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Jack Nicholson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (7) | Trivia (112) | Personal Quotes (63) | Salary (19)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 22 April 1937Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameJohn Joseph Nicholson
Nicknames Mulholland Man
Nick
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, screenwriter and director, is a three-time Academy Award winner and 12-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nods in every decade from 1960s through the 2000s.

Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937 in Manhattan, New York. He was raised believing that his grandmother was his mother, and that his mother, June Frances Nicholson, a showgirl, was his older sister. He discovered the truth in 1975 from a Time magazine journalist who was researching a profile on him. His biological father is believed to have been either Donald Furcillo, an Italian-American showman, or Eddie King (Edgar Kirschfeld), born in Latvia and also in showbusiness. Jack's mother's ancestry was Irish, English, as well as German, Scottish, and Welsh.

Nicholson made his film debut in a B-movie titled The Cry Baby Killer (1958). His rise in Hollywood was far from meteoric, and for years, he sustained his career with guest spots in television series and a number of Roger Corman films, including The Little Shop of Horrors (1960).

Nicholson's first turn in the director's chair was for Drive, He Said (1971). Before that, he wrote the screenplay for The Trip (1967), and co-wrote Head (1968), a vehicle for The Monkees. His big break came with Easy Rider (1969) and his portrayal of liquor-soaked attorney George Hanson, which earned Nicholson his first Oscar nomination. Nicholson's film career took off in the 1970s with a definitive performance in Five Easy Pieces (1970). Nicholson's other notable work during this period includes leading roles in Roman Polanski's noir masterpiece Chinatown (1974) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), for which he won his first Best Actor Oscar.

The 1980s kicked off with another career-defining role for Nicholson as Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Shining (1980). A string of well-received films followed, including Terms of Endearment (1983) which earned Nicholson his second Oscar; Prizzi's Honor (1985) and The Witches of Eastwick (1987). He portrayed another renowned villain, The Joker, in Tim Burton's Batman (1989). In the 1990s, he starred in such varied films as A Few Good Men (1992), for which he received another Oscar nomination, and a dual role in Mars Attacks! (1996).

Although a glimpse at the darker side of Nicholson's acting range reappeared in The Departed (2006), the actor's most recent roles highlight the physical and emotional complications one faces late in life. The most notable of these is the unapologetically misanthropic Melvin Udall in As Good as It Gets (1997), for which he won his third Oscar. Shades of this persona are apparent in About Schmidt (2002), Something's Gotta Give (2003) and The Bucket List (2007). In addition to his Oscar wins and nominations, Nicholson has seven Golden Globe Awards, and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. He also became one of the youngest actors to receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement award in 1994.

Nicholson has five children: Eldest daughter Jennifer Nicholson (b. 1963), from his marriage to Sandra Knight which ended in 1968; Caleb James Goddard (b. 1970) with Susan Anspach; Honey Hollman (b. 1981) with Danish supermodel, Winnie Hollman; and Lorraine Nicholson (b. 1990) and Ray Nicholson (b. 1992) with Rebecca Broussard. Nicholson's longest relationship was the 16 years he spent with actress Anjelica Huston; it ended when Broussard become pregnant with his child.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Sandra Knight (17 June 1962 - 8 August 1968) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (7)

Dark sunglasses
Slow drawl and shark's grin
Often plays charming, anti-authoritarian characters
Frequently works with Danny DeVito
Frequently works as a character with mental instability
His somewhat maniacal laugh
Method acting.

Trivia (112)

