Jack Nicholson Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (9)  | Trivia (148)  | Personal Quotes (72)  | Salary (21)

Overview (4)

Born in Neptune, New Jersey, USA
Birth NameJohn Joseph Nicholson
Nicknames Mulholland Man
Height 5' 9¾" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received an Oscar nomination in every decade from the '60s through the '00s.

Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937, in Neptune, New Jersey. 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 real father is believed to have been either Donald Furcillo, an Italian American showman, or Eddie King (Edgar Kirschfeld), born in Latvia and also in show business. Jack's mother's ancestry was Irish, and smaller amounts of English, 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 Academy Awards and Oscar 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 six children by five different women: Jennifer Nicholson (b. 1963) from his only marriage to Sandra Knight, which ended in 1966; Caleb Goddard (b. 1970) with Five Easy Pieces (1970) co-star Susan Anspach, who was automatically adopted by Anspach's then-husband Mark Goddard; Honey Hollman (b. 1982) with Danish supermodel Winnie Hollman; Lorraine Nicholson (b. 1990) and Ray Nicholson (b. 1992) with minor actress Rebecca Broussard; and Tessa Gourin (b. 1994) with real estate agent Jennine Marie Gourin. Nicholson's longest relationship was the 17 nonmonogamous years he spent with Anjelica Huston; this ended when Broussard announced she was pregnant with his child.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Family (4)

Spouse Sandra Knight (17 June 1962 - 8 August 1968)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Jennifer Nicholson
Caleb Goddard
Honey Hollman
Lorraine Nicholson
Ray Nicholson
Tessa Gourin
Parents June Frances Nicholson
Relatives Duke Nicholson (grandchild)
Sean Norfleet (grandchild)
Ethel May Nicholson (grandparent)
John J. Nicholson (grandparent)
Lorraine Nicholson (sibling)
Walter Duffy (grandchild)
Daisy Duffy (grandchild)
Hank Duffy (grandchild)

Trade Mark (9)

Dark sunglasses
Untamed hair 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.
Triangular eyebrows
Unmistakable smooth, low-pitched, drawling voice

Trivia (148)

