Jack Nicholson
American actor
Jack Nicholson
John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer, and writer. He is known for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. His twelve Oscar nominations make him the second most nominated actor of all time, tied with Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier, and behind only Meryl Streep. In 1994 he became the youngest actor ever to be awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award.
Biography
Jack Nicholson's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Jack Nicholson from around the web
Forget La La Land – Best Foreign Language Oscar Nominees Show The True Diversity Of Cinema
Huffington Post - 4 days
Pegah Shahbaz, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3 – USPC; Anders Marklund, Lund University; Kim Toft Hansen, Aalborg University; Lothar Mikos, Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, and Marc Tabani, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) A marriage on the rocks in Iran, a prankster German father and a grumpy old Swede. Landmines in Denmark and a love story in Vanuatu. These stories are all vying for the same prize: that of Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. Maren Ade’s tragi-comedy Toni Erdmann is favourite to take home the Oscar on February 26, but the whole field demonstrates the diversity of cinema outside the Hollywood bubble. To explain what’s on offer in 2017, The Conversation asked scholars from around the world to write about why these films matter, both at home and on cinema’s biggest stage. The Salesman: Iran Asghar Farhadi will represent Iranian cinema at the Oscars again, with his 2015 picture, The Salesman. The film is ...
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Jack Nicholson as ‘Toni Erdmann’: When right-minded ideas come out wrong
LATimes - 20 days
Maybe it was just coincidence that I was sitting in intermission of Glenn Close's revived "Sunset Boulevard" when this news of the Jack Nicholson "Toni Erdmann" remake came through. It sure felt like fate though. There I was Tuesday night, watching Close as Norma Desmond. There are good reasons...
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LATimes article
Meryl Streep Continues Her Reign As Queen Of Hollywood With 20th Oscar Nomination
Huffington Post - about 1 month
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); We don’t call her Queen Meryl for nothing.  On Tuesday morning, Meryl Streep was nominated for her 20th (!!!) Academy Award, proving yet again why she’s considered one of the greatest actors of all time. Streep, who won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at this year’s Golden Globe Awards, broke her own record with Tuesday’s nomination ― Actress in a Leading Role ― for the film “Florence Foster Jenkins.” To express her excitement over the nomination, Streep sha ...
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Jack Nicholson unhinged on set of 'Departed'
Fox News - 2 months
Leonardo DiCaprio spills movie's secrets
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The Final Solution: Was Hitler a New York Liberal at Heart?
Huffington Post - 3 months
Was Hitler a nice guy? Could he be as charming as Donald Trump? Was he a New York liberal, at heart? Would Hitler have made a good dinner companion? How was he as a conversationalist in his famous Bavarian lair, the Berghof? Same with Mussolini, Franco, Idi Amin and now Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. We tend to look at people in the context of their bad deeds whether it means exterminating a race, destroying irreplaceable antiquities or inflicting unspeakable tortures on captured enemies. But we often forget that man is a social animal and at the end of a hard day's work raping and severing heads, every one needs to relax in the company of friends and toss back a few cold ones. Of course, there are those who can't leave their work behind--even when it means filling social media with psychopathic tweets. Their murderous impulses spill out and before they know it they're living out the famous banquet scene at the end of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus where Titus serves up a pie whose filling is ...
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Huffington Post article
Build Your Own Door
Huffington Post - 3 months
And sometimes you might decide to build your very own door yourself. A different Door. That's what happened to me. That's how my twenty-some years in the movie business became the books The Rebel Princess and All The Doors to Hollywood and How to Open Them. Both on their way to the screen. Before those film years, I had written and published short stories, articles, theatre reviews and a scholarly book about our adversary trial system, Injustice For All. None of which quite paid the rent. So I became a Unit Publicist in Hollywood - working, film to film, to collect and write about everything/anything that the studio might eventually use to promote its product. The film business, I discovered, paid well; its union benefits were excellent. I enjoyed the travel entailed. I was delighted to fly to foreign countries first class, thrilled to find myself in London or Madrid or Douala or Hong Kong in an excellent hotel - all on the company's dime. I enjoyed the adventures and the peopl ...
