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Gene Hackman

Gene Hackman

  • Sky Divers, The (1969) July 10 (ET) - Reminder REMINDER
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Also Known As: Died:
Born: January 30, 1930 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: San Bernardino, California, USA Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

When he is in New York, Hackman teaches at the New Actors Workshop, a two-year professional actor training program.

In addition to writing novels, Hackman also paints landscapes.

"It becomes tougher and tougher for me to be directed. It isn't that I feel I know everything. I just find myself being frustrated. I'm kind of impossible." --Hackman to The New York Times Magazine, March 19, 1989.

"He is Everyman on the one hand, and yet, he's an Ubermensch. He has a broad spectrum of gifts, a combination of sensitivity and toughness. That's why he's done what he's done." --Warren Beatty to Premiere, February 1991.

Hackman had heart surgery in June 1990 after which he slowed down his work load. "The illness left the actor and sometime sketch artist determined to move to the marble quarries of Carrera, Italy, to become a sculptor. But "Unforgiven" changed things ... " --From "Tough Guys Don't Talk" in Newsday, June 19, 1994.

"Gene is not your run-of-the-mill actor. He's really special, and right now he's at the top of his form--almost a Zen-like place in his acting, where you don't see the effort." --Sydney Pollack to Newsday, June 19, 1994.

"When you start having a little more confidence in what you do as an actor, that starts to show, and then people start giving you more and more confident characters to play, and then you become typed with that. I'm not a tough guy at all--but I'm capable of playing some of those guys." --Gene Hackman quoted in Us, March 1996.

"I like to work. But I don't like the business. All the backstabbing. The uncomfortable atmosphere on some sets. But it's a trade-off." --Hackman quoted in USA Today, October 11, 1996.

"Gene charges a lot of money for what he does. And he gives you your money's worth. And that's the most you can say about anyone, whether they're a waiter or an actor." --Clint Eastwood to USA Today, October 11, 1996.

"I'm not saying he's the only great American actor, but there's no better American actor alive today." --director Robert Benton (who guided Hackman in "Twilight") quoted by Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press, March 11, 1998.

On his status as an "Everyman", Hackman told the Associated Press (March 11, 1998): "One would like to think of oneself as being special, as being artistic or romantic. Not common. I mean, Everyman means common in some kind of way. And common doesn't denote any kind of artistic talent or artistic intent. So, in some ways, it sounds to me like a put-down. But I don't think people necessarily mean it that way."

"Things haven't always gone the way I've wanted, but look, I know I've been very lucky. I've had more than my fair share of success, and the audiences are still good to me." --Hackman on being considered a character actor, to The Daily Telegraph, July 20, 2000.

"When I'm acting I really feel that I'm doing what I was set on Earth to do, the only thing that I really know how to do well." --Gene Hackman

Hackman has provided the voice-overs for numerous TV commercials, perhaps most notably for United Airlines.

"The Royal Tenenbaums" director Wes Anderson on Hackman to the Los Angeles Times (December 16, 2001): "There's something very charismatic in him, even when he's being his worst. There is something about him that gives him a kind of gravity that is pretty rare. When they are playing a scene where there is sadness or something gentle, he can be extremely sad and gentle. When they are playing a scene where they need to turn on the rage, he can be scary at the drop of a hat. That is the way he will attack a scene -- with everything he's got." December 16, 2001.

"Three movies is slowing down for me. I have that old thing in me from the early days when you couldn't get a job and you want to take everything that's offered to you. I don't know if I've ever had a moment when I 'made it' in Hollywood. I don't think about that." -- Hackman on "Heist", "Behind Enemy Lines" and "The Royal Tenenbaums", released in quick succession in November and December of 2001, quoted in Boston Herald, December 21, 2001.

"I just knew I could; I really did. Every Saturday if I could get a quarter to go [to the movies], I'd go, and when I'd leave, I'd look in the mirror and be stunned that I didn't look like James Cagney. I'd be so in tune with what he was doing - I'd become that guy - that a real period of depression would follow. [I'd think], 'How am I gonna be that guy if I don't look like that guy?' I finally realized that I could just be me, and if I was good enough, that would work." --Hackman to Premiere magazine on how he always knew he could act

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