Tommy Lee Jones
An eighth-generation Texan, actor Tommy Lee Jones, born September 15th, 1946, attended Harvard University, where he roomed with future U.S. Vice President Al Gore. Though several of his less-knowledgeable fans have tended to dismiss Jones as a roughhewn redneck, the actor was equally at home on the polo fields (he’s a champion player) as the oil…
After graduating cum laude from Harvard in 1969, Jones made his stage debut that same year in A Patriot for Me; in 1970, he appeared in his first film, Love Story (listed way, way down the cast list as one of Ryan O’Neal’s fraternity buddies). Interestingly enough, while Jones was at Harvard, he and roommate Gore provided the models for author Erich Segal while he was writing the character of Oliver, the book’s (and film’s) protagonist. After this supporting role, Jones got his first film lead in the obscure Canadian film Eliza’s Horoscope (1975). Following a spell on the daytime soap opera One Life to Live, he gained national attention in 1977 when he was cast in the title role in the TV miniseries The Amazing Howard Hughes, his resemblance to the title character — both vocally and visually — positively uncanny. Five years later, Jones won further acclaim and an Emmy for his startling performance as murderer Gary Gilmore in The Executioner’s Song.
Jones spent the rest of the ’80s working in both television and film, doing his most notable work on such TV miniseries as Lonesome Dove (1989), for which he earned another Emmy nomination. It was not until the early ’90s that the actor became a substantial figure in Hollywood, a position catalyzed by a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role in Oliver Stone’s JFK. In 1993, Jones won both that award and a Golden Globe for his driven, starkly funny portrayal of U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard in The Fugitive. His subsequent work during the decade was prolific and enormously varied. In 1994 alone, he could be seen as an insane prison warden in Natural Born Killers; titular baseball hero Ty Cobb in Cobb; a troubled army captain in Blue Sky; a wily federal attorney in The Client; and a psychotic bomber in Blown Away.
Jones was also attached to a number of big-budget action movies, hamming it up as the crazed Two-Face in Batman Forever (1995); donning sunglasses and an attitude to play a special agent in Men in Black (1997); and reprising his Fugitive role for the film’s 1998 sequel, U.S. Marshals. The following year, he continued this trend, playing Ashley Judd’s parole officer in the psychological thriller Double Jeopardy. The late ’90s and millennial turnover found Jones’ popularity soaring, and the distinguished actor continued to develop a successful comic screen persona (Space Cowboys  and Men in Black II ), in addition to maintaining his dramatic clout with roles in such thrillers as The Rules of Engagement (2000) and The Hunted (2003).
2005 brought a comedic turn for the actor, who starred in the madcap comedy Man of the House as a grizzled police officer in tasked to protect a house full of cheerleaders who witnessed a murder. Jones also took a stab at directing that year, helming and starring in the western crime drama The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. In 2006, Jones appeared in Robert Altman’s film adaptation of A Prairie Home Companion, based on Garrison Keillor’s long running radio show. The movie’s legendary director, much loved source material and all-star cast made the film a safe bet for the actor, who hadn’t done much in the way of musical comedy. Jones played the consumate corporate bad guy with his trademark grit.
2007 brought two major roles for the actor. He headlined the Iraq war drama In the Valley of Elah for director Paul Haggis. His work as the veteran father of a son who died in the war earned him strong reviews and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. However more people saw Jones’ other film from that year, the Coen brothers adaptation of No Country for Old Men. His work as a middle-aged Texas sheriff haunted by the acts of the evil man he hunts earned him a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The actor co-starred with Stanley Tucci and Neal McDonough for 2011’s blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger, and reprised his role as a secret agent in Men in Black 3 (2011). In 2012 he played a Congressman fighting to help Abraham Lincoln end slavery in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a role that led to an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
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