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Throwback Thursday: Woody Harrelson gets a new kind of headshot in Columbus

Star of stage and screen Woody Harrelson has had an illustrious career spanning several decades. But in 1982, he was just a typical 21-year-old…Well, as typical as any 21-year-old whose hitman father has recently been convicted of assassinating a federal judge.

Given his dad’s checkered past, it’s no wonder that the young Harrelson was picked up by Columbus police in October of 1982. However, the arrest could hardly be seen as the apple not falling far from the tree—Woody was picked up by CPD for dancing in the street and resisting arrest when he attempted to flee from apprehending officers.

The incident in question netted Harrelson a disorderly conduct conviction, but he avoided jail time by paying a fine.

Just three years later in 1985, Harrelson landed his career-making role as the gentle-hearted bartender “Woody” on the hit sitcom Cheers.

Since Cheers, Harrelson has gone on to find success as a film actor, appearing in such classics as White Men Can’t Jump and the Coen Brothers crime thriller No Country for Old Men. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, and won an Emmy in 1989 for his performance on Cheers.

Though every 21-year-old who gets hauled in by CPD may not go on to find success and fame, a bump in the road obviously didn’t derail Woody Harrelson’s career. If nothing else, this case gives you something to think about next time you’re tempted to dance in Columbus streets!


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