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.
Used to be a messenger boy for MGM's cartoon department.
He was the 2001 John F. Kennedy Center Honors recipient.
Dedicated his Oscar for As Good as It Gets (1997) to J.T. Walsh, his co-star in 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 Billy Crystal, who in turn would incorporate Nicholson somehow in the telecast.
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 Warren Beatty, and the late Marlon Brando.
Avid Los Angeles Lakers fan and is often seated next to his good friend Lou Adler. He rarely misses a Lakers home game. Contrary to popular belief, Nicholson never had production companies schedule the filming of a movie he was in to accommodate his attendance at sporting events. Nicholson is also a life-long fan of the New York Yankees.
Was asked, along with Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty, to play the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972).
The Best Lady at his wedding to Sandra Knight was Millie Perkins. The Best Man was Harry Dean Stanton. After their divorce, Nicholson lived, for a time, at Harry Dean Stanton's place.
Long refused to do any televised interviews except for press conferences. But in recent years, he has occasionally agreed to speak briefly when approached by reporters. He has not appeared on a talk show since 1971.
Flew to Cuba and met with 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 (Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975); Shirley MacLaine, Terms of Endearment (1983); Helen Hunt, 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 Danny DeVito. Nicholson's relatives and DeVito's relatives ran a hair salon together.
Presented the Best Picture Oscar seven times (1972, 1977, 1978, 1990, 1993, 2006 and 2007), more than any other actor or actress. Though he was a relative new comer and lacked the status typically associated with Best Picture presenters, the then-two-time nominee took on the assignment in 1972 when many better-known celebrities balked at the job, worried that they would be tainted if Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971) won the top gong and they were seen by the public as linked to the controversial picture. Nicholson, who early on declared publicly that he loved the Oscar (when the sentiment wasn't chic), happily obliged. In addition to presenting the Best Actress trophy in 1999, he also presented the Thalberg Award to Warren Beatty in 2000 and an honorary award to Michelangelo Antonioni in 1995.
Batman creator Bob Kane personally recommended him for the role of the Joker in Batman (1989).
His mother, June Frances (Nicholson), had English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Pennsylvania Dutch (German) ancestry. Jack never knew his biological father, and was raised by his maternal grandparents. He was led to believe that June was his older sister and his grandparents were his parents. It was not until 1974, when a Time magazine reporter researched his life, that he learned the truth. An Italian immigrant named Donald Furcillo, who was married briefly to June, may have been Jack's biological father. It is also possible that Jack's biological father was Edgar A. Kirschfeld, a Latvian-born entertainer (known as "Eddie King"). Nicholson has chosen not to investigate further.
Turned down the role of Johnny Hooker in The Sting (1973) to play Billy "Bad Ass" Buddusky in The Last Detail (1973), which was written by his close friend Robert Towne, as he did not want to appear in a purely commercial picture just then. Robert Redford eventually played the part. Both Nicholson and Redford were nominated for Best Actor of 1973 at the Academy Awards, losing to Jack Lemmon for Save the Tiger (1973).
Turned down the lead role of Roy Neary in 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 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Tommy (1975). Both of those films were nominated for Best Actress Oscars. "Cuckoo" star 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).
Claims his personal favorite performances are his works in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Batman (1989), Hoffa (1992) and As Good as It Gets (1997).
With his seventh Best Actor nomination for As Good as It Gets (1997) , he surpassed Laurence Olivier as the most nominated actor ever with 11 total nominations (Nicholson had four Best Supporting Actor nominations in 1970, 1982, 1984 and 1991; Olivier had nine Best Actor (tied for the most in that category with Spencer Tracy) and one Best Supporting Actor nominations. Nicholson extended the lead with his eight Best Actor nod for About Schmidt (2002), which tied him with Paul Newman for second place in Best Actor nominations. (Newman also has one Supporting Actor nomination).
An 12 time acting nominee (eight times as Best Actor, four times as Best Supporting Actor), he ties Katharine Hepburn's 12 nominations (all in the Best Actress category) and only Meryl Streep with 14 (10 in the Best Actress category) has more acting nominations. ('Bette Davis' was nominated 10 times for an Academy Award, all of them Best Actress nods.).
After presenting the Best Picture Oscar at the The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) to Crash (2004), he told the press he was surprised as he thought Brokeback Mountain (2005) would win. Nicholson then told the press that he himself had voted for Brokeback Mountain (2005).