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Trump Adjusts "Reality" As His Reality Emerges
Huffington Post - 3 months
So, just how clever are Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and the rest of the pirate crew which imploded the "Blue Wall" of the electoral college and took down the fabled Clinton machine en route to seizing the White House? Last Friday, Trump did what he claimed repeatedly he would never ever do, i.e., commit to a massive pay-out to make the "Trump University" fraud case go away. His lawyers spun the $25 million (!!) as just the cost of clearing his busy schedule as president-elect. A big trial in the case was due to start at the end of the month here in California, which Trump just lost by a whopping 29 points, the biggest shellacking of a Republican presidential nominee in the Golden State since Franklin D. Roosevelt's election 80 years ago. No one was going to buy the spin on the huge settlement, something that, had it occurred in the campaign, would have doomed Trump's chances. (Just as an indictment of Hillary Clinton for her amazingly slipshod handling of her sensi ...
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Hollywood High Concept
Huffington Post - 5 months
Studios today are producing, for the most part, two kinds of films. One type is pre-established franchises (comic books, TV series, famous novels, toys, such as Star Wars, Captain America, and The Hunger Games. The other type is high-concept scripts that are either conceived of in-house by executives, producers, managers, and agents who know what the market responds to -- or by "spec" screenwriters determined to break the bank. Writing even the greatest screenplay that isn't high concept is choosing either the indie path or willful self-indulgence. Dealing with "high concept" is one of the most challenging and frustrating tasks of the Hollywood writer, agent, or producer; reducing the story to a compelling logline is what high concept is all about. As a former academic not prepared for a world focused on marketing, it took me years to realize that the term "high concept" means almost its opposite. It means "simple concept," as in Fatal Attraction: An innocent smile at a par ...
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Nightlife Photographer Patrick McMullan Explains What It's Like To Party For A Living
Huffington Post - 5 months
When Patrick McMullan was in the ninth grade, he told his guidance counselor he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. When pressed to provide some sort of career outlook, he said what most teens would say: “Well, I like going to parties.” The guidance counselor was less than impressed, telling McMullan, “Well, forget it. You’re never going to find a job going to parties.”  And then, he did. McMullan, who recently syndicated his entire collection of photographs with Getty Images to increase their visibility, has become a mainstay in the celebrity nightlife scene. Over the years, he’s given us myriad iconic photos (like the one below of a young Leonardo DiCaprio goofing around in New York City.) Not only has he managed to carve a spot for himself in the industry, he’s also made plenty of famous friends along the way. McMullan’s interest in shooting celebrity nightlife stems from his general love of parties and a desire to capture all types of people. Building relat ...
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10 Movies You Didn't Know Were Stephen King Books
Huffington Post - 5 months
By Sarah Jane Abbott | Off the Shelf Guinness Superlatives, the group that awards the Guinness World Records, has named Stephen King the living author with the greatest number of motion picture adaptions of his work. This comes as no surprise, as it seems that nearly everything Stephen King writes is adapted into some sort of film. Many of these adaptions have become iconic horror movies, while some are lesser known. They are based on King's novels, short stories, novellas, and even on original screenplays. In honor of some exciting new adaptions on the horizon, we decided to run down our favorite Stephen King writings that have been adapted for the small and big screen. Go ahead, read the source material for a film you love--you'll be glad you did!   Night Shift "Children of the Corn," a short story from the collection NIGHT SHIFT, has spawned an ongoing horror franchise with sequel after sequel. The story follows a couple who accidentally hit a boy while driving throug ...
