Biography for Jack Nicholson

Birth name

John Joseph Nicholson


Mulholland Man


5′ 9″ (1.75 m)

Mini biography

Abandoned by his father in his childhood, he was raised believing his
grandmother was his mother and his mother was his older sister. The
truth was revealed to him years later when a Time magazine researcher
uncovered the truth while preparing a story on the star. Jack had a 17
year relationship with actress HYPERLINK
«» Anjelica Huston which ended in 1990
after HYPERLINK «» Rebecca Broussard
was carrying his child.


HYPERLINK «» Sandra Knight (
HYPERLINK «» 17 June
«» 8 August 1968)
(divorced) 1 child

Trade mark

Shark’s grin, sunglasses

Jersey drawl


Ranked #6 in Empire (UK) magazine’s «The Top 100 Movie Stars of All
Time» list. [October 1997]

Recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film
Institute. [1994]

Used to be a messenger boy for MGM’s cartoon department.

Children: HYPERLINK «» Jennifer
Nicholson (b. 1963) with HYPERLINK «»
Sandra Knight ; Caleb (b. 1970) with Susan Anspach ; Honey Hollman (b.
1981) with Danish supermodel, HYPERLINK
«» Winnie Hollman ; Lorraine (b. 1990)
and Raymond (b. 1992) with HYPERLINK «»
Rebecca Broussard .

He was the 2001 HYPERLINK «» John F.
Kennedy Center Honors recipient.

Dedicated his Oscar for HYPERLINK «»
As Good as It Gets (1997) to HYPERLINK
«» J.T. Walsh , his co-star in
HYPERLINK «» A Few Good Men (1992) who
had died shortly before the Academy Awards in 1998.

In 1994, in an apparent bout of rage, he smashed a man’s car window in
with a golf club. He expressed remorse for the incident in an interview
with US Magazine.

Loves jokes at his expense so much that he showed up at every Academy
Awards hosted by HYPERLINK «» Billy
Crystal , who in turn would incorporate Nicholson somehow in the

Lives on famed «Bad Boy Drive» a.k.a. Mulholland Drive in Beverly Hills,
California. It’s nicknamed so because its residents have included former
Hollywood bad boys HYPERLINK «» Warren
Beatty , HYPERLINK «» Jack Nicholson
and the late HYPERLINK «» Marlon
Brando .

Avid Los Angeles Lakers fan. He never misses a Lakers home game. Because
of this, producers on his films must work the shooting schedule around
the Lakers’ schedule.

Was asked, along with HYPERLINK «»
Dustin Hoffman and HYPERLINK «»
Warren Beatty , to play the role of Michael Corleone in HYPERLINK
«» The Godfather (1972).

Dated HYPERLINK «» Lara Flynn Boyle

The Best Lady at his wedding to HYPERLINK
«» Sandra Knight was HYPERLINK
«» Millie Perkins . The Best Man was
HYPERLINK «» Harry Dean Stanton . After
their divorce, Nicholson lived, for a time, at HYPERLINK
«» Harry Dean Stanton ‘s place.

Never does televised interviews except for press conferences. But in
2004, while attending a fashion show for his daughter, designer
HYPERLINK «» Jennifer Nicholson , he
agreed to be interviewed briefly by HYPERLINK
«» Robert Verdi for E! Entertainment.

Flew to Cuba and met with HYPERLINK «»
Fidel Castro in June 1998. While there, he also met with leaders of the
Cuban film industry, enjoyed local restaurants, jazz clubs and visited a
famous cigar factory. He left greatly impressed with the country and its
Communist dictator, who he described as «a genius», though the luxuries
he was treated to on the island are off-limits to most Cuban citizens.

Each one of the films for which he has won an Oscar has also won Best
Actress in a Leading Role ( HYPERLINK «»
Louise Fletcher , HYPERLINK «» One
Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975); HYPERLINK
«» Shirley MacLaine , HYPERLINK
«» Terms of Endearment (1983);
«» As Good as It Gets (1997)).

Has a second home in Aspen, Colorado.

Graduate of Manasquan High School, Manasquan, New Jersey, where he was
voted «Class Clown» by the Class of 1954.

