The blaze is believed to have started in a bedroom due to an electrical problem, the entertainment news Web site said.
Firefighters reportedly arrived to find the house on fire and the 67-year-old actor trying to extinguish it himself.
TMZ said the blaze caused an estimated $500,000 in damage to the contents of the house and about $1 million damage to the structure.
Nolte is best known for his roles in and "48 Hours," "Weeds," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Prince of Tides," "Hulk" and "Affliction." He was also seen in this summer's hit "Tropic Thunder."