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Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Letter and Other Movie Props Could Fetch Up to $2 Million at Auction
Huffington Post - 6 months
This article originally appeared on artnet News. A London movie theater might seem like an unusual spot to hold an auction, but for the London- and Los Angeles-based Prop Store, a veritable treasure trove of costumes, props, and other Hollywood collectibles from both television and the silver screen, nothing could be more fitting. In business for 18 years, the company is now auctioning off 500 items on September 27 at the BFI IMAX cinema at Waterloo in London. Prop Store, according to the auction catalogue, “was founded on the belief that the props and costumes used in movies are pieces of art ― film art.” Among the “art” included in the upcoming sale is everything from Christian Bale’s batsuit from The Dark Knight Rises, estimated at £60,000; to Jack Bauer’s New York State driver’s license, used by Kiefer Sutherland in the award-winning series 24, a relative bargain at just £300–500 ($400–660). Other intriguing lots include a TIE fighter pilot helmet from “Star Wars: A ...
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Jared Leto In 'Suicide Squad' Is The Worst Kind Of Movie Villain
Huffington Post - 7 months
Somewhere along the way, Hollywood decided that villainy is synonymous with camp. Evil, in its most uninspired cinematic forms, is coated in showy extravagance. While a little outsize depravity can be fun, this weekend’s “Suicide Squad” proves we have hit a plateau where bigger is almost certainly not better.  Of course, I am referring primarily to Jared Leto, he of the insufferable rat-gifting, always-in-character method acting that led to an obnoxiously calculated take on the psychopathic Joker. Leto is proud of his performance ― the self-inflation radiates off of him every time he’s onscreen, which is far less frequent than one would assume, given how extensively he has teased this role for the better part of the past year. (Good move, Warner Bros.) Leto said he prepped for the project by watching footage of violent crimes on YouTube, but his works seems more like a the result of a checklist than a study in delinquency. His mantra must have been, “Wide eyes, empty hearts, can’t ...
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Trove of Marilyn Monroe's personal belongings to go up for auction
Yahoo News - 10 months
A collection of personal items including handwritten notes and jewelry that belonged to film star Marilyn Monroe will go up for auction in November at Julien's Auctions.     Monroe, one of the most iconic stars of Hollywood's Golden Age of cinema, left numerous items in her will to her acting mentor, Lee Strasberg. More than 500 lots of Monroe's belongings will be at auction in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 and 20, and they are expected to fetch between $2 million and $4 million. Julien's Auctions said the items had never been on the auction block and are being offered for sale by the estate of Strasberg, who taught stars such as James Dean, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Jane Fonda.
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Yahoo News article
From silver screen to tablet: The best movies on HBO Go and HBO Now
Yahoo News - about 1 year
This list is continually updated to reflect recent availability and to showcase films currently streaming on HBO’s premium services, HBO Go and HBO Now. True to its name, HBO has always aimed to bring the box office into people’s homes. That is easier than ever thanks to their streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now. There are many movies on HBO’s platform, however, not all of them necessarily qualify as “great.” If you feel like streaming a movie and don’t want to waste your time on dreck, check out our list of the very best HBO has to offer. Related: Here’s what’s coming to HBO in February and what’s going away Choose a genre: Comedy Drama Action/Sci-fi Next Page: Comedy… Choose a genre: Comedy Drama Action/Sci-fi Comedy Beetlejuice Please enable Javascript to watch this video Tim Burton’s best films often center around a clever premise. In Beetlejuice , married ghosts Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis), having died in a car accident, are distressed to find that the ...
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Yahoo News article
Snowmageddon 2016
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Well it's finally here -- Snowzilla, Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, a.k.a. "The Jonas Blizzard" is upon us. It's like the end of the world, but instead of hellfire and brimstone, we've got yellow snow and black ice. The entire East Coast of the United States is getting slammed with a range of freezing rain, sleet, ice or a blizzard. Major cities like Baltimore and Washington D.C. have given multiple travel warnings to its residents and New York City has even announced a travel ban. Many people wonder how they're supposed to get around to purchase necessities. Not too many people have a four-wheeler, a snowmobile, or a tauntaun. I'm making a grocery run for #blizzard2016 if anyone needs any bread and milk or anything. pic.twitter.com/oCValgv9ib — The Refined Ruffian (@CulturedRuffian) January 22, 2016 It's important always to have all the proper supplies when being besieged by God's Ice Bucket Challenge. I'd recommend an ice scraper or a mixtape to get the ice off your windows, a ...
