the summers, we'll work cattle, and then at about seven o'clock at night, we'll start playing polo. We'll play until about nine, and then when we're done, we put the meat on the fire and watch the dark come. It's a good life. Everyone is happy."
This story previously ran on Feb. 24, 2020.