Jack NicholsonCelebrity

Credits  |  Biography

Whether playing a loser or a lothario, a heavy or a hero, this iconic actor is always, on some level, Jack Nicholson.┬áHis first Hollywood job was running errands for animation legends William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, but he didn't stay behind the scenes f… (more)

Birth Name: John Joseph Nicholson

Birth Place: New York, NY

Birthday: April 22, 1937, Taurus

Profession: Actor, Director, Writer, Producer

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Biography

Whether playing a loser or a lothario, a heavy or a hero, this iconic actor is always, on some level, Jack Nicholson. His first Hollywood job was running errands for animation legends William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, but he didn't stay behind the scenes for long and landed his first big-screen gig in the 1958 crime thriller, Cry Baby Killer. In the 1960s the hungry up-and-comer turned in a bunch of offbeat performances in a string of low-budget flicks, a few of which he wrote. He was over 30 when he earned his first of many Oscar nods---not to mention an expanded fan base---as a disgruntled lawyer in 1969's Easy Rider. In the 1970s Nicholson tapped into the decade's unrest by essaying a slew of unforgettable roles in legendary films: a rebel in Five Easy Pieces, a misogynist in Carnal Knowledge, a lovesick gumshoe in Chinatown and an unruly inmate in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which snagged Nicholson his first Academy Award. He became a scenery-chewing, eyebrow-arching megastar in the 1980s, delivering broad yet interesting performances in more commercial fare like Terms of Endearment, The Witches of Eastwick and Batman. Nicholson's personal life was as dramatic as his career. At the age of 37, he learned that the woman whom he thought was his mother was actually his grandmother and that his supposed sister was his biological mom. As for his own romantic entanglements, he had a longtime on-again, off-again relationship with Anjelica Huston that ended acrimoniously in 1990 when he fathered a child with starlet Rebecca Broussard, and later he was linked to the much younger Lara Flynn Boyle. In the late 1990s the actor started to slow down. He took a four-year hiatus from the big screen after his Oscar-winning turn as a surly obsessive-compulsive writer in 1997's As Good as It Gets, but he was back to winning accolades for his performances in About Schmidt (2002) and The Departed (2006). Even when he's not on screen, Nicholson is a ubiquitous industry presence, frequently spotted on red carpets, at awards shows and courtside at Lakers games.

Fast Facts

  • Began show business career in 1957 as a messenger in MGM's cartoon department.
  • Early TV credits include two episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.
  • Cowrote and coproduced Head, the psychedelic 1968 movie starring the Monkees.
  • Turned down Robert Redford's role in The Sting (1973); and the Michael Corleone role in The Godfather (1972).
  • At the age of 37, learned that the woman he thought was his mother was actually his grandmother and that his supposed sister was really his mother.
  • Bought Marlon Brando's home, which was next door to his, in 2004 after Brando's death. Two years later, he had the home demolished because of the severe deterioration of the property.
  • Inducted into the California Hall of Fame alongside Jane Fonda on Dec. 15, 2008.

Awards

  • 1981, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1999, Golden Globe — Cecil B. DeMille Award: Winner
  • 1993, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
  • 2003, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
  • 1993, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1997, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1974, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1988, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1998, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 1970, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1984, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1976, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Winner
  • 1971, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1972, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1974, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1983, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 1970, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1969, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1992, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1973, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1975, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 1985, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1987, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2006, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2002, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1982, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Winner
  • 1974, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor: Winner
  • 1969, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Supporting Actor: Nominee
  • 1976, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor: Winner
  • 1989, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1974, Cannes Film Festival — Best Actor: Winner
  • 1986, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
  • 2004, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1987, Grammy — Best Spoken Word Album For Children: Winner
  • 2002, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1997, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Winner

Relationships

  • Lara Flynn Boyle — Ex-significant Other
  • Lorraine Broussard Nicholson — Daughter
  • John Nicholson — Grandfather
  • Lorraine Nicholson — Aunt
  • Ethel May Nicholson — Grandmother
  • June Nicholson — Mother
  • Pamela Hawley Liddicoat — Half Sister
  • Raymond Nicholson — Son
  • Rebecca Broussard — Ex-significant Other
  • Sandra Knight — Ex-wife
  • Anjelica Huston — Ex-significant Other
  • Jennifer Nicholson — Daughter

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