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jack Nicholson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 78
    After the death of boxer Muhammad Ali on June 3, 2016, Nicholson appeared on HBO's The Fight Game with Jim Lampley for an exclusive interview about his friendship with Ali.
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    It had been widely reported in subsequent years that Nicholson had retired from acting, but in a May 2016 Vanity Fair article, Nicholson clarified that he did not consider himself retired, merely that he was now being much more selective about film roles.
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  • 2015
    Age 77
    On February 15, 2015, Nicholson made a special appearance as a presenter on SNL 40, the 40th anniversary special of Saturday Night Live.
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  • 2013
    Age 75
    In 2013, Nicholson co-presented the Academy Award for Best Picture with First Lady Michelle Obama.
    More Details Hide Details This ceremony marked the eighth time he has presented the Academy Award for Best Picture (1972, 1977, 1978, 1990, 1993, 2006, 2007 and 2013). Nicholson is an active and voting member of the Academy.
  • 2011
    Age 73
    In 2011, Nicholson received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Brown University at its 243rd commencement.
    More Details Hide Details At the ceremony, Ruth Simmons, Brown University's president, called him, "the most skilled actor of our lifetime." With 12 Academy Award nominations (eight for Best Actor and four for Best Supporting Actor), Nicholson is the most nominated male actor in Academy Awards history. Only Nicholson (1960s-2000s), Michael Caine (1960s-2000s), Paul Newman (1950s-1960s, 1980s-2000s) and Laurence Olivier (1930s-1970s) have been nominated for an acting (lead or supporting) Academy Award in five different decades. With three Oscar wins, he also ties with Walter Brennan, Daniel Day-Lewis, Ingrid Bergman and Meryl Streep for the second-most Oscar wins in acting categories. Only Katharine Hepburn, with four Oscars, has won more.
  • 2010
    Age 72
    In 2010, Nicholson was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
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  • 2008
    Age 70
    The induction ceremony took place on December 15, 2008, where he was inducted alongside 11 other legendary Californians.
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    In May 2008, then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced that Nicholson would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.
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  • 2005
    Age 67
    Nicholson's friendship with author-journalist Hunter S. Thompson is described in Thompson's autobiography Kingdom of Fear. Following Thompson's death in 2005, Nicholson and fellow actors Johnny Depp, John Cusack, and Sean Penn attended the private memorial service in Colorado.
    More Details Hide Details Nicholson was also a close friend of Robert Evans, the producer of Chinatown, and after Evans lost Woodland, his home, as the result of a 1980s drug bust, Nicholson and other friends of the producer purchased Woodland to give it back to Evans. Nicholson is a fan of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers. He has been a Laker season ticket holder since 1970 and has held courtside season tickets for the past 25 years next to the opponent's benches both at The Forum and Staples Center, missing very few games. In a few instances, Nicholson has engaged in arguments with game officials and opposing players and even walked onto the court. He was almost ejected from a Lakers playoff game in May 2003 after he yelled at the game's referee. Nicholson is a collector of 20th century and contemporary art, including the work of Henri Matisse, Tamara de Lempicka, Andy Warhol and Jack Vettriano. In 1995, artist Ed Ruscha was quoted saying that "Jack Nicholson has one of the best collections out here."
  • 2004
    Age 66
    Nicholson lived next door to Marlon Brando for a number of years on Mulholland Drive in Beverly Hills. Warren Beatty also lived nearby, earning the road the nickname "Bad Boy Drive". After Brando's death in 2004, Nicholson purchased his bungalow for $6.1 million, with the purpose of having it demolished.
