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Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson

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Also Known As: John Joseph Nicholson Died:
Born: April 22, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Neptune, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, director, producer, screenwriter, office boy in the MGM cartoon department, editor, Air National Guard fireman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

to the wolfman brings virility and growing confidence. Not surprisingly, Nicholson called into play many of his trademark mannerisms, offering a wry, sly commentary on his star power, proving once again there was no limit to how long he could get away with such hokum. Meanwhile, he made further headlines that year when he was involved in a road rage incident in which he allegedly smashed another driver's windshield with a golf club. Once again, he averted public embarrassment by quietly reconciling the situation. Then in Sean Penn's "The Crossing Guard" (1995), Nicholson once again essayed a bitter man confronting the wounds of the past. As a jeweler whose daughter has been killed by a hit-and-run driver, he delivered a nuanced portrait that was equal parts guilt and grief, while the scenes shared with real-life former lover Anjelica Huston - who played his ex-wife - mined an understandably rich vein of remembered feeling.In 1996, Nicholson found himself reprising his Oscar-winning turn as Garrett Breedlove opposite Shirley MacLaine in "Evening Star," then played the dual role of the U.S. President and a sleazy Las Vegas promoter in Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!" (1996), an ode to 1950s sci-fi flicks...

to the wolfman brings virility and growing confidence. Not surprisingly, Nicholson called into play many of his trademark mannerisms, offering a wry, sly commentary on his star power, proving once again there was no limit to how long he could get away with such hokum. Meanwhile, he made further headlines that year when he was involved in a road rage incident in which he allegedly smashed another driver's windshield with a golf club. Once again, he averted public embarrassment by quietly reconciling the situation. Then in Sean Penn's "The Crossing Guard" (1995), Nicholson once again essayed a bitter man confronting the wounds of the past. As a jeweler whose daughter has been killed by a hit-and-run driver, he delivered a nuanced portrait that was equal parts guilt and grief, while the scenes shared with real-life former lover Anjelica Huston - who played his ex-wife - mined an understandably rich vein of remembered feeling.

In 1996, Nicholson found himself reprising his Oscar-winning turn as Garrett Breedlove opposite Shirley MacLaine in "Evening Star," then played the dual role of the U.S. President and a sleazy Las Vegas promoter in Tim Burton's "Mars Attacks!" (1996), an ode to 1950s sci-fi flicks that delivered cheesy comedy perfect for the broad strokes of the vaunted Nicholson caricature. Meanwhile, he reunited again with Bob Rafelson for the competent thriller "Blood and Wine" (1997), which proved to be compelling to the few people that actually saw the film. Nicholson then reunited with James L. Brooks in an Oscar-winning turn as a curmudgeonly, obsessive compulsive and homophobic author who falls for a single mother (Helen Hunt) struggling to make ends meet as a waitress, while eventually developing a grudging friendship with his gay neighbor (Greg Kinnear) in the richly appealing dramatic comedy, "As Good as It Gets" (1997). For his undeniably sharp performance, Nicholson earned the third Academy Award of his career.

After a three year hiatus, Nicholson returned to the big screen as Jerry Black in the thriller feature "The Pledge" (2001), another harrowing directorial effort from his friend Sean Penn, in which Nicholson delivered a performance that was widely hailed by critics in an otherwise bleak film. In 2002, Nicholson made another comeback, teaming with writer-director Alexander Payne for "About Schmidt," an introspective, serio-comic about Warren Schmidt, an unhappy and retired salesman reflecting on his life, making a cross country trek to attend the wedding of his estranged daughter after the sudden death of his wife. His fresh, unexpected and surprisingly understated performance was rewarded with several award nominations and trophies, including the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, the twelfth nomination of his career, breaking his own record as the most nominated male actor in Oscar history.

Balancing his penchant for top-level acting with a bid for another major commercial success, Nicholson next teamed with popular comedy star Adam Sandler for "Anger Management" (2003), with both stars contributing to the screenplay. Taking his charismatic devilishness into uncharted territory, Nicholson played an unconventional anger management therapist who exacerbates - rather than cures - the rage of his patient (Sandler). The actor then took on another late-career-defining role when he starred opposite Diane Keaton in the romantic comedy "Something's Got to Give" (2003), playing an aging womanizer with a penchant for much-younger women who surprises himself by taking up with the mother (Keaton) of one of his beautiful dates (Amanda Peet) following a heart attack in her beach house. Although the film was uneven in the early and late stretches, at the heart of the story Nicholson and Keaton displayed a remarkable romantic chemistry buoyed by comedic frisson, making for a crowd-pleasing hit that earned the actor yet another Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