His performance as "Badass" Buddusky in The Last Detail (1973) is ranked #12 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
His performance as Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) is ranked #47 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
The song "Santa Baby" in the film, Party Monster (1998) was recorded as a gift for the actor by the actress and recording artist, Cynthia Basinet, as were many other songs, including "Haunted Heart" and "Someone To Watch Over Me". She was later nominated for a shared Nobel in '05.
Was in attendance at Chris Penn's funeral
Along with Marlon Brando, Nicholson eagerly sought the role of Dr Martin Dysart in Sidney Lumet's film adaptation of Sir Peter Shaffer's play Equus (1977). The part went instead to Richard Burton, who received his seventh and final Oscar nomination for his performance.
His performance as Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980) is ranked #82 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
His performance as Jake 'J.J.' Gittes in Chinatown (1974) is ranked #37 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
His performance as Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) is ranked #14 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Turned down the role of Caligula in the infamous Bob Guccione film Caligula (1979). The role eventually went to Malcolm McDowell.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) is ranked #17 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.
He turned down the role of Richard Nixon in Nixon (1995).
Turned down the role of Willie in Bad Santa (2003).
His performance as Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980) is ranked #25 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains.
His performance as The Joker in Batman (1989) is ranked #45 on the American Film Institute's 100 Heroes & Villains.
Premiere Magazine ranked him #16 on a list of The Greatest Movie Stars of All Time in their Stars in Our Constellation feature (2005).
Was considered for the role of Allie Fox in The Mosquito Coast (1986). The part went to Harrison Ford instead.
He is a fan of professional wrestling
Demolished his neighbor Marlon Brando's bungalow, which he bought for £3.4 million following the actor's death in 2004.
Checked himself into Cedars Sinai Hospital with a salivary gland infection. (11 September 2006)
Was offered the role of Sy in One Hour Photo (2002) but turned in down. The part was given to Robin Williams instead.
With his win for As Good as It Gets (1997) in 1998, he became the first actor in 20 years to win both a Best Actor Golden Globe - Comedy and an Oscar for the same role.
He had to stop promoting The Departed (2006) due to neck injury.
His mother June died from cancer in 1963.
As he is a fan of professional wrestling, his all time favorites are Harley Race, Ric Flair and John Cena.
Between 1970 (when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Easy Rider (1969)) and 2003 (when he copped a Best Actor no for About Schmidt (2002), the longest he has ever gone between Oscar nominations was six years, between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Reds (1981).
He was considered for Jon Voight's role in Coming Home (1978).
He was considered for Jason Miller's role in The Exorcist (1973).
Most of Nicholson's performance in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) ended up on the cutting room floor, including a musical number sung by him.
He was considered for Harrison Ford's role in The Mosquito Coast (1986).
He was considered for Sir Anthony Hopkins's role in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
He was considered for Dustin Hoffman's role in Sam Peckinpah's controversial film Straw Dogs (1971).
Along with Clint Eastwood, Nicholson turned down George Clooney's role in Three Kings (1999).
Turned down Gene Hackman's role in Hoosiers (1986).
He was considered for John Malkovich's role in In the Line of Fire (1993).
He was considered for James Caan's role in Misery (1990).
He was considered for Mickey Rourke's role in Angel Heart (1987).
He is tied with Walter Brennan and Daniel Day-Lewis for the most Oscar wins by any male actor.
Appears in Batman (1989) opposite Pat Hingle. Hingle appeared in The Shining (1997), a remake of The Shining (1980), in which Nicholson appeared.
Was the first choice to play Tank Sullivan in Space Cowboys (2000). The part went to James Garner.
Wants to one day induct Ric Flair into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
Once said in an interview that if he can get Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp to be a part of it, he will start his own wrestling promotion.
Was originally signed to play Daddy Warbucks in John Huston's Annie (1982) but dropped out after the original producer departed the project.
Shaved his head for The Bucket List (2007).
William Friedkin tried to get Nicholson star in Sorcerer (1977), but Nicholson didn't want travel anywhere in that time.
Good friends with Serbian NBA superstar Vlade Divac.
Once described The Joker as a psychotic version of Bugs Bunny.
Rolling Stone magazine nicknamed him "The Great Seducer".
