American film, stage and television actor. After his first Golden Globe nomination for a breakthrough role in The Onion Field (1979), Woods starred in Once Upon a Time in America, the Oliver Stone films Salvador and Nixon, Ghosts of Mississippi, and in legal series Shark. He has won three Emmy Awards (for tele-movies Promise and My Name Is Bill W., and for the animated series of Hercules).
He has been twice nominated for an Academy Award. His voice work has been heard in the animated series Family Guy, The Simpsons, Disney movie Hercules as Hades and the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Born in Vernal, Utah, he grew up in Warwick, Rhode Island where he attended Pilgrim High School. His mother was of Irish Catholic descent and Woods was raised a Catholic. He conducted his undergraduate studies at MIT where he majored in political science (though he originally planned on a career as a surgeon), but dropped out in 1969, just before his graduation, in order to pursue a career in acting. Before this transition to acting, however, he was considered a brilliant student and was permitted to enroll in a linear algebra course at UCLA while still in high school, having scored a perfect 800 on the verbal portion of the SAT and a 780 on the quantitative aspect. He is claimed to possess an I.Q. of 180.
His career has been noted for the intense characters he has chosen. He was nominated for an Academy Award twice: the first in 1987 for Best Actor in Salvador and again in 1996 for Best Supporting Actor for Ghosts of Mississippi. He has also garnered critical praise for his voice work for Hades in Disney's Hercules. His personal favorite of all of his roles, however, is as the domineering gangster Max in Sergio Leone's gangster epic Once Upon A Time In America (1984).Woods appeared as himself in the episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer and Apu", and in an episode of Family Guy entitled "Peter's Got Woods".
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