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Way Back When: Tommy Lee Jones, Best Supporting Actor Nominee

Tommy Lee Jones
NBC

Tommy Lee Jones is an Oscar nominee for his outstanding supporting performance in ‘Lincoln‘ (too bad his hair piece wasn’t eligible). So in today’s Way Back When, we bring you a look at the early career of this veteran actor.

‘Eliza’s Horoscope’

One of Tommy Lee Jones’ first roles was in the 1975 film ‘Eliza’s Horoscope,’ in which he’s credited as “Tom Lee Jones.” The film follows the romantic foibles of a young woman whose belief in astrology can be either beneficial or detrimental to her dating life. Jones — and his unibrow! — drinks a beer, wears an Indian sun mask, does an Indian-inspired dance, and gets wacky in the clip below:

‘Charlie’s Angels’

Jones starred in the 1976 pilot episode of this famous series about three female detectives working for a mysterious man named Charlie. You can briefly see Jones talking to a dog and driving a pickup truck in the clip below:

‘Jackson County Jail’

This 1976 drama follows a woman who finds herself on the wrong side of the law while en route from California to New York. She takes up with a badass outlaw named Coley Blake, played by Tommy Lee Jones.

‘The Amazing Howard Hughes’

Long before Martin Scorsese‘s ‘The Aviator,’ there was this 1977 TV movie starring Tommy Lee Jones as the famed director and aviation aficionado. Jones isn’t so great in the role, but his co-star Tovah Feldshuh gives an amazing performance as the late Katharine Hepburn:

‘Rolling Thunder’ (NSFW Clip)

This is, without a doubt, Tommy Lee Jones’ finest performance. When a Major returns home from war, his hometown gifts him with a collection of silver dollars, prompting a group of thugs to break into his home to steal them. They kill his wife and son, and damage the Major’s hand in the garbage disposal, inspiring him to go on a revenge-driven spree to find and kill the men who ruined his life. He brings his old war buddy Tommy Lee Jones along for the ride, which takes them to a brothel in Mexico, where one of the greatest shoot-outs in cinema history occurs and Jones delivers the best line of his entire career:

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