    More Details Hide Details Nicholson stated that it was done out of respect to Brando's legacy, as it had become too expensive to renovate the "derelict" building which was plagued by mold.
  • 2003
    Age 65
    In 2003, Nicholson also starred in Something's Gotta Give, as an aging playboy who falls for the mother (Diane Keaton) of his young girlfriend.
    More Details Hide Details In late 2006, Nicholson marked his return to the dark side as Frank Costello, a sadistic Boston Irish Mob boss, based on Whitey Bulger who was still on the run at that time, presiding over Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning film The Departed, a remake of Andrew Lau's Infernal Affairs. The role earned Nicholson worldwide critical praise along with various award wins and nominations including a Golden Globe nomination for supporting actor. In 2007 Nicholson co-starred with Morgan Freeman in Rob Reiner's The Bucket List. Nicholson and Freeman portrayed dying men who fulfill their list of goals. In researching the role, Nicholson visited a Los Angeles hospital to see how cancer patients coped with their illnesses. His last film role to date saw him reunite with Terms of Endearment and As Good as It Gets director James L. Brooks, for a supporting role as Paul Rudd's character's father in the 2010 film How Do You Know.
  • 2001
    Age 63
    In 2001, Nicholson was the first actor to receive the Stanislavsky Award at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival for "conquering the heights of acting and faithfulness".
    More Details Hide Details In About Schmidt (2002), Nicholson portrayed a retired Omaha, Nebraska, actuary who questions his own life following his wife's death. His quietly restrained performance earned him an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor. In Anger Management (2003), he played an aggressive therapist assigned to help an overly pacifist man (Adam Sandler).
  • 1999
    Age 61
    For over a year from 1999 to 2000, Nicholson dated actress Lara Flynn Boyle; they later reunited before splitting permanently in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details Nicholson states that children added to the quality of his life: "Children give your life a resonance that it can't have without them... As a father I'm there all the time. I give unconditional love. And I have a lot of skills in terms of getting them to express themselves." In a criminal lawsuit filed on February 8, 1994, Robert Blank stated that Nicholson, then 56, approached Blank's Mercedes-Benz while he was stopped at a red light in North Hollywood. After accusing the other man of cutting him off in traffic, Nicholson used a golf club to bash the roof and windshield of Blank's car. A witness confirmed Blank's account of the incident, and misdemeanor charges of assault and vandalism were filed against Nicholson. Charges were dropped after Nicholson apologized to Blank and the two reached an undisclosed settlement, which included a reported $500,000 check from Nicholson.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1996
    Age 58
    In 1996, Nicholson collaborated once more with Batman director Tim Burton on Mars Attacks!, pulling double duty as two contrasting characters, President James Dale and Las Vegas property developer Art Land.
    More Details Hide Details At first studio executives at Warner Bros. disliked the idea of killing off Nicholson's character, so Burton created two characters and killed them both off. Not all of Nicholson's performances have been well received. He was nominated for Razzie Awards as worst actor for Man Trouble (1992) and Hoffa (1992). However, Nicholson's performance in Hoffa also earned him a Golden Globe nomination. While David Thomson states that the film was terribly neglected, since Nicholson portrayed one of his best screen characters, someone who is "snarly, dumb, smart, noble, rascally - all the parts of 'Jack'" Nicholson went on to win his next Academy Award for Best Actor in the romantic comedy, As Good as It Gets (1997), his second film directed by James L. Brooks. He played Melvin Udall, a "wickedly funny," mean-spirited, obsessive-compulsive novelist. "I'm a studio Method actor," he said. "So I was prone to give some kind of clinical presentation of the disorder." His Oscar was matched with the Academy Award for Best Actress for Helen Hunt, who played a Manhattan wisecracking, single-mother waitress drawn into a love/hate friendship with Udall, a frequent diner in the restaurant. The film was a tremendous box office success, grossing $314 million, which made it Nicholson's second-best-grossing film of his career, after Batman.
  • 1989
    Age 51
    From 1989 to 1994, Nicholson had a relationship with actress Rebecca Broussard.
