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Rising to prominence on the silver screen in the late 1960s with his memorable performance as Joe Buck, a would-be gigolo from Texas in the hit film “Midnight Cowboy,” co-starring Dustin Hoffman, Voight became a Hollywood icon during the 1970s and ’80s. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of a businessman mixed up with murder in “Deliverance” (1972), a paraplegic Vietnam veteran in “Coming Home” (1978), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and a penniless ex-boxing champion in “The Chamo” (1979).
Born in Yonkers, New York, Voight was raised Catholic and attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, where he first took an interest in acting, playing the comedic role of Count Pepi Le Loup in the school’s annual musical, “The Song of Norway.” Following his graduation in 1956, he enrolled at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he majored in art and graduated with a BA degree in 1960. After graduation, Voight moved to New York City, where he pursued an acting career.
In December of 1971, Voight married actress Marcheline Bertrand and the couple had two children together: a son, James Haven, born in 1973, and a daughter, Angelina Jolie, born in 1975, who went on to achieve stardom in Hollywood as a respected actress.
Voight has been a consistent supporter of Jewish causes throughout his career and has made annual appearances on the Chabad-Lubavitch telethon that is broadcast from Los Angeles. His support of Beck’s rally adds another worthy addition to his record of great support for Israel.
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