Boyhood friend of HYPERLINK «» Danny
DeVito . Nicholson’s relatives and DeVito’s relatives ran a hair salon

Presented the Best Picture Oscar five times (in 1971, 1976, 1977, 1989,
and 1992), more than any other actor or actress.

Owns a large art collection including works by HYPERLINK
«» Pablo Picasso and Tamara de Lempicka

Batman creator HYPERLINK «» Bob Kane
personally recommended him for the role of the Joker in HYPERLINK
«» Batman (1989).

The illegitimate son of Donald Furcillo, the son of Italian immigrants,
and June Nicholson, whose father, Jack Sr., was Irish and mother, Ethel
May, was of Dutch descent. He never knew his father and was raised by
his grandmother. He was led to believe that June was his older sister.

Turned down the role of Johnny Hooker in HYPERLINK
«» The Sting (1973) to play Billy «Bad
Ass» Buddusky in HYPERLINK «» The
Last Detail (1973), which was written by his close friend HYPERLINK
«» Robert Towne , as he did not want to
appear in a purely commercial picture just then. HYPERLINK
«» Robert Redford eventually played the
part. Both Nicholson and Redford were nominated for Best Actor of 1973
at the Academy Awards, losing to HYPERLINK
«» Jack Lemmon for HYPERLINK
«» Save the Tiger (1973).

Turned down the lead role of Roy Neary in HYPERLINK
«» Close Encounters of the Third Kind
(1977), even though he knew the movie would be a hit as he felt that the
special effects would overwhelm any actor in the movie.

Appeared in HYPERLINK «» One Flew
Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and HYPERLINK
«» Tommy (1975). Ironically, both of
those films were nominated for Best Actress Oscars. «Cuckoo» star
HYPERLINK «» Louise Fletcher won.

Has been nominated for an acting Oscar in five different decades (1960s,
1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s).

In 2004, he attended his 50th high school reunion at Manasquan High
School in Manasquan, New Jersey. Needless to say, his classmates were
surprised and delighted that he attended.

Is one of only a few actors to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar after
winning a Best Actor Oscar.

The character Shipwreck from the animated GI Joe series of the 1980s was
partly based on him (and partly based on Popeye the Sailor Man).

Is of Italian, Irish, and Dutch heritage.

Claims his personal favorite performances are his works in One Flew Over
The Cuckoo’s Nest, Batman, Hoffa and As Good As It Gets.

Personal quotes

«The average celebrity meets, in one year, ten times the amount of
people that the average person meets in his entire life.»

«It was one of the few times when it was money well spent.» [about the
$5 million he earned for HYPERLINK «»
A Few Good Men (1992) ]

«When I read the part, I knew I’d win the Oscar for it.» [regarding
HYPERLINK «» Terms of Endearment

«You only lie to two people in your life: your girlfriend and the

«If you get an impulse in a scene, no matter how wrong it seems, follow
the impulse. It might be something and if it ain’t — take two!»

«A star on a movie set is like a time bomb. That bomb has got to be
defused so people can approach it without fear.»

[On the birth of his son after having had two daughters:] «I finally got
it right.»

«When I come up against a director who has a concept that I don’t agree
with, or maybe I just haven’t thought of it or whatever, I’d be more
prone to go with them than my own because I want to be out of control as
an actor, I want them to have the control, otherwise it’s going to
become predictably my work, and that’s not fun.»

«I only take viagra when I am with more than one woman.»

«I’m not a raver anymore, all good things must come to an end.»

«I was particularly proud of my performance as the Joker. I considered
it a piece of pop art.»

«My motto is: more good times.»

«A question you always ask in acting is, Where were you going if this
scene didn’t interrupt the movements of the character?»

«You’re new here, aren’t you?» Nicholson, who rarely is seen in public
without his sunglasses, replied when asked by a photographer to take off
his glasses for a photo.

«There’s a period just before you start a movie when you start thinking,
I don’t know what in the world I’m going to do. It’s free-floating
anxiety. In my case, though, this is over by lunch the first day of

Every director implored me, «Jack, can’t you talk a little bit faster?»
It was like a hot button for me and I would become hateful. So when
Roman started to say it, I began and he said, «Jack, this movie is
100-and-something pages long. To have a movie that is screen able,
you’ll have to talk a little faster». [ HYPERLINK
«» Roman Polanski directed him in
HYPERLINK «» Chinatown (1974)].