    More Details Hide Details They had two children together: daughter Lorraine (born April 16, 1990) and son Raymond (born February 20, 1992).
    In the 1989 Batman movie, Nicholson played the psychotic murderer and villain, The Joker.
    More Details Hide Details The film was an international smash hit, and a lucrative percentage deal earned him a percentage of the box office gross estimated at $60 million to $90 million. Nicholson said that he was "particularly proud" of his performance as the Joker: "I considered it a piece of pop art," he said. For his role as hot-headed Col. Nathan R. Jessup in A Few Good Men (1992), a movie about a murder in a U.S. Marine Corps unit, Nicholson received yet another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. One review describes his performance as "spellbinding," adding that he portrayed "the essence of the quintessential military mind-set." Critic David Thomson notes that Nicholson's character "blazed and roared." The film's director, Rob Reiner, recalls how Nicholson's level of acting experience affected the other actors during rehearsals: "I had the luck of having Jack Nicholson there. He knows what he's doing, and he comes to play, every time out, full-out performance! And what it says to a lot of the other actors is, 'Oooooh, I better get on my game here because this guy's coming to play! So I can't hold back; I've got to come up to him.' He sets the tone."
  • FORTIES
  • 1982
    Age 44
    In 1982 he starred as in immigration enforcement agent in The Border, directed by Tony Richardson.
    More Details Hide Details It co-starred Warren Oates who played a corrupt border official. Richardson wanted Nicholson to play his role less expressively than he had in his earlier roles. "Less is more," he told him, and wanted him to wear reflecting sunglasses to portray what patrolmen wore. Richardson recalled that Nicholson worked hard on the set: Nicholson won his second Oscar, an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his role of retired astronaut Garrett Breedlove in Terms of Endearment (1983), directed by James L. Brooks. It starred Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger. McGilligan claims it was one of Nicholson's most complex and unforgettable characters. He and MacLaine played many of their scenes in different ways, constantly testing and making adjustments. Their scenes together gave the film its "buoyant edge," states McGilligan, and describes Nicholson's acting as "Jack floating like a butterfly."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1975
    Age 37
    Also in 1975, Nicholson starred in Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger (1975), which co-starred Maria Schneider.
    More Details Hide Details Nicholson plays the role of a journalist, David Locke, who during an assignment in North Africa decides to quit being a journalist and simply disappear by taking on a new hidden identity. Unfortunately, the dead person whose identity he takes on turns out to have been a weapons smuggler on the run. Antonioni's unusual plot included convincing dialogue and fine acting, states film critic Seymour Chatman. It was shot in Algeria, Spain, Germany and England. The film received good reviews and revived Antonioni's reputation as one of cinema's great directors. He says he wanted the film to have more of a "spy feeling and be more political." Nicholson began shooting the film from an unfinished script, notes Judith Crist, yet upon its completion he thought so highly of the film that he bought the world rights and recorded a reminiscence of working with Antonioni. Critic and screenwriter Penelope Gilliatt provides an overview of Nicholson's role:
    One of Nicholson's greatest successes came in 1975 with his role as Randle P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
    More Details Hide Details The movie was an adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel and was directed by Miloš Forman and co-produced by Michael Douglas. Nicholson plays an anti-authoritarian patient at a mental hospital where he becomes an inspiring leader for the other patients. (Playing one of the patients was Danny DeVito in his first significant role. Nicholson learned afterwards that DeVito grew up in the same area of New Jersey and they knew many of the same people.) The film swept the Academy Awards with nine nominations and won the top five, including Nicholson's first for Best Actor. The role seemed perfect for Nicholson, with biographer Ken Burke noting that his "smartass demeanor balances his genuine concern for the treatment of his fellow patients with his independent spirit too free to exist in a repressive social structure." Forman allowed Nicholson to improvise throughout the film, including most of the group therapy sequences. Reviewer Marie Brenner notes that his bravura performance "transcends the screen" and continually inspires the other actors by lightening their mental illnesses with his comic dialogue. She describes his performance:
  • 1974
    Age 36
    In 1974 he starred in Roman Polanski's noir thriller, Chinatown, and was again nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Jake Gittes, a private detective.
