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Jack Nicholson

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The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)... If there was an Eleventh Commandment, they would have broken that too.Drifter... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

The Witches Of Eastwick... Only two casting choices exist to play the Devil: Old Scratch himself...and Jack... more info $4.99was $5.98 Buy Now

Back Door To Hell DVD In this film, "hell" would be the jungles of the Philippines during WWII and... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Something's Gotta Give DVD Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a perennial playboy with a libido much younger... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

The Bucket List DVD You only live once, so why not go out in style? That's what two cancer-ward... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Carnal Knowledge DVD This provoking drama explores the various sexual relationships between two... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

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

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perhaps no other actor of his generation made more of a lasting impression than Jack Nicholson. Over the course of several decades, Nicholson delivered one sterling performance after another in films that have long been considered as being some of the greatest ever made. Though he got his start with low-budget king Roger Corman in the late-1950s, the actor eventually made his mark with a memorable supporting role in the iconic counterculture road film, "Easy Rider" (1969). Thanks to that Oscar-nominated performance, Nicholson embarked on a fruitful decade of work that ultimately cemented his place in cinematic history, starting with a shaded portrayal of a man searching for what went wrong with his life in "Five Easy Pieces" (1970). But it was his performance as the dogged private detective Jake Gittes in "Chinatown" (1974) that turned the already successful actor into a legend, which he followed with perhaps his most enduring film, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975). From there, Nicholson became noted for his bombastic and over-the-top performances, which sometimes hampered the actor into being confined to "Jack" roles that limited his choices, as happened in "The Shining" (1980). This persona...

Perhaps no other actor of his generation made more of a lasting impression than Jack Nicholson. Over the course of several decades, Nicholson delivered one sterling performance after another in films that have long been considered as being some of the greatest ever made. Though he got his start with low-budget king Roger Corman in the late-1950s, the actor eventually made his mark with a memorable supporting role in the iconic counterculture road film, "Easy Rider" (1969). Thanks to that Oscar-nominated performance, Nicholson embarked on a fruitful decade of work that ultimately cemented his place in cinematic history, starting with a shaded portrayal of a man searching for what went wrong with his life in "Five Easy Pieces" (1970). But it was his performance as the dogged private detective Jake Gittes in "Chinatown" (1974) that turned the already successful actor into a legend, which he followed with perhaps his most enduring film, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975). From there, Nicholson became noted for his bombastic and over-the-top performances, which sometimes hampered the actor into being confined to "Jack" roles that limited his choices, as happened in "The Shining" (1980). This persona was put to excellent use in both "The Witches of Eastwick" (1987) and "Batman" (1990), while he managed to balance out such roles with a return to finer, more nuanced performances in "Terms of Endearment" (1987) and "As Good As It Gets" (1997), all of which underscored Nicholson's place in at the top of the Hollywood pantheon.

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.
 Something's Gotta Give (2003) Harry Sanborn
6.
 Anger Management (2003) Dr Buddy Rydell
7.
 About Schmidt (2002) Warren [R.] Schmidt
8.
 Pledge, The (2001) Jerry Black
9.
 As Good As it Gets (1997) Melvin Udall
10.
 Blood and Wine (1996) Alex Gates
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"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

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.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

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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