[On turning down the role played by HYPERLINK
«» Robert Redford in HYPERLINK
«» The Sting (1973)] «I liked the
period, the whole project and I knew it would be commercial. But at the
time, I needed to put my energies into a movie that really needed them.
I needed to take a risk».

[On being nominated for an Oscar for the third time for HYPERLINK
«» The Last Detail (1973)] «The first
time I was up for an Oscar, I thought I would win it. But I didn’t have
as sharp a view as I do now. The second time…I expected to lose, and
deservedly lose, to HYPERLINK «»
George C. Scott . But even getting a nomination blows my mind. I’d love
to win but now that I’ve had several good performances that people at
large have liked, it becomes harder to excite them. And familiarity
breeds contempt».

«So I mean it when I say that if you can’t appreciate Brando, I wouldn’t
know how to talk to you. If there’s anything obvious in life, this is
it. Other actors don’t go around discussing who is the best actor in the
world, because it’s obvious — Marlon Brando is.»


Biography from Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia:

Not many actors could have risen from a bit in the three-day HYPERLINK
«» The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
to the lead in the multimillion-dollar epic HYPERLINK
«» Hoffa (1992); fewer still are
sufficiently comfortable with their stardom to continue to take small
but challenging roles, but this paunchy, balding actor with what «Time»
magazine once called a «shark’s grin» has always been a consummate
professional, albeit an incredibly well-paid one, as well as one of the
few contemporary stars whom anybody can do an impression of.

Nicholson got his movie start with legendary cheapie producer Roger
Corman, who cast him in the title role of HYPERLINK
«» Cry Baby Killer (1958). He played
small roles for the next few years; in addition to playing a masochistic
dental patient in HYPERLINK «» Little
Shop he costarred as Peter Lorre’s moron son in HYPERLINK
«» The Raven (1963), and hung around
to play the lead in HYPERLINK «» The
Terror filmed shortly thereafter on the same sets and starring Boris
Karloff. Nicholson got his first screenplay credit that same year,
cowriting the virtually unknown HYPERLINK
«» Thunder Island After a period of
relative inactivity, he resurfaced by producing, writing, and costarring
in a trio of low-budget Monte Hellman films: a pair of existential
Westerns, HYPERLINK «» Ride in the
Whirlwind (1965), and HYPERLINK «»
The Shooting (1967), and HYPERLINK «»
Flight to Fury (1966), a tropical adventure.

Nicholson played a filling-station attendant named «Poet» in HYPERLINK
«» Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1967), a
pony-tailed rocker in HYPERLINK «»
Psych-Out wrote the script for Corman’s LSD epic HYPERLINK
«» The Trip and co wrote, coproduced
(with Bob Rafelson), and briefly appeared in the cult favorite
HYPERLINK «» Head (all 1968). He
stepped in to replace Rip Torn at the last minute and played a boozy
Southern lawyer in another biker film … but this one, HYPERLINK
«» Easy Rider (1969), changed his
life. The unexpected, phenomenal success of this counterculture road
film (and his riveting performance as a drop-out lawyer) made Nicholson
a demi-star, especially to the Beatles-generation audiences who
comprised the bulk of the moviegoing public in those years. (It also
earned him his first Oscar nomination.) His role in Vincente Minnelli’s
HYPERLINK «» On a Clear Day You Can
See Forever (1970) was cut down to nothing, but Nicholson’s vibrant
portrayal of an angry, disaffected exmusician in HYPERLINK
«» Five Easy Pieces (also 1970) proved
to be a star-making turn, thanks in large part to his memorable «chicken
salad sandwich» tirade; it also brought him a second Oscar nomination,
in the Best Actor category. His sublimely cynical sexual politician in
HYPERLINK «» Carnal Knowledge (1971)
cemented his reputation as the star of a new generation. His followups,
HYPERLINK «» A Safe Place (1971) and
HYPERLINK «» The King of Marvin
Gardens (1972), didn’t endear him to the moviegoing mainstream, but
reaffirmed his status as an individualist who sought out challenging and
contemporary material. He then cowrote, coproduced, and directed the
X-rated coming-of-age drama HYPERLINK
«» Drive , HYPERLINK
«» He Said (1972).