In June 1954, he graduated from Manasquan High School in New Jersey and headed for California, where he went on to work in the MGM cartoon department and mail room.
Good friends with WWE Hall of Famer George 'The Animal' Steele.
Has owned a Mercedes-Benz 600 for 30 years which he considers the best touring car of all time.
Is a lifelong devotee of Bob Dylan and Louis Armstrong.
Publicly endorsed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as his choice for Democratic candidate in the 2008 presidential election, joking that she is "the best man for the job".
His Mulholland Drive home once shared a driveway with his The Missouri Breaks (1976) co-star Marlon Brando's home.
The last two Oscar-winning films in which Nicholson appeared have both featured songs by Van Morrison ("Day Like This" in As Good as It Gets (1997) and a cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" in The Departed (2006)).
His famous trademark sunglasses have prescription lenses, since he is very short-sighted.
Is the only actor still living to have played "The Joker" in a (non fan-made) live action Batman production (Cesar Romero died in 1994; Heath Ledger died in 2008).
He was nominated for the 2008 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his services to Arts and Entertainment.
While accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1999 Golden Globes, he noted that his first day of work as a film actor was 5 May 1955, which he took as a good omen as "5" was the jersey number of his boyhood idol, Joe DiMaggio. He attended DiMaggio's memorial service four months later.
Actor with the most awards from the New York Film Critics: Easy Rider (1969), Chinatown (1974) & The Last Detail (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Terms of Endearment (1983), Prizzi's Honor (1985) & The Witches of Eastwick (1987)/Ironweed (1987)/Broadcast News (1987).
At nearly 5' 10", he is the shortest actor to have played "the Joker" in a (non fan-made) live-action Batman production. 'Cesar Romero' stood 6' 2" and the most recent "Joker", Heath Ledger, was 6' 1".
As of 2009 he has an estimated fortune of nearly $240 million.
Attended the Catholic funeral mass of Senator Ted Kennedy at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston. (29 August 2009).
The only actor to win 2 Best Lead Actor Oscars for films that also won Best Lead Actress: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) with Louise Fletcher and As Good as It Gets (1997) with Helen Hunt.
He was inducted into the 2010 New Jersey Hall of Fame for his services and contributions to Arts and Entetainment.
Does not have a cellphone.
Lives In Beverly Hills, Malibu, Los Angeles, California, Aspen, Colorado and Kailua, Hawaii.
(May 30, 2010) Waved the green flag that officially started the Indianapolis 500 automobile race.
Appeared on the cover of GQ magazine three times: March '81, January '90 and January '96.
His art collection includes Matisse, Warhol, Tamara de Lempicka and Picasso; the collection is estimated to be worth over $100 million.
One of only four actors to win two Oscars for films that also won Best Picture (the others are Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman, and Gene Hackman).
As of 2013, he's one of the six actors to win 3 acting Oscars, the others being: Walter Brennan, Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn (who has 4), Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis.
After his first screen test Louis B Mayer said to him "I don't know what we can use you for but if we ever do need you, we'll need you real bad".
Became a father for the 1st time at age 26 when his [now ex] wife Sandra Knight gave birth to their daughter Jennifer Nicholson on September 13, 1963.
Became a father for the 2nd time at age 33 when his [now ex] girlfriend Susan Anspach gave birth to their son Caleb James Goddard in 1970. Nicholson has never had contact with Goddard.
Became a father for the 3rd time at age 44 when his [now ex] lover Winnie Hollman gave birth to their daughter Honey Hollman in 1981. Nicholson was in a relationship with Anjelica Huston when he conceived Hollman.
Became a father for the 4th time at 52 when his [now ex] girlfriend Rebecca Broussard gave birth to their daughter Lorraine Nicholson on April 16, 1990.
Became a father for the 5th time at age 54 when his [now ex] girlfriend Rebecca Broussard gave birth to their son Ray Nicholson on February 20, 1992.
Has two grandsons; Sean (b. 1996) and Duke Norfleet (b. 1999), via daughter Jennifer Nicholson.
The only actor to ever play the Devil, the Joker, and a werewolf.
As of 2014, has appeared in ten films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Five Easy Pieces (1970), Chinatown (1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Reds (1981), Terms of Endearment (1983), Prizzi's Honor (1985), Broadcast News (1987), A Few Good Men (1992), As Good as It Gets (1997) and The Departed (2006). Of those, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Terms of Endearment (1983) and The Departed (2006) are winners in the category.
In the movie The Last Detail, Nicholson's character says "Marines are really assholes, you know that? It takes a certain kind of a sadistic temperament to be a Marine." Later in his career in the movie A Few Good Men, he played Marine Col. Nathan Jessup.

