Jimmy Don Thornton was the younger brother of the famous actor, director, and singer-songwriter Billy Bob Thornton. He was also a talented musician and songwriter himself, who never got the chance to record his own album. He died of a heart condition in 1988, at the age of 30, leaving behind a devastated family and a legacy of songs.
Jimmy Don Thornton’s Early Life and Career
Jimmy Don Thornton was born on April 12, 1958, in Mena, Arkansas, USA. He was the son of Billy Ray Thornton and Virginia Roberta Faulkner, and the brother of John David Thornton and Billy Bob Thornton. He grew up in a poor and rural environment, where music was his escape and passion. He learned to play guitar and banjo at a young age, and started writing songs when he was a teenager.
Jimmy Don Thornton had a close bond with his older brother Billy Bob, who also shared his love for music and acting. The two brothers often performed together in local bands and clubs, and dreamed of making it big in the entertainment industry. Jimmy Don also supported Billy Bob’s acting career, and encouraged him to pursue his goals.
Jimmy Don Thornton never moved out of Arkansas, unlike his brother who relocated to Los Angeles in 1981. He stayed close to his family and friends, and continued to work on his music. He wrote many songs, some of which were later recorded by his brother Billy Bob on his albums. Two of his songs, “Island Avenue” and “Emily”, can be found on Billy Bob’s second album “The Edge of the World”, released in 2003.
Jimmy Don Thornton’s Cause of Death and Its Impact on Billy Bob Thornton
Jimmy Don Thornton died on October 3, 1988, in San Francisco, California, USA. He had a heart condition that he was unaware of, and suffered a fatal heart attack while visiting his brother Billy Bob on the set of a movie. He was only 30 years old at the time of his death.
Billy Bob Thornton was devastated by the loss of his brother, whom he considered his best friend and soulmate. He said that he never recovered from the tragedy, and that it changed his life forever. He said that he felt guilty for leaving his brother behind in Arkansas, and that he wished he could have done more for him.
Billy Bob Thornton also said that he became more anxious and depressed after his brother’s death, and that he developed a fear of losing his loved ones. He said that he never felt carefree or happy again, and that he always carried a sadness with him. He said that he honored his brother by remembering him every day, and by keeping his music alive.
Billy Bob Thornton dedicated his Oscar-winning screenplay for “Sling Blade” (1996) to his brother Jimmy Don. He also named his son William Robert Thornton after him. He said that he saw a lot of Jimmy Don in his son, who also inherited his musical talent.
Billy Bob Thornton has one living sibling, John David Thornton, who is more than 10 years younger than him. Not much is known about John David, as he prefers to stay away from the spotlight.