CATEGORIES Movies
We've always had a soft spot for Nick Nolte, whose rough exterior always seemed to hide a heart of gold.

After a promising start in 'Rich Man, Poor Man,' 'North Dallas Forty,' 'Who'll Stop the Rain' and his turns in '48 Hrs.' and 'Under Fire,' Nolte's rise in Hollywood was stymied by some bad choices (both on and off the screen), and the gruff-voiced star's career pretty much slowed down after 1986's 'Down and Out in Beverly Hills,' though his performance 10 years later in 'Affliction' was to die for -- reaffirming our belief that this guy can act the hell out of a role when he wants to.

Though not a marquee topper, Nolte is still out there, and he has a buzzworthy role ready to hit the screens in Gavin O'Connor's boxing drama 'Warrior,' in which he plays a reformed alcoholic trying to reconnect with his estranged sons. Now, he's getting another really meaty role as William H. Parker, the famous head of the LAPD, in Warner Bros.' 'Gangster Squad,' an adaptation of the Los Angeles Times' seven-part series 'Tales From the Gangster Squad,' about the LAPD's rough and tumble efforts to keep East Coast mobsters out of Los Angeles in the 1940s.

Ruben Fleischer ('Zombieland') is directing the ensemble cast that includes Sean Penn as mobster Mickey Cohen, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin as L.A. cops, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Pena, Emma Stone, Mireille Enos and Robert Patrick.

So is this a resurgence for Nolte? You be the judge: He's set to star in Robert Redford's political thriller 'The Company You Keep,' he'll be playing with Jason Statham in 'Parker,' and has four other projects lined up for 2012. Nick, we missed ya.

Tip o' the hat to Deadline.