While many actors have fascinating backstories, Woody Harrelson’s is among the most intriguing. Recently, Harrelson sparked interest by suggesting that his True Detective co-star, Matthew McConaughey, might be his half-brother.

His name trended on Twitter when fans discovered that his father was an organized crime boss and convicted hitman. In 1979, rumors circulated that Woody’s father, Charles Voyde Harrelson, had assassinated federal Judge John H. Wood, Jr., known as “Maximum John.”

Judge Wood was murdered while changing a flat tire in San Antonio, Texas, after Harrelson Sr. was paid $250,000 by drug lord Jimmy Chagra. The hit made Judge Wood the first federal judge assassinated in the 20th century. Authorities later convicted Harrelson Sr. of the crime.

Before this, Harrelson Sr. had served five years in prison for a 1968 murder-for-hire in Texas. After his conviction for Judge Wood’s murder, he received two life sentences.

Woody Harrelson hired controversial attorney Alan Dershowitz for his father’s defense. This dark chapter of the Harrelson family was widely known when Woody gained fame in the 1980s with his role on Cheers.

However, over time, this detail faded as Woody became renowned for his acting in films like Indecent Proposal, Zombieland, Natural Born Killers, and his Oscar-winning role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Despite his celebrity status, Woody’s family background resurfaced in the public eye.

In June 2023, additional details about Woody and his father were revealed. Some fans began tweeting about Harrelson’s intriguing family history in 2021, coinciding with his return to the spotlight in Venom: Let There Be Carnage and the Netflix film Kate, where he played Cletus Kassidy, also known as Carnage.

Woody, however, is not convinced of his father’s guilt. In a previous interview with Barbara Walters, Woody expressed his belief in his father’s innocence, citing an unfair trial and a not-guilty verdict for the person allegedly hired to carry out the murder.

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Walters questioned if Woody had tried to reopen the case for his father’s release. Woody responded that he hadn’t given up hope but didn’t provide further details. He also mentioned that his father had connections to the CIA but avoided specifics.

At the time of his father’s incarceration, Woody had been estranged from him. However, after the conviction, Woody frequently visited his father in prison and made unsuccessful attempts to overturn the conviction.

The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Woody Harrelson

Charles Voyde Harrelson died of cardiac failure in 2007 at the age of 68 in the Colorado Supermax prison. This peculiar story captivates many, explaining the ongoing fascination with Woody Harrelson’s family history.