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 an office worker for William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at MGM's cartoon department. They actually offered him a job as an animator at the studio but he declined in order to focus on his acting career.
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.
Is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers 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.
He was asked to play the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972). He turned it down, suggesting that an actual Italian should play the part. He was also considered for Tom Hagen.
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.
Graduated from Manasquan High School in Manasquan, New Jersey, where he was voted "Class Clown" by the Class of 1954.
Boyhood friends with Danny DeVito. Nicholson's relatives and DeVito's relatives managed a hair salon together.
Presented the Best Picture Oscar eight times (1972, 1977, 1978, 1990, 1993, 2006, 2007 and 2013), more than any other actor or actress. Though he was a relative newcomer 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 was not 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 Irish, and smaller amounts of English, Scottish, 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 role. 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 success as he felt that the special effects would overwhelm any actor in the movie.
Has been nominated for an acting Oscar in five different decades (1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s).
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. [2004]
Is one of only two actors to receive a Best Supporting Actor Oscar after winning a Best Actor Oscar (The other is Gene Hackman).
The character Shipwreck in G.I. Joe (1985) 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).
A 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 nominations).
After presenting the Best Picture Oscar at 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 Billy "Bad Ass" 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 2005.
Was in attendance at Chris Penn's funeral at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
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 role 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.
He turned down the title role of Bob Guccione's infamous epic Caligula (1979), which 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), which went to Sir Anthony Hopkins.
He turned down the role of Willie T. Soke in the black comedy Bad Santa (2003) in order to star in About Schmidt (2002). The role went to Billy Bob Thornton.
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).
He was considered for the role of Allie Fox in The Mosquito Coast (1986), which went to Harrison Ford instead.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on December 4, 1996.
Demolished his neighbor Marlon Brando's bungalow, which he bought for £3.4 million following the actor's death in 2004.
On September 11, 2006, he checked himself into Cedars Sinai Hospital with a salivary gland infection.
He was offered the role of Seymour "Sy" Parrish in One Hour Photo (2002), which he turned down. The role 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 Frances Nicholson passed away from cancer on July 31, 1963.
As he is a huge 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 nod 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). He was also offered Richard Burton's role in Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977).
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 roles in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Blade Runner (1982) and The Mosquito Coast (1986). He was also offered the lead role in Witness (1985). While he liked the script, there wasn't a director he liked attached at that point, so he passed on it.
He was considered for Sir Anthony Hopkins's roles in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and The Road to Wellville (1994).
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).
He 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 turned down James Caan's role in Misery (1990), as he was weary about doing another Stephen King adaptation after The Shining (1980).
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.
Has appeared in Batman (1989) opposite Pat Hingle. Hingle appeared in The Shining (1997), a remake of The Shining (1980), in which Nicholson appeared.
He was the first choice to play Tank Sullivan in Space Cowboys (2000), which 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 musical comedy Annie (1982), but dropped out after the original producer departed the project. The role ultimately went to Albert Finney.
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".
He graduated from Manasquan High School in New Jersey and headed for California, where he went onto work in the MGM cartoon department and mail room. [June 1954]
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. [2008]
Is a lifelong devotee of Bob Dylan and Louis Armstrong.
Publicly endorsed Senator Hillary 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.
With the release of Joker (2019), Nicholson, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jared Leto will be the three actors 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 May 5, 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) and The Last Detail (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Terms of Endearment (1983), Prizzi's Honor (1985) and The Witches of Eastwick (1987)/Ironweed (1987)/Broadcast News (1987).
At about 5' 9", he was the originally the shortest actor to have played the Joker in a (non fan-made) live-action Batman production. Until Joaquin Phoenix broke his record who is 5' 8". Cesar Romero stood 6' 3", Heath Ledger, was 6' 1", Jared Leto was 5' 11".
As of 2009, he has an estimated fortune of nearly $240 million.
On August 29, 2009, he attended the Catholic funeral mass of Senator Ted Kennedy at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Boston.
Is the only actor to receive two 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.
Lives in Beverly Hills, Malibu, Los Angeles, California, Aspen, Colorado and Kailua, Hawaii.
On May 30, 2010, he waved the green flag that officially started the Indianapolis 500 automobile race.
Has appeared on the cover of GQ magazine three times: March 1981, January 1990 and January 1996.
His art collection includes Matisse, Warhol, Tamara de Lempicka and Picasso; the collection is estimated to be worth over $100 million. [2011]
Is one of only five actors to receive two Oscars for films that also won Best Picture (the others are Marlon Brando, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman and Mahershala Ali). While these are Brando, Hoffman, Hackman and Ali's only acting Oscars, Nicholson has also won an acting Oscar in a film that did not win Best Picture.
As of 2013, he's one of the six actors to receive three acting Oscars, the others being: Walter Brennan, Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn (who has four), 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 first 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 second time at age 33 when his [now ex] girlfriend Susan Anspach gave birth to their son Caleb Goddard in 1970. following a liaison while filming Five Easy Pieces . Nicholson has never had contact with Goddard or accepted paternity.
Became a father for the third time at age 44 when his [now ex] lover Winnie Hollman gave birth to their daughter Honey Hollman on January 26, 1982. Nicholson was in a relationship with Anjelica Huston when he conceived Hollman.
Became a father for the fourth time at 52 when his [now ex] girlfriend Rebecca Broussard gave birth to their daughter Lorraine Nicholson on April 16, 1990. Nicholson was in a relationship with Anjelica Huston when Lorraine was conceived.
Became a father for the fifth time at age 54 when his [now ex] girlfriend Rebecca Broussard gave birth to their son Ray Nicholson on February 20, 1992.
Jack has five known grandchildren: Sean (b. 1996) and Duke Norfleet (b. 1999), via daughter Jennifer Nicholson; Walter (b. 2011), Daisy (b. 2012) and Hank (b. 2017) via daughter Honey Hollman.