    More Details Hide Details The film co-starred Faye Dunaway and John Huston, and included a cameo role with Polanski. Roger Ebert described Nicholson's portrayal as sharp-edged, menacing, and aggressive, a character who knew "how to go over the top", as he did in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It is that edge that kept Chinatown from becoming a typical genre crime film. Ebert also notes the importance of the role for Nicholson's career, seeing it as a major transition from the exploitation films of the previous decade. "As Jake Gittes he stepped into Bogart's shoes," says Ebert. "As a man attractive to audiences because he suggests both comfort and danger... From Gittes forward, Nicholson created the persona of a man who had seen it all and was still capable of being wickedly amused." Nicholson had been friends with the director Roman Polanski long before the murder of Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate, at the hands of the Manson Family, and supported him in the days following the deaths. After Tate's death, Nicholson began sleeping with a hammer under his pillow, and took breaks from work to attend the Manson trial.
  • 1973
    Age 35
    Between April 1973 and January 1990, Nicholson had an on-again, off-again relationship with actress Anjelica Huston that included periods of overlap with other women, including Danish model Winnie Hollman, by whom he fathered a daughter, Honey Hollman (born 1981).
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  • 1971
    Age 33
    Nicholson starred in Carnal Knowledge in 1971, a comedy-drama directed by Mike Nichols, which co-starred Art Garfunkel, Ann-Margret and Candice Bergen.
    More Details Hide Details He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. As director, Mike Nichols was limited in the actors who he felt could handle the role, saying, "There is James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart and Henry Fonda. After that, who is there but Jack Nicholson?" During the filming Nicholson struck up what became a lifelong friendship with costar Garfunkel. When he visited Los Angeles, Garfunkel would stay at Nicholson's home in a room Nicholson jokingly called "the Arthur Garfunkel Suite." Other Nicholson roles included Hal Ashby's The Last Detail (1973), with Randy Quaid, for which Nicholson won for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and he was nominated for his third Oscar and a Golden Globe. Television journalist David Gilmour writes that one of his favorite Nicholson scenes from all his films was in this one, when Nicholson slaps his gun on the bar yelling he was the Shore Patrol. Critic Roger Ebert called it a very good movie, but credited Nicholson's acting as the main reason: "He creates a character so complete and so complex that we stop thinking about the movie and just watch to see what he'll do next."
  • 1970
    Age 32
    Also in 1970 he appeared in the movie adaptation of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, although most of his performance was left on the cutting room floor.
    More Details Hide Details His agent turned down a starring role alongside Marlon Brando in Deliverance when the film's producer and director, John Boorman refused to pay what Nicholson's agent wanted.
    Nicholson starred in Five Easy Pieces alongside Karen Black in 1970 in what became his persona-defining role.
    More Details Hide Details Nicholson and Black were nominated for Academy Awards for their performances. Nicholson played Bobby Dupea, an oil rig worker, and Black was his waitress girlfriend. During an interview about the film, Black noted that Nicholson's character in the film was very subdued, and was very different than Nicholson's real-life personality. She says that the now famous restaurant scene was partly improvised by Nicholson, and was out of character for Bobby, who wouldn't have cared enough to argue with a waitress. "I think that Jack really has very little in common with Bobby. I think Bobby has given up looking for love. But Jack hasn't, he's very interested in love, in finding out things. Jack is a very curious, alive human being. Always ready for a new idea." Nicholson himself said as much, telling an interviewer, "I like listening to everybody. This to me is the elixir of life."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1967
    Age 29
    With his acting career heading nowhere, Nicholson seemed resigned to a career behind the camera as a writer/director. His first real taste of writing success was the screenplay for the 1967 counterculture film The Trip (directed by Corman), which starred Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.