After another brief hiatus from the big screen, Nicholson returned to join an all-star cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg for "The Departed" (2006), a slick cop thriller directed by Martin Scorsese - marking the first collaboration of the two legends - and loosely based on the excellent Hong Kong actioner "Infernal Affairs" (2002). Nicholson played the nefarious and sexually deviant Frank Costello, a mob boss whose syndicate is infiltrated by an undercover cop (Leonardo DiCaprio). But Costello has his own mole (Matt Damon) inside the South Boston police department, pitting the two institutions against each other in a cat-and-mouse game that seeks to undermine the other's operations while the two moles fight to expose each other. Nicholson then starred opposite Morgan Freeman in "The Bucket List" (2007), a comedy directed by Rob Reiner about two terminally ill men who break out of the hospital's cancer ward and go on a road trip to fulfill their wishes before they kick the bucket. Despite mixed reviews, the film proved itself to be an exceptional winner at the box office.son's win for "Terms of Endearment" was a high-water mark in a string of Academy Award nominations he received in the 1980s - in fact, it was his only win of the decade in four tries. He was nominated again for Best Actor when he played a not-so-honorable Mafia hit man in "Prizzi's Honor" (1985), one of director John Huston's final films. Following a not very memorable leading turn in the Mike Nichols romantic comedy, "Heartburn" (1986), Nicholson found himself in the Oscar running once again for his performances as a washed-up baseball player wallowing in misery and alcohol in the acclaimed period drama, "Ironweed" (1987). In "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987), Nicholson delivered one of his more deliriously over-the-top performances playing the mysterious Darrell Van Horn, who uses his strange allure to seduce three female friends (Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon). His frenzied theatrics were put to good use as The Joker in Tim Burton's version of "Batman" (1990). Nicholson's lighter take on the Joker dominated the film, which served as the perfect backdrop for his perpetually posturing and leering psychotic villain always fond of a dark, twisted joke.

After 16 years since the release of "Chinatown," Nicholson stepped behind the camera for a third time to direct "The Two Jakes" (1990), the sequel to the first film that depicted a more subdued and beaten-down Jake Gittes who becomes involved in a murder and conspiracy scheme stemming from a real estate deal that was part of the original film's story. Nicholson and writer Robert Towne attempted a sequel in the mid-1980s, but failed to get the project off the ground. When they finally did, the long friendship shared between the two collaborators suffered, causing irreparable harm. Prior to filming "The Two Jakes," Nicholson subverted his relationship with Anjelica Huston when she discovered that he had impregnated actress and model Rebecca Broussard, ending what ultimately proved to be the actor's longest romantic entanglement. Back to acting, Nicholson was in top form as the commanding officer covering up a murder on his Cuban military base in Rob Reiner's "A Few Good Men" (1992). Nicholson's famed line, "You can't handle the truth!" helped him earn yet another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Despite a valiant effort, Nicholson failed to save Danny De Vito's unnecessarily convoluted biopic, "Hoffa" (1992), which traced the rise and mysterious fall of the controversial founder of the Teamsters Union.

Nicholson's next turn, playing a book editor who gradually evolves into a werewolf in Mike Nichols' "Wolf" (1994), served as a metaphor for confronting mid-life crises. At the start of the film, before the wolf bites him, he is weak-willed and passive, but his transformation in

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Two Jakes, The (1990) Director
2.
  Goin' South (1978) Director
3.
  Drive, He Said (1971) Director
4.
  The Terror (1963) Uncredited dir collab

