He, along with Christopher Walken, were both considered for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
In 1962, Nolte was convicted for selling fake draft cards and was sentenced to a seventy-five year jail sentence and a $75,000 fine. He was suspended under the terms of the Youth Corrections Act and was on probation throughout the length of the Vietnam War. He was warned by the judge that if he was arrested for any other crime he would be jailed under the original conviction terms.
In 1978, Karen Ecklund, his girlfriend of five years, sued him for community property and support.
Nolte gained 50 pounds for his role in Q & A (1990).
Currently resides in Malibu, California.
Parents are Franklin Arthur and Helen Nolte.
Nolte was a heavy drinker until 1990. When Katharine Hepburn accused him of falling down drunk in every gutter in town, he replied: "I've got a few to go yet.".
In 1992, he was chosen as People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive.
In September 2002, he checked himself into Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut for counseling after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Malibu, California, a few days earlier. Tests later showed that he was under the influence of GHB, the "date rape" drug.