You might remember Nick Nolte’s infamous mug shot from 2002, the one where the three-time Oscar nominee wears his hair wild and his shirt Hawaiian. But did you know he has another one from many years before that arrest?
In 1961 Nolte was busted for selling fake draft cards, fined $75,000 and sentenced to 75 years in prison, later suspended. In that booking photo, a pre-famous Nolte wears his hair short and a button-down shirt.
Both embarrassing incidents are heartily discussed in his new memoir, Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines.
Nolte, 77, is now ready to tell his story – warts and all. The arrests act almost like bookends to a sometimes crazy life.
Three-time Oscar nominee Nick Nolte, 77, has taken a look back on his movie roles, drug use and mug shots in his new memoir, Rebel: My Life Outside the Lines
‘I’ve had two mug shots in my lifetime. It’s hard to get those. And if you get them, you better make sure you examine the circumstances that you got them,’ Nolte said.
‘The best way to deal with the biggest mistakes in your life is to discuss them. With everybody, including God.’
Nolte also spoke of his infamous 2002 mugshot (pictured above), saying it resembled ‘an asylum inmate out for a lark’
The autobiography traces the rise of the headstrong Nolte – literally, because he had the bizarre habit of head-butting parked cars.
He was a Midwestern boy, a natural jock, who found fame later in life when he traded in performing on the stage to movies.
‘Acting always appealed to me a lot because it’s risk taking. And it’s something I don’t do naturally. I mean when I’m standing backstage and that curtain is about to open I say, ‘Why would you do this to yourself? Are you really that much of an idiot to just expose yourself to a thousand people?” he said.
‘And then the curtain opens and, if it goes all right, you don’t remember opening night – there’s too much adrenaline. Actors are risk takers. And they’re taking the risks for their own sanity.’
Nolte, whose hits include The Prince of Tides, Cape Fear, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Good Thief, The Thin Red Line and 48 Hrs., said he self-medicated to quell his inner demons.
‘A little chaos around keeps me sane,’ he writes.
Nolte admitted to sleeping with co-star Jacqueline Bisset during filming of The Deep but it was short-lived and over before they finished shooting after Bisset accused him of sleeping with every girl on Peter Island
Nolte revealed he ate real dog food in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and he took real heroin during the eight-week shoot of The Good Thief to better portray a heroin addict
The book recounts his amazing appetite for drugs – including coke, LSD, HGH and GHB – and the time he single-handedly saved the movie Under Fire by smuggling the film canisters out of Mexico – one step ahead of the law.
He also revealed he ate real dog food in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and he took real heroin during the eight-week shoot of The Good Thief to better portray a heroin addict.
Nolte admitted to sleeping with co-star Jacqueline Bisset during filming of The Deep but it was short-lived and over before they finished shooting after Bisset accused him of sleeping with every girl on Peter Island.
He revealed that his inability to skate lost him a part in Slap Shot and that he was offered Superman but saw nothing super about the role.
He has nice things to say about co-stars Eddie Murphy, Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand. But he has less than nice things to say about Debra Winger (‘hellfire’) and Edward Norton (Nolte vowed to ‘slit his throat’).
In his book, he also recounts a spectacular prank pulled by Woody Harrelson on Sean Penn in Australia that involved real cops and gunshots.
Nick Nolte also dishes on how Barbra Streisand fell in love with him and begged him to move in while filming The Prince of Tides (above)
Nolte poses with wife British actress Clytie Lane (left) and their family when was honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017
May Chen, his editor at HarperCollins, said Nolte wrote some of the book by telling his stories out loud. Those anecdotes were later stitched together, alongside journal entries and his own longhand writings. She called him a ‘very self-aware’ author who was not afraid to delve into his own darkness.
In 1961 Nolte was busted for selling fake draft cards, fined $75,000 and sentenced to 75 years in prison, later suspended. In that booking photo, a pre-famous Nolte wears his hair short and a button-down shirt
‘He’s not embarrassed about it. This is his life. Obviously, I sure he’s regretful of some of these things but he’s not embarrassed by it. He owns up to it,’ she said.
‘Now with hindsight, all these decades later, he can look back and I think he realizes how often things could have really gone wrong for him.’
Nolte describes his own #MeToo moment when, at 21, a Hollywood agent invited him to his Bel Air home for dinner. After the man excused himself, he returned wearing only a silk dressing gown and announced: ‘Hello, cuddle bunny.’ Nolte was out the door quick. ‘That would be a casting couch. But I was not an actor at that time at all,’ he said.
Nolte also has a dim view of Harvey Weinstein, the one-time Miramax company head who had a reputation as a ruthless film editor. Nolte recounts how his film The Golden Bowl was ‘reduced to shreds’ by Weinstein’s cut before it was sold back to the filmmakers.
Nolte, above with Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours, has nice things to say about co-stars like Murphy in his book. But he has less than nice things to say about Debra Winger and Edward Norton
Nolte said Weinstein tried to ‘bully me into a couple of roles’ – including Copland – and was ‘manipulative’ during awards season.
‘I never had much admiration for Miramax or Harvey primarily because I had friends who made movies that were shelved,’ he said.
And, of course, there’s the story of his infamous arrest on September 11, 2002. That day he’d gone to the gym for a GHB-enhanced workout but felt too messed up. So he headed toward an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting but didn’t go in, instead weaving down the Pacific Coast Highway.
‘I needed help,’ he wrote.
He says his booking photo resembles ‘an asylum inmate out for a lark in his flower-print Hawaiian shirt.’
Now sober, Nolte can chuckle: ‘I take full responsibility for that one’.