Nicholson hit his stride with starring roles in HYPERLINK
«» The Last Detail (1973,
Oscarnominated again as a career sailor on m.p. duty), HYPERLINK
«» Chinatown (1974, Oscar-nominated as
detective Jake Gittes), and HYPERLINK
«» One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
(1975, winning his first Oscar as the not-so-crazy, rebellious asylum
patient Randall Patrick McMurphy). In his Academy Award acceptance
speech, the sly Nicholson thanked film pioneer Mary Pickfordwho’d just
made an appearance on the show-«for being the first actor to get a
percentage of her pictures.»

Now a full-fledged star, Nicholson took chances that few others would
dare, playing a goofy sidekick to Warren Beatty in the farcical
HYPERLINK «» The Fortune leaving
Hollywood to work for Michelangelo Antonioni in the inscrutable
HYPERLINK «» The Passenger taking a
singing role in HYPERLINK «» Tommy
(all 1975), and a supporting part in HYPERLINK
«» The Last Tycoon (1976). His
subsequent starring films were a mixed bag, however: HYPERLINK
«» The Missouri Breaks (1976, a
disappointing «summit meeting» with Marlon Brando), HYPERLINK
«» Goin’ South (1978, a quixotic
comedy which he directed), HYPERLINK
«» The Shining (1980, an over-thetop
tour de force in which he went crazy for nearly two hours, under Stanley
Kubrick’s direction), HYPERLINK «»
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981, a seamy and steamy remake of the
James M. Cain classic), and HYPERLINK
«» The Border (1982, a muddled drama
about illegal aliens).

The actor’s choices grew cannier at this time. He was surprisingly
effective as playwright Eugene O’Neill in Warren Beatty’s sprawling
HYPERLINK «» Reds (1981, earning a
Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination), and charming as the comically
dissolute former astronaut who laconically romances Shirley MacLaine in
HYPERLINK «» Terms of Endearment
(1983), which won him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. John Huston
gave him one key piece of direction to play a dimwitted hit-man in
HYPERLINK «» Prizzi’s Honor
(1985)-«Remember, he’s dumb»-and the result was one of his alltime best
performances, opposite Kathleen Turner and his longtime girlfriend
Anjelica Huston. He chalked up another Oscar nomination, then played a
thinly disguised version of journalist Carl Bernstein in HYPERLINK
«» Heartburn (1986), creating an
unforgettable Nicholson moment by bursting into song (the «Soliloquy»
from Carousel!).

He was devilishly well cast as Satan in modern-day guise in HYPERLINK
«» The Witches of Eastwick which
allowed him to «let go» in a furiously funny climax, then played a
heartbreaking man on the skids in HYPERLINK
«» Ironweed which earned him another
Oscar nomination (both 1987). He rounded out 1987 with a very funny,
deadpan cameo appearance as an imperious network anchorman in
HYPERLINK «» Broadcast News By now
something of an icon-as actor, movie star, and power broker-he accepted
a whopping salary (and percentage) to play The Joker in HYPERLINK
«» Batman (1989), and chewed the
scenery to his heart’s content (and his fans’). In 1990 he realized a
longtime ambition to make a sequel to HYPERLINK
«» Chinatown directing and starring in
the disappointing HYPERLINK «» The
Two Jakes .

After some time off, he appeared in three movies in succession in 1992:
the dreadful comedy HYPERLINK «» Man
Trouble (which reunited him with director Bob Rafelson), the smash hit
HYPERLINK «» A Few Good Men (which
gave him a plum, Oscar-nominated supporting role as a Machiavellian
Marine officer), and the ambitious biography HYPERLINK
«» Hoffa (in which his galvanizing
performance-in very convincing makeup-had to carry a diffuse and
unsatisfying script). He then reteamed with director Mike Nichols to try
something completely different-a werewolf movie, namely HYPERLINK
«» Wolf (1994). In 1994 he received
the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, reaffirming his
unique status as a counterculture hero who has managed to function
extraordinarily well in the movie mainstream. His next film was
HYPERLINK «» The Crossing Guard

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