Is 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. Broadcast News and The Departed are the only two of these films in which he did not give an Oscar-nominated performance. His eight Oscar nominated performances in Best Picture nominated films is a record.
In the movie The Last Detail (1973), 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 (1992), he played Marine Colonel Nathan Jessup.
Two of his three Oscar-winning performances were directed by James L. Brooks. This makes him one of four actors to win two Oscars under the same person's direction. The other three are: Walter Brennan for Come and Get It (1936) and The Westerner (1940) (both directed by William Wyler), Dianne Wiest for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994) (both directed by Woody Allen) and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Django Unchained (2012) (both directed by Quentin Tarantino).
Was interested in playing The Father in A Christmas Story (1983) but the budget could not meet his high salary demands.
He was considered for Dustin Hoffman's role in The Graduate (1967). He recalled, "They considered every actor I was eating lunch with".
Prior to playing The Joker, he was considered for the role of Lex Luthor in Superman (1978). The role ultimately went to Gene Hackman.
In 1977, he attended the murder trial of Claudine Longet in Aspen, Colorado. The courthouse he sat in (the Pitkin County Courthouse) is the very same courtroom where infamous serial killer Ted Bundy was brought into to stand trial for murder several months later.
Has twice been interviewed in Playboy magazine. His second interview is printed in the 50th anniversary issue.
He was considered for Kevin Costner's roles in The Untouchables (1987) and JFK (1991).
He was considered for the role of Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), which went to Bob Hoskins.
He was offered the role of Gunnery Sgt. Emil Foley in An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), which he turned down. The role was instead given to Louis Gossett Jr. who went onto receive an Oscar for his performance.
He turned down Dennis Hopper's role in Rumble Fish (1983), because he didn't like the script. He was also considered for Hopper's roles in Speed (1994) and Waterworld (1995).
Is an accomplished and well payed "ghost writer" for the movie industry.
Biographer Patrick McGilligan stated in his book "Jack's Life" that Latvian-born Eddie King (originally Edgar A. Kirschfeld) may have been Jack's biological father.
He was considered for the role of Hades in Disney's Hercules (1997), and even recorded the dialogue for the film. The role was played by James Woods instead.
Rumors among fans of his supposed memory loss was the cause of his long absence from projects but the rumors ended when he gave an interview with The Sun.
The National Wrestling Alliance made him a custom NWA world title belt as a birthday present due to his love and support for wrestling and the NWA itself.
As of 2018, has been a co-star to five Oscar winning acting performances: Louise Fletcher for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975); Maureen Stapleton for Reds (1981); Shirley MacLaine for Terms of Endearment (1983); Anjelica Huston for Prizzi's Honor (1985); and Helen Hunt for As Good as It Gets (1997).
Has the largest gap between first and second Best Lead Actor Oscars, which is 22 years between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and As Good as It Gets (1997).
He was considered for Michael Douglas' roles in Romancing the Stone (1984), Fatal Attraction (1987), Basic Instinct (1992) and Falling Down (1993). He was also offered the role of Gordon Gecko in Wall Street (1987), but he was committed to Ironweed (1987).
A lifelong friend of Harry Dean Stanton (both having first co-starred in Ride in the Whirlwind (1966)) Jack has reportedly inserted Harry's name/initials "HDS" somewhere in a number of his films from the 1970s.
His grandparents, who he thought were his parents, were Ethel May and John J. Nicholson.
His first job was as mail clerk in the Hanna - Barbera cartoon division of M.G.M.
He failed a screen test with Joe Pasternak, got an agent and took acting classes with Jeff Corey and Martin Landau.
He joined the Players Ring Theatre in L.A. where he played small parts then with friends he founded The Store Theatre which lasted one production. He never returned to the stage since becoming a name.
His mother, June, had been a minor performer singing and dancing on stage, before marrying Murray Hawley, a test pilot, and having 2 children before divorcing then moving to Los Angeles in 1953.
He was educated at Manasquan High School in Spring Lake, New Jersey where he acted in school plays without any distinction but tried hard at sport. After graduating he visited his mother in Los Angeles and decided to settle there.
Orson Welles wrote the screenplay for The Big Brass Ring (1999) and wanted Jack to star. Although they admired one another Jack wouldn't lower his asking price and Orson, in his usual impecunious state, couldn't afford him.
He was considered for Woody Allen's roles in Deconstructing Harry (1997) and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001).
Even before Stanley Kubrick cast him in The Shining (1980), Nicholson was Kubrick's ultimate choice for the lead role in his unrealized epic on the life of Napoléon Bonaparte.
He has appeared in six films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Easy Rider (1969), Five Easy Pieces (1970), Chinatown (1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), The Shining (1980) and Broadcast News (1987).
In 2020, as a huge Lakers fan paid tribute to Kobe Bryant.
His role in Terms of Endearment (1983) was originally offered to Burt Reynolds.
His early ambition was to be a screenwriter, but acting success overshadowed his writing. He and director Monte Hellman wrote the script "Epitaph" reputedly partly based on Jack's relationship with his then-wife, Sandra Knight and dealt with abortion, which at the time was a no-no. Roger Corman turned it down.
Has a daughter born in 1994 named Tessa Gourin, from his liaison with Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Jennine Marie Gourin, who was a 20-year-old waitress when she and Nicholson conceived Tessa.
Born at 11:00 AM (EST).
Known as a ladies' man in Hollywood, having been linked to many actresses, singers, models and socialites. Exes include Michelle Phillips (who miscarried Nicholson's baby in 1972), Jill St. John, Bebe Buell, Janice Dickinson, Rachel Ward, Candice Bergen, Christina Onassis, Marie Helvin, Joni Mitchell, Margaret Trudeau, Veruschka von Lehndorff, Melanie Griffith, Kelly LeBrock, Amanda De Cadenet, Kate Moss, Angie Everhart, Lara Flynn Boyle, Julie Delpy and Paz de la Huerta.
Was the first choice for the role of Sidney Lipkin in Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989).
Mentioned in Columbo: Uneasy Lies the Crown (1990).

Personal Quotes (72)

The average celebrity meets, in one year, ten times the amount of people that the average person meets in his entire life.
[on the $5 million he earned for A Few Good Men (1992)] It was one of the few times when it was money well spent.
[regarding Terms of Endearment (1983)] When I read the part, I knew I'd win the Oscar for it.
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.
[on Stanley Kubrick] Just because you're a perfectionist doesn't mean you're perfect.
Beer, it's the best damn drink in the world.
(1992) 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.
As an actor, I have no desire for anybody to understand my past work. Period.
(1996) 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.
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 (2008)] 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 (1954), Kukla, Fran and Ollie (1969), 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.
[on Michelle Pfeiffer] She's a good egg, I'm crazy about her... You couldn't really say Michelle is glacial, but there's obviously something oscillating beneath the surface there. Her first look at people is "Yeah, well, what do you want?" It's a form of protection because she