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 How Do You Know (2010)
3.
 Bucket List, The (2007)
4.
 Departed, The (2006)
5.
 Anger Management (2003) Dr Buddy Rydell
6.
 Something's Gotta Give (2003) Harry Sanborn
7.
 About Schmidt (2002) Warren [R.] Schmidt
8.
 Pledge, The (2001) Jerry Black
9.
 As Good As it Gets (1997) Melvin Udall
10.
 Evening Star, The (1996) Garret Breedlove
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to Los Angeles at age 17
:
Began career in cartoon department at MGM under William Hanna
:
Professional stage debut in Hollywood stage production of "Tea and Sympathy"
1958:
Screen acting debut in "Cry Baby Killer"
1963:
Screenwriting debut, "Thunder Island"; a low-budget political thriller
1966:
Co-produced and acted in Monte Hellman's "The Shooting" and "Ride the Whirlwind" (also scripted)
1967:
Wrote the screenplay for Roger Corman's "The Trip" co-starring Peter Fonda
1968:
Initial collaboration with director Bob Rafelson (co-writing and co-producing with him), "Head"; starring the musical group, The Monkees
1969:
Cast in a scene-stealing, star-making supporting role in Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider"; earned first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting actor
1970:
Solidified star status with leading role in "Five Easy Pieces"; produced and directed by Rafelson; earned first Best Actor Oscar nomination
1971:
Acted in Mike Nichols' "Carnal Knowledge"
1971:
Film directorial debut with "Drive, He Said" (also co-wrote and co-produced)
1974:
Achieved mainstream Hollywood success as Jake Gittes in Roman Polanski's noir classic "Chinatown"; received Best Actor Oscar nomination
1975:
Portrayed an alienated American journalist in his one Euro-pic, Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Passenger"
1975:
Solidified standing with Best Actor Oscar for Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
1978:
Directed "Goin' South," which offered James Belushi and Mary Steenburgen in their debut roles
1980:
Starred opposite Shelley Duvall in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining"
1981:
Played Eugene O'Neill in Warren Beatty's "Reds"; nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Award
1983:
Earned second Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor) for his portrayal of retired astronaut Garrett Breedlove in James Brooks' "Terms of Endearment"
1985:
Acted opposite longtime lover Anjelica Huston in her father John Huston's "Prizzi's Honor"
1985:
Formed T.E.N. Productions with Robert Towne and Robert Evans to make a sequel to "Chinatown"
1990:
Portrayed The Joker in Tim Burton's "Batman"; blockbuster merchandising deal earned him well in excess of $20 million
1990:
Directed the "Chinatown" sequel "The Two Jakes"; also reprised his role of Jake Gittes
1992:
Played a marine colonel in Rob Reiner's "A Few Good Men"; nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar
1992:
Acted the role of Jimmy Hoffa in "Hoffa"; earned a Golden Globe nomination
1994:
Reteamed with Mike Nichols to star opposite Michelle Pfeiffer in "Wolf"
1996:
Reprised his "Terms of Endearment" part in "Evening Star"
1996:
Had dual role of US President and a Las Vegas car dealership owner in Tim Burton's campy "Mars Attacks!"
1997:
Reunited with Rafelson for "Blood and Wine"
1997:
Portrayed an obsessive-compulsive and homophopic writer in James L. Brooks' "As Good as It Gets"; received 11th Oscar nomination making him the most nominated male actor in the history of the award
2001:
Cast as a retired detective investigating a child's murder in "The Pledge"; directed by Sean Penn
2002:
Portrayed a retired salesman in Alexander Payne's "About Schmidt"; received BAFTA, SAG and Oscar leading role nominations
2003:
Starred with Adam Sandler in the comedy "Anger Management"; he also contributed to the script
2003:
Co-starred with Diane Keaton in "Something's Gotta Give"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor
2006:
Portrayed an Irish gang boss in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
2007:
Co-starred with Morgan Freeman as dying men who must fulfill their list of goals in Rob Reiner's "The Bucket List"
2010:
Co-starred with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson in James L. Brooks' "How Do You Know"
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Education

Manasquan High School: Manasquan , New Jersey - 1954

Notes

Nicholson has a major art collection.

Named a Commander des Arts et Lettres (received in Paris, September 10, 1990 from the French Minister of Culture).

He received star number 2077 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December 1996.

Nicholson is a rabid fan of the Los Angeles Laker basketball team.

In 1994, he allegedly hit the windshield of a car with a golf club during a traffic dispute; misdemeanor charges of assault and vandalism were dismissed when a lawsuit brought by the motorist was settled out of court.

In 1996, Nicholson paid a settlement of $32,500 to Catherine Sheehan, a woman who alleged that the actor attacked her after a paid sexual encounter. Four years later, Sheehan sought to have the settlement overturned because of reported medical problems that resulted from the incident had driven her into debt.

"Because of Robert's [Towne] influence, it's ["The Two Jakes"] a very literary piece. No car chases, no dead innocent bystanders while I'm supposed to worry if they catch the Russian dope addict. I hate those movies. I mean, back in the [Corman] days, Monte Hellman was the first guy that showed the dead body on the screen. They used to just drop out of the bottom of the frame like death didn't count, and I think that can be culturally degrading. Just like guys driving through the fruit stands and up on the sidewalk, cars are blowing up left and right, and we're supposed to care about the people in the script, I don't buy it."---Jack Nicholson quoted in Premiere, September 1990.

