Tommy Lee Jones
Perhaps that's because Tommy Lee, 47, isn't just acting. A native of hardscrabble San Saba, Texas, Jones, only son of a cowboy turned oil rigger, had a childhood even he has called "psychically horrifying." Apparently, his parents' domestic drama, their divorce and remarriage, and his father's subsequent departure for the oilfields of Libya, took their toll on the son, who eventually found refuge in a Dallas prep school. After his years there, he hightailed it to Harvard, where he showed brains and brawn as an all-Ivy guard, top student actor—and the roommate of Al Gore. "Tommy has an unerring sense for the poetry of life," the Vice President recently said. "That is not apparent to someone who simply sees a taciturn man who doesn't necessarily pour out his heart." The real Tommy Lee? "He's a settled-down papa," laughs Lisa Taylor, an actress Jones dated for a few years starting in 1978. Jones lives on a big San Antonio ranch with his second wife, Kimberlea, and their children Austin and Victoria. For fun he plays polo—and reads Tolstoy. If that doesn't conjure up any cowboys you know—shoot, that's not his problem. Better to forget figuring him out. As Gary Devore, who wrote Jones's 1981 film Back Roads, says, "It's that complexity that makes him fascinating. You are never going to feel like you really know Tommy."