    More Details Hide Details After first reading the script, Fonda told Nicholson he was totally impressed by the writing and felt it could become a great film. However, he was disappointed with how the film turned out, and blamed the editing which turned it into a "predictable" film, and said so publicly. "I was livid", he recalls. Nicholson also co-wrote, with Bob Rafelson, the movie Head, which starred The Monkees. He also arranged the movie's soundtrack. After a spot opened up in Fonda and Hopper's Easy Rider (1969), it led to his first big acting break. Nicholson played hard-drinking lawyer George Hanson, for which he received his first Oscar nomination. The film cost only $400,000 to make and became a blockbuster, grossing $40 million. Biographer John Parker states that Nicholson's interpretation of his role placed him in the company of earlier "anti-hero" actors, such as James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart, while promoting him into an "overnight number-one hero of the counter-culture movement".
  • 1962
    Age 24
    Nicholson's only marriage was to Sandra Knight from June 17, 1962, to August 8, 1968; they had been separated for two years prior to the divorce.
    More Details Hide Details They had one daughter together, Jennifer (born September 16, 1963). Actress Susan Anspach contends that her son, Caleb Goddard (born September 26, 1970), was fathered by Nicholson, though he is not convinced he is the father.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1954
    Age 16
    Nicholson first came to Hollywood in 1954, when he was 17, to visit his sister.
    More Details Hide Details He took a job as an office worker for animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at the MGM cartoon studio. They offered him a starting-level job as an animator, but he declined, citing his desire to become an actor. He trained to be an actor with a group called the Players Ring Theater, after which time he found small parts performing on the stage and in TV soap operas. He made his film debut in a low-budget teen drama The Cry Baby Killer (1958), playing the title role. For the following decade, Nicholson was a frequent collaborator with the film's producer, Roger Corman. Corman directed Nicholson on several occasions, most notably in The Little Shop of Horrors, as masochistic dental patient and undertaker Wilbur Force, and also in The Raven, The Terror where he plays a French officer seduced by an evil ghost, and The St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
    Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey. He was raised in his mother's Roman Catholic religion. Before starting high school, his family moved to an apartment in Spring Lake, New Jersey. "When Jack was ready for high school, the family moved once more—this time two miles (3 km) farther south to old-money Spring Lake, Jersey's so-called Irish Riviera, where Ethel May set up her beauty parlor in a rambling duplex at 505 Mercer Avenue." "Nick", as he was known to his high school friends, attended nearby Manasquan High School, where he was voted "class clown" by the Class of 1954.
    More Details Hide Details He was in detention every day for a whole school year. A theatre and a drama award at the school are named in his honor. In 2004, Nicholson attended his 50-year high school reunion accompanied by his aunt Lorraine. He served a tour of duty in the Air National Guard.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1937
    Born
    Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937, in Neptune City, New Jersey, the son of a showgirl, June Frances Nicholson (November 5, 1918 – July 31, 1963) (stage name June Nilson).
    More Details Hide Details Nicholson's mother was of Irish, English, and Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent. She married Italian American showman Donald Furcillo (stage name Donald Rose) in 1936, unaware that he was already married. Biographer Patrick McGilligan stated in his book Jack's Life that Latvian-born Eddie King (originally Edgar A. Kirschfeld), June's manager, may have been Nicholson's biological father, rather than Furcillo. Other sources suggest June Nicholson was unsure of who the father was. As June was only 18 years old, unmarried and uncertain of the father's identity when Nicholson was born, her parents agreed to raise Nicholson as their own child without revealing his true parentage, and June would act as his sister. In 1974, Time magazine researchers learned, and informed Nicholson, that his "sister," June, was actually his mother, and his other "sister," Lorraine, was really his aunt. By this time, both his previously assumed mother and grandmother had died (in 1963 and 1970, respectively). On finding out, Nicholson said it was "a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn't what I'd call traumatizing I was pretty well psychologically formed."
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