Jon Voight joins '24'

Will play the villain in the seventh season

In his first series role in 40 years, Jon Voight has signed on for the upcoming seventh season of "24."

On the Emmy-winning Fox drama, Voight will play Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) uber-nemesis who is pulling the strings behind next season's terrorist threat.

The character will be introduced during "24's" two-hour Season 7 prequel and will be featured heavily in the latter half of the season.

The prequel, now shooting on location in South Africa, is slated to air Nov. 23, with Season 7 of the Imagine TV/20th TV-produced series kicking off in January.

The tapping of Voight marks the first A-list villain casting on "24" since Season 1 when Dennis Hopper appeared in the final episodes as Serbian nationalist Victor Drazen.

Voight did several TV guest spots early in his career -- including a three-episode stint on "Gunsmoke" between 1966-69 -- until his movie career exploded with "Midnight Cowboy" in 1969.

A four-time Academy Award nominee, Voight won the best actor Oscar for 1978's "Coming Home." He recently reprised his role as Nicolas Cage's father in "National Treasure: Book of Secrets."

Voight is repped by CAA and manager Steven Paul.