By 1993, Woody Harrelson’s career was moving along at a rapid pace.
The actor from Midland, Texas, who shares his name with the character, gained notoriety on the Cheers (1985–1983) television series with Ted Danson, Shelley Long, and other cast members. In Wildcats (1986), he played high school football for a squad coached by Goldie Hawn, and in White Men Can’t Jump, he hustled about the basketball courts of Los Angeles alongside Wesley Snipes (1992).
The only time Woody’s mother, Diane, visited him at work while he worked on these movies — with these well-known co-stars — was infrequently.
When Harrelson was brought on board Indecent Proposal, the popular love film that debuted in theatres 30 years ago this Sunday, everything changed.
As high school sweethearts David and Diana, portrayed by Harrelson and Demi Moore, their marriage is tested while on vacation in Las Vegas when a rich stranger, played by Robert Redford, offers them one million dollars to spend the night with Diana.
During an interview, Harrelson said:“My mom was pretty psyched, she didn’t come to visit me on set much [but] when Robert Redford was in the movie, she came to set for sure. She was like a little girl, like a little school girl. It was fantastic.” Despite Redford’s fanfare, Harrelson has frequently lauded his mother in interviews. I do feel she was a great influence on me and instilled a lot of good values,” he told the Guardian in 2018. “Just the way you treat people, behaving honorably, which I don’t always do, but she was a great role model for that and still is.”
After his father, Charles, a professional hitman, was imprisoned for killing a grain merchant, his mother relocated the family to Ohio, where Harrelson was primarily raised alone. After being given a life sentence for the murder of a district judge, Charles Harrelson passed away in 2007.