"I lived with Anjelica. Of course I lied to her. It's the other woman I would never lie to. You only lie to two people in your life, your girlfriend and the police. Everybody else you tell the truth to."---Nicholson on whether he ever lied to Anjelica Houston in Vanity Fair, April 1994.

"I'll tell you the truth; when I think about Ray's adolescence, I just feel lucky if I'm alive. That's quite a ways in the future. I'll figure it out by then. Ray will only have one problem with women, and that will be an overabundance."---Nicholson, when asked how he will enlighten young son Ray about women as he hits adolescence, to Us, July 1994.

"Here's a good definition of fame. You call up a restaurant at six on a Saturday night and ask for a table for six and you get the table. Great to be famous. You get to the door and you don't have to wait on line. You get seated right away. Great to be famous. But from that point on you're going to be working. You're going to be the mayor of the room and will have to say hello to everyone who comes by. That's not so good."---Nicholson quoted to Entertainment Weekly, January 3, 2003.

"Jack is a textbook actor who's very intuitive. He is absolutely brilliant at going as far as you can go, always pushing to the edge, but still making it seem real."---Tim Burton, his director for "Batman" to Empire, September 2004.

"I prefer the company of woman. I'm buzzed by the female mystique. I always tell you young men, there are three rules: they hate us, we hate them; they're stronger, they're smarter; and most important, they don't play fair."---Jack Nicholson's advice to younger men as quoted in Empire, September 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sandra Knight. Divorced; mother of Nicholson's daughter Jennifer.
companion:
Mimi Machu.
companion:
Susan Anspach. Actor. Co-starred in "Five Easy Pieces"; no longer together; she alleges that together they had a son, Caleb, who was born on September 26, 1970; claims have been made that Nicholson privately acknowledged the child but has refused to do so publicly.
companion:
Anjelica Huston. Actor. Had on-again, off-again relationship from c. 1973 until 1990.
companion:
Rebecca Broussard. Former waitress, model, actor. Born c. 1963; met while she was waitressing at Helena's in Los Angeles, a restaurant in which Nicholson was an investor; played Nicholson's secretary in "The Two Jakes"; featured in "Blue Champagne" (lensed 1991), "Cannes Man" (1996) and "Point of Betrayal" (1996); married to record producer Richard Perry from 1987 to 1989.
companion:
Lara Flynn Boyle. Actor. Had on-again, off-again romantic relationship from summer 1999.
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Family close complete family listing

grandfather:
John Nicholson. Sign painter. An itinerant alcoholic whom Nicholson believed was his father until a <i>Time</i> magazine researcher revealed otherwise while preparing an August 12, 1974 cover story on the star; he never learned his father's true identity.
grandmother:
Ethel May Nicholson. Beautician. Raised Nicholson as her son; he believed her to be his mother until he was 37 years old (she had already died).
mother:
June Nicholson. Dancer, secretary. Spent a decade in chorus lines before marrying Murray Hawley, but when he left her, returned to her family in Neptune City, New Jersey; diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 43 (c. 1962) and died without telling Jack she was his mother; he had always believed she was his older sister.
aunt:
Lorraine Nicholson. Nicholson believed her to be his older sister; according to Lorraine, Jack had learned the truth prior to the TIME cover story of August 12, 1974 from a 15-page letter written by a man purporting to have fathered him with June; Lorraine told Jack that the man was only one of the suspects June had dated at the time.
half-sister:
Pamela Hawley Liddicoat. Born c. 1946; murdered on February 28, 1994.
daughter:
Jennifer Nicholson. Fashion designer. Born c. 1964; mother, Sandra Knight; worked as design assistant on "The Two Jakes"; featured in the Nicholson-financed film, "Blue Champagne" (1991); gave birth to Nicholson's first grandson Sean on February 20, 1996; married Mark Norfleet on August 31, 1997.
daughter:
Lorraine Broussard Nicholson. Born on April 16, 1990; mother, Rebecca Broussard.
son:
Raymond Nicholson. Born on February 20, 1992 in Los Angeles; mother, Rebecca Broussard.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Jack's Life"
"Jack Nicholson: The Life and Times of an Actor on the Edge" Birch Lane Press

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