Personal Quotes (63)

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 A Few Good Men (1992) ]
When I read the part, I knew I'd win the Oscar for it. [regarding Terms of Endearment (1983)]
You only lie to two people in your life: your girlfriend and the police.
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 shooting.
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". [Roman Polanski directed him in Chinatown (1974)].
[on turning down the role played by Robert Redford in 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 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 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.
I don't want people to know what I'm actually like. It's not good for an actor.
I'm very contra my constituency in terms of abortion because I'm positively against it. I don't have the right to any other view. My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life.
Just because you're a perfectionist doesn't mean you're perfect. - On Stanley Kubrick.
Beer, it's the best damn drink in the world.
"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." (1992)
As an actor, I have no desire for anybody to understand my past work. Period.
"I just wish every film I liked wasn't either foreign or made in America but with such terrible difficulty. This is the worst period ever for trying to do interesting work." (1996)
With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and seventy.
I would be so happy if I didn't smoke, for a lot of reasons. I can't believe that I can't break the habit. I don't want to be lying around, dying in Cedar's Sinai Hospital and thinking that I was as stupid enough, a man who is as petrified of dying as I am, to have done it to myself. I'm a real fraidy-cat about mortality.
The thing I like about The Joker is that his sense of humor is completely tasteless.
We were moving to a freer society before AIDS. Most people who investigated this knew that if you were not shooting up or getting f***ed in the heinie, you were as likely to get AIDS as you were to have a safe fall on your head while walking down Wilshire Boulevard. But you could not proselytize this view. The facts were almost useless. You couldn't give a woman the facts and have her respond, 'Oh, all right.'
I think it is very unattractive for me to be seen fawning over little, tiny girls. I didn't feel that for a long time but now I do. If I could slip them out the back entrance wrapped in a blanket, that's a different story. (February 2004)
On Jessica Lange: She is like a delicate fawn, but crossed with a Buick.
I've grown out of talking like I know something when I don't.
Explaining his controversial remarks on the death of Heath Ledger: What I actually said was, 'I warned them.' I had a bad experience with those sleeping pills that Ledger apparently took. I took one of these pills and had just gone to sleep when I had a phone call to go to an emergency at a friend's house. I jumped up, went outside and some time later woke up on the driveway. It sounds amusing but I live in the mountains and it could've been worse. I didn't know Heath Ledger, but I know those pills.
Star quality is if you're on stage and a cat walks on and they still watch you.
It's not so nice when you are 71 and looking for some action. I feel uncomfortable doing it in the limelight - so from now on I'll do it when it's right. Happily, when it comes to girls hitting on me, I'm not undernourished.
(When asked would he see the Dark Knight) I'm not inclined to watch it because of what I said. But if it's a good movie, I'll catch up with it somewhere. I don't think they ever really captured Tim Burton's spirit [since he stopped being involved]. They kind of drove the franchise into the ground. Tim Burton's a genius. He had the right take on it. That's why I did the movie. I did the movie based on a single conversation with him. We both come from the cartoon world originally. We had similar ideas. Tim said the Joker should have a humorous dark side to him. Burton is one of the great movie makers. I think the world of him. He's the most unassuming man. And he doesn't feel pressure. That's what I love about him. Once he's in there, he's smiling making the movie. That's it!
I come from the Lynchs of Sligo (Ireland). You know, I went there, but I looked in the phone book and there are nine million Lynchs in Sligo.
There's no one before or since like Marlon Brando. The gift was enormous and flawless, like [Pablo Picasso]. Brando was a genius who was the beginning and end of his own revolution....You didn't rush him. He had a tremendous gift just in his stillness. I was in high school when I saw The Wild One (1953). He changed my life forever...a monumental artist....There was no way to follow in his footsteps. He was just too large and just too far out of sight. He truly shook the world, and his influence will be there long into the future.
[on Stanley Kubrick] Everyone pretty much acknowledges him as The Man, and I still think that underrates him.
I was talking to Sean Penn on the phone today. I told him it was interesting that they managed to leave me off this long list of Method actors they'd published in some article. I told him, "I'm still fooling them!" I consider it an accomplishment. Because there's probably no one who understands Method acting better academically than I do, or actually uses it more in his work. But it's funny -- nobody really sees that. It's perception versus reality, I suppose.
For a long time, I was afraid to be alone. I had to learn how to be alone. And there are still times when I think, Uh-oh! I gotta talk to somebody here or I'm gonna go crazy! But I like to be alone. Now I do. I really do. There's a big luxury in solitude.
After September 11, I held my tongue. All of the public positions had been taken -- for, against, good, evil. I had nothing more to add. So I thought, Bring in the clowns, you know what I mean? That's why I've done a coupla years' worth of comedies.
[on On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970)] All I am in the movie is bad.
