Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Voight got peanuts for Midnight Cowboy

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NEW YORK -- It was Jon Voight's portrayal of male prostitute Joe Buck in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy that put him on his path to becoming an acting legend. Now he says he was paid a pittance for the part.

Voight says that he wanted the role so badly he told his agent, "I said, 'Tell them I'll do this part for nothing.'" The actor says to his surprise, "they took me at my word and they gave me minimum for Midnight Cowboy."

The Oscar- and Emmy-winning actor says the studio United Artists "even sent me a $14.73 coffee shop charge," for meals his last day of shooting for the film in Texas. Voight also says he persuaded co-star Dustin Hoffman to try out for the role of Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo after the two became friends doing an off-Broadway show and that they auditioned for the movie together.

Looking back, Voight says, "It was the worst." But Voight says he had no regrets. "I knew what it meant. It was going to give me a career and I was right."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 30, 2013 D2

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