Nick Nolte goes from 'Sexiest Man Alive' to Santa Claus

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Former “Sexiest Man Alive” Nick Nolte, seen here at the SiriusXM Studios on March 12, 2018, is looking like Santa Claus these days. (Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Nick Nolte has always done things his way — and at 77, that still applies, especially in the case of his hair.

The three-time Academy Award nominee is virtually unrecognizable these days beneath an unruly mass of facial — and noggin — hair. On Monday, the actor, who’s been promoting his memoir, Rebel, visited the SiriusXM Studios in N.Y.C. sporting a long white beard, walrus-like mustache, and unruly locks that sprouted from under his cap. There were Santa Claus vibes all the way.

Nolte has long marched to his own beat, but at one point in time he was named the “Sexiest Man Alive.” After his college football career ended, he made a big mark in Hollywood, going on to star in films including 1991’s The Prince of Tides and 1999’s Affliction. In between those films, he was picked by People magazine as the sexiest star of 1992. (For the record, it’s something he found humorous. While he had the mag cover framed in his office, “when people mention it, he’s likely to thrust out his gut and say, ‘There. Is that sexy?’” a friend said.)

“Man’s man that women can’t resist:” Nick Nolte was People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1992. (Photo: People magazine)

Of course, his wild hair these days also takes us back to his infamous mug shot. In 2002, a decade after he got the sexy title, he was arrested for driving under the influence of GHB (gamma hydroxybutyric acid) and his mugshot went viral — long before things truly went viral.

“It went viral — my hair wild, my expression unsettling, looking like an asylum inmate out for a lark,” he wrote in his book. “In 1992, People magazine had named me the Sexiest Man Alive, and now, 10 years later, I looked to all the world like a madman.”

Nick Nolte’s arrest photograph from 2002. (Photo: The California Highway Patrol/Getty Images)

Though the incident served as a wakeup call (“I was just worn out,” he said in January). Today he abstains from alcohol and drugs and finds happiness raising his 10-year-old daughter, Sophie, with his wife, Clytie Lane.

Nick Nolte is joined by his family at his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in November 2017. (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

If wild hair is his one vice, it sounds like it’s a good thing.

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