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Morgan Freeman

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: June 1, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee, USA Profession: actor, producer, director, restaurateur, nightclub owner, transcript clerk

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

By the time he was famous, it seemed as though actor Morgan Freeman already had a long and venerable career. While he worked hard for years in small basement productions in New York City and on public television's early morning kid's show "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77) - which, to his chagrin, was his most widely-recognized role for many years - Freeman would not gain widespread exposure until he landed the Oscar-nominated role of the volatile pimp Fast Black in "Street Smart" (1987). Because of that performance, Freeman catapulted into national prominence, quickly becoming a household name and one of Hollywood's most distinguished performers. He was nominated again just two years later for his portrayal of Hoke Coleburn in "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989), a role reprised from a previous off-Broadway stint. A third nomination for "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) further cemented Freeman's already esteemed image as a quality actor. Though it took another decade to actually win an Academy Award - his performance in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) finally earned him the golden statue - Freeman had by then firmly established himself as one of the finest and most revered performers of...

By the time he was famous, it seemed as though actor Morgan Freeman already had a long and venerable career. While he worked hard for years in small basement productions in New York City and on public television's early morning kid's show "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77) - which, to his chagrin, was his most widely-recognized role for many years - Freeman would not gain widespread exposure until he landed the Oscar-nominated role of the volatile pimp Fast Black in "Street Smart" (1987). Because of that performance, Freeman catapulted into national prominence, quickly becoming a household name and one of Hollywood's most distinguished performers. He was nominated again just two years later for his portrayal of Hoke Coleburn in "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989), a role reprised from a previous off-Broadway stint. A third nomination for "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) further cemented Freeman's already esteemed image as a quality actor. Though it took another decade to actually win an Academy Award - his performance in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) finally earned him the golden statue - Freeman had by then firmly established himself as one of the finest and most revered performers of his generation.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Bopha! (1993) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Now You See Me 2 (2016)
2.
 Ted 2 (2015)
3.
4.
 Lego Movie, The (2014)
6.
 Lucy (2014)
7.
 Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)
8.
 Transcendence (2014)
9.
 Now You See Me (2013)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1945:
Played the lead role in a school play at age eight
1949:
Won a statewide drama competition at age 12
:
Performed on a radio show in Nashville, TN while in high school
1955:
Turned down a partial scholarship in drama from Jackson State University to serve in the Air Force
:
Lived in New York, where he danced at the 1964 World's Fair; also lived in San Francisco, where he joined the Opera Ring musical theater group
1965:
Worked as an extra on the feature film "The Pawnbroker"
:
Left the Opera Ring when he was asked to play an Indian who waves a flag at the end of a production of "Little Mary Sunshine"
:
Made acting debut in the touring company of Peter Shaffer's "The Royal Hunt of the Sun"
1967:
Made off-Broadway debut as Creampuff opposite Viveca Lindfors in "The Niggerlovers"
1967:
Broadway debut, played Rudolph in all-black production of "Hello, Dolly!" with Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway at the St James Theatre
1970:
Played the title role in "Purlie!" when it was staged by the American National Theater Academy in New York
1971:
Played Easy Reader on TV's "The Electric Company" (PBS)
1971:
Made film acting debut as Afro in "Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?"
1978:
Had featured role in the Broadway play "The Mighty Gents"; received rave reviews and a Tony nomination, but play closed after nine performances
1978:
Acted in the ABC miniseries "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry"
1980:
Appeared in support of Robert Redford in "Brubaker"
1980:
Co-starred in the ABC movie "Attica"
1984:
Originated role of the Messenger in the off-Broadway staging of "The Gospel at Colonus"; reprised role in the 1985 PBS TV adaptation
1985:
Had featured role in the CBS miniseries "The Atlanta Child Murders"
1986:
Originated role of the black chauffeur hired to take around an elderly Jewish woman in the Pulitzer-winning, off-Broadway hit "Driving Miss Daisy"
1987:
Earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for turn as the pimp Fast Black in "Street Smart"
1989:
Cast in first starring film role, as New Jersey high school principal Joe Clark in "Lean on Me"
1989:
Co-starred as a Union soldier in an all-black unit in "Glory"
1989:
Reprised the role of chaffeur Hoke, opposite Jessica Tandy in "Driving Miss Daisy," the film version of the award-winning play; received Best Actor Academy Award nomination
1990:
Cast as the Judge in "Bonfire of the Vanities," Brian De Palma's screen version of Tom Wolfe's novel
1991:
Portrayed Azeem, the Moor and friend to the title character in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves"
1992:
Cast opposite Clint Eastwood's gunslinger William Munny in the Oscar-winning Best Picture "Unforgiven"
1993:
Made feature directorial debut with "Bopha!"
1994:
Earned second Best Actor Oscar nomination as inmate Ellis 'Red' Redding in "The Shawshank Redemption"; film was adapted from a short story by Stephen King
1995:
Co-starred with Brad Pitt as homicide detectives in David Fincher's "Se7en"
1996:
Played the enigmatic project head in "Chain Reaction"
1996:
Formed Revelations Entertainment with Lori McCreary
1997:
Portrayed police detective Alex Cross in "Kiss the Girls"; film based on James Patterson's novel; Ashley Judd co-starred
1997:
Tapped by Steven Spielberg to portray an abolitionist in "Amistad"
1998:
Portrayed the U.S. President coping the imminent destruction of Earth by an oncoming meteor in "Deep Impact"
1999:
Made debut as an executive producer with the NBC TV-movie "Mutiny," based on the real-life Port Chicago Mutiny
2000:
With Gene Hackman, co-executive produced and co-starred in "Under Suspicion"
2001:
Reprised role of Alex Cross in "Along Came a Spider"
2002:
Reteamed with Ashley Judd in "High Crimes"
2002:
Portrayed the director of the CIA in "The Sum of All Fears"; adapted from the Tom Clancy best-seller
2003:
Starred as the villain in "The Dreamcatcher"; adapted from a Stephen King novel
2003:
Played God in the feature "Bruce Almighty"
2004:
Co-starred with Owen Wilson in "The Big Bounce"
2004:
Cast as Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris opposite Hilary Swank in "Million Dollar Baby"; directed by Clint Eastwood who also co-starred
2005:
Cast as former Wayne Enterprises board member Lucius Fox opposite Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman in Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins"
2006:
Played 'The Boss' opposite Josh Hartnett in the thriller "Lucky Number Slevin"
2006:
Cast as a nameless actor in Brad Silberling's low-budget feature "10 Items or Less"
2007:
Reprised his role as God in "Evan Almighty," the sequel to "Bruce Almighty" starring Steve Carell in the lead role
2007:
Played a Boston Police Chief in Ben Affleck's feature directing debut "Gone, Baby, Gone"
2008:
Returned to Broadway in a Mike Nichols directed revival of Clifford Odets's play "The Country Girl"
2008:
Cast as an assassin in the comic book adaptation "Wanted"
2008:
Reprised role of Lucius Fox opposite Christian Bale in the Nolan directed sequel "The Dark Knight"
2009:
Portrayed former South African President Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's "Invictus," about the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa
2010:
Co-starred with Bruce Willis in "Red," an adaption of the comic book mini-series of the same name
2011:
Narrated the fantasy action feature "Conan the Barbarian," starring Jason Momoa in the title role
2011:
Co-starred with Harry Connick Jr. and Ashley Judd in the family drama "Dolphin Tale"
2012:
Reprised role of Lucius Fox in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises"
2013:
Played the Speaker of the House in action thriller "Olympus Has Fallen"
2013:
Featured in the sci-fi movie "Oblivion"
2013:
Appeared in the crime caper "Now You See Me"
2013:
Starred in "Last Vegas" with Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Los Angeles Community College: Los Angeles , California -
Pasadena Playhouse: Pasadena , California -
Greenwood High School: Greenwood , Mississippi - 1955

