Jack Nicholson is an American actor and filmmaker, who has performed for over 60 years.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about him!
1. John Joseph “Jack” Nicholson was born April 22, 1937 in Neptune City, New Jersey.
2. He is the son of a showgirl, June Frances Nicholson (November 5, 1918 – July 31, 1963) (stage name June Nilson).
3. Nicholson’s mother was of Irish, English, and German descent.
4. She married Italian-American showman Donald Furcillo (stage name Donald Rose) in 1936, before realizing that he was already married.
5. 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.
6. Other sources suggest June Nicholson was unsure of who the father was.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. By this time, both his mother and grandmother had died (in 1963 and 1970, respectively).
10. 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.”
11. Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey.
12. He was raised in his mother’s Roman Catholic religion.
13. Before starting high school, his family moved to an apartment in Spring Lake, New Jersey.
14. “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.”
15. “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.
16. He was in detention every day for a whole school year.
17. A theatre and a drama award at the school are named in his honor.
18. In 2004, Nicholson attended his 50-year high school reunion accompanied by his aunt Lorraine.
19. He served a tour of duty in the Air National Guard.
20. Nicholson is known for playing a wide range of starring or supporting roles, including satirical comedy, romance and dark portrayals of antiheroes and psychopathic characters.
22. In many of his films, he has played the “eternal outsider, the sardonic drifter”, someone who rebels against the social structure.”
23. Nicholson’s 12 Academy Award nominations make him the most nominated male actor in the Academy’s history.
24. Nicholson has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice, one for the drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and the other for the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets (1997).
25. He also won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the comedy-drama Terms of Endearment (1983). Nicholson is one of three male actors to win three Academy Awards.
26. Nicholson is one of only two actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s; the other is Michael Caine.
26. He has won six Golden Globe Awards, and received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 1994, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.
27. Other films in which he has starred include the road movie Easy Rider (1969), the drama Five Easy Pieces (1970), the comedy-drama film The Last Detail (1973), the neo-noir mystery film Chinatown (1974), the drama The Passenger (1975), and the epic film Reds (1981).
28. He played Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s horror film The Shining (1980), the Joker in Tim Burton’s superhero film Batman (1989), and Frank Costello in Martin Scorsese’s neo-noir crime drama The Departed (2006).
29. Other films include the legal drama A Few Good Men (1992), the Sean Penn-directed mystery film The Pledge (2001), and the comedy-drama About Schmidt (2002).
30. Nicholson has not appeared in a film since 2010; in 2017, it was reported that Nicholson was retired, but just weeks later, it was confirmed he had returned to acting.
31. As a young man, Nicholson worked a number of odd jobs, including Jersey Shore lifeguard. After high school, he moved to Los Angeles, where he moved in with June, and supported himself in part with racetrack winnings.
32. His first show business job was on the MGM lot as an assistant to animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, then best known for the Tom & Jerry cartoons. Noticing his sketching talents, the animators offered him a job in the art department. Had he not decided to become an actor, he might have spent the rest of his life drawing Tom & Jerry or Scooby-Doo.
33. 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.
34. They had one daughter together, Jennifer (born September 16, 1963).
35. 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.
36. 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).
37. From 1989 to 1994, Nicholson had a relationship with actress Rebecca Broussard. They had two children together: daughter Lorraine (born April 16, 1990) and son Raymond (born February 20, 1992).
38. For over a year from 1999 to 2000, Nicholson dated actress Lara Flynn Boyle.
40. 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.”
41. Nicholson is a fan of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Lakers.
42. Nicholson described himself as a “lifelong Irish Democrat”. Although he is personally against abortion, he is pro-choice.
43. During a 1992 Vanity Fair interview, Nicholson stated, “I don’t believe in God now. I can still work up an envy for someone who has a faith. I can see how that could be a deeply soothing experience.”