[on The Passenger (1975)] Antonioni says he just tries to make something beautiful because truth is beautiful and beauty is truth. That's what I'm really into. I like making beautiful things. Maybe that sounds ridiculous but when I choose a film to do, it's because it interests me in that way rather than any other. I look at every character I play on the screen as being completely separate. You can say most of them are outsiders, but it's hard today to think of any character in a film who isn't an outsider. All I ask is that they relate to the truth in some way.
I hate giving advice, because people won't take it.
[on his signature glasses] They're prescription. That's why I wear them. A long time ago, the Middle American in me may have thought it was a bit affected maybe. But the light is very strong in southern California. And once you've experienced negative territory in public life, you begin to accept the notion of shields. I am a person who is trained to look other people in the eye. But I can't look into the eyes of everyone who wants to look into mine; I can't emotionally cope with that kind of volume. Sunglasses are part of my armor.
I love discourse. I'm dying to have my mind changed. I'm probably the only liberal who read Treason, by Ann Coulter. I want to know, you understand? I like listening to everybody. This to me is the elixir of life.
I'm the age where we didn't have television as kids. So when I saw my nieces and nephews watching Howdy Doody, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and so forth, I thought the world had gone mad.
I always hesitate to say things like this in interviews because they tend to come back to haunt you, but if I were an Arab-American, I would insist on being profiled. This is not the time for civil rights. There are larger issues for Americans.
I'd prefer if people had no impressions of me. As a kid, I had to tell my own family, "Please, just don't talk about me!" Because they always got it wrong. Always. I just didn't want them to tell anyone anything about me. God knew, they had a great opinion and they loved me and meant well, but it was like, Please, you don't have this right. You know what I mean?
I don't know if this is a true statistic, but I heard somewhere that there are three times as many single women over forty as single men. That's what we got from the women's movement. The chickens have come home to roost.
The less people know about me, the easier my job is.
[on Debra Winger] She's real smart, very dedicated, extremely resourceful about her work. You put up with her contentiousness because there is always something at the bottom. You get something you wouldn't get unless you took the trip with her. The girl's got boom.
(2011, on his own own mortality) One of the toughest parts of aging is losing your friends. At first it starts quietly, then pretty soon it's every month, and you can't help but think, "When is that bell going to go off for me?" And on top of that you feel this constant loss. At this time of life, you feel just a sword's point from death. It's frightening - who wants to face God and the clear white light? I know I definitely don't. Yet.
(2011) I am from a different era of movie acting. My career doesn't depend on explosions and pyrotechnics.
(2011) On set I'm an actor like every other actor. Most times, for every part I play, I can think of other actors who would be better. I worry from the moment I take a job.
(2011) I've had everything a man could ask for, but I don't know if anyone could say I'm successful with affairs of the heart. I don't know why. I would love that one last real romance. But I'm not very realistic about it happening. What I can't deny is my yearning. I've been in love in my life, but it always starts with obsession that lasts exactly 18 months and then it changes. If I'd known and been prepared for that, I may have been able to orchestrate the whole relationship thing better...But when I'm with someone I've often defied every one of my conventions. I've been so struck I've said, "Come on, let's go, let's get married." But no woman has ever recognized what I say as being legitimate. They think of my reputation, Jack the Jumper. I'm damned by what people think. Now I think I have a gap I won't ever cross.
(2011) I would never complain about my life, even though I really would like to have a mate. It's not like I'm starved for company - I have a few very good lady friends - but there's only a certain amount of times a woman wants to see you and never go out for dinner. I got tired of arguing with women about going to have dinners, so I hired somebody to cook. The food is better at my house.
I'm not worried about wrinkles, in myself or in women. I find them interesting. I can't see so well, so sometimes I look in the mirror and I see how I was as a young man.
I'm so rich that I'm going to sell myself like an ordinary person. I'm not into money at all.
[advice to Harry Dean Stanton on screen-acting] Just let the wardrobe be the character. You play yourself. That's the way you approach it.
[on working with Michelangelo Antonioni on The Passenger (1975)] Antonioni was like a father figure to me. I worked with him because I wanted to be a film director and I thought I could learn from a master. He's one of the few people I know that I ever really listened to.

Salary (19)

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) $12,500
Chinatown (1974) $500,000
Tommy (1975) $75,000
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) $1,000,000 + 15% gross
The Missouri Breaks (1976) $1,250,000 + 10% of all gross receipts above $12.5m
The Shining (1980) $1,250,000
Terms of Endearment (1983) $1,000,000 + profit percentage (totalling $9,000,000)
Heartburn (1986) $4,000,000
The Witches of Eastwick (1987) $6,000,000
Ironweed (1987) $5,000,000
Batman (1989) $6,000,000
The Two Jakes (1990) $5,000,000
A Few Good Men (1992) $5,000,000
Hoffa (1992) $10,000,000
Wolf (1994) $13,000,000
As Good as It Gets (1997) $15,000,000
The Pledge (2001) $10,000,000
About Schmidt (2002) $10,000,000
Anger Management (2003) $20,000,000

See also

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