Notes

Not to be confused with film director Morgan J Freeman.

In 1993, Freeman was presented with the sixth annual William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre presented by The Shakespeare Theatre in recognition of a singular contribution that strengthens the tradition of classical theater in America.

In September 2000, announced plans to open the restaurant Mididi in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

"I've always been a ladies' man. A momma's boy. I grew up among women and always had better relationships with them."---Morgan Freeman quoted in The Daily Telegraph, January 2, 2001.

"Those career-move actors are looking for something else... stardom," says Freeman. "People say to me these days, 'Well, now that you can pick and choose,' hey, you can ALWAYS choose. There's always a choice, and for that, life exacts a payment. You pay it up front or afterward. Those who seem not to have to pay are not to be envied. A lot of them die off because there's nothing controlling them from the danger of believing their own press. They're thinking about matinee-idol things, a level to which I've never aspired. I don't want to have a look. I prefer to be unrecognizable. I'd like to be able to walk past an audience when I walk out."---From Premiere, December 1989.

"So he [Freeman] said, 'Let's pick something from the Bible. How about Genesis?' But we figured there's a band, there's a game, there are too many things called Genesis. So we went to the other end of the Bible, the book of Revelations. The name is a play on words for us, because we want to do movies that are revelatory."--- Lori McCreary on how they came up with a name for their (Morgan Freeman) company to TV Guide, 2002.

"... in my 20 years in the theater I never got to see myself except through the reaction of the audience, so I was under the impression that I was really hot shit. But the minute you actually see yourself, the bubble is burst forever."---Freeman quoted in Premiere April 2003.

"You've got five really outstanding works, so why would four of them turn out to be losers? That's how the press looks at it, that's how they refer to it. Okay, fine. I think the biggest thing you can get is the nomination for an Academy Award. After that, it's just arbitrary."---Freeman on getting his fourth nomination for "Million Dollar Baby" to Venice magazine, February 2005.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jeanette Adair Bradshaw. Married on October 22, 1967; divorced in 1979.
wife:
Myrna Colley-Lee. Costume designer. Born c. 1941; married on June 16, 1984.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Morgan Porterfield Freeman. Barber. Died in 1961 at age 47 from cirrhosis of the liver.
mother:
Mayme Edna Freeman. Cleaning woman.
son:
Alphonso Freeman. Actor. Born in September 1959; Freeman was not married to Alphonso's mother.
son:
Saifoulaye Freeman. Flight instructor. Born c. 1960; Freeman was not married to Saifoulaye's mother.
daughter:
Deena Freeman. Natural daughter of Jeanette Morgan; adopted by Freeman.
daughter:
Morgana Freeman. Born in 1971; mother, Jeanette Freeman.
granddaughter:
E'Dena Hines. Mother, Deena Freeman; Freeman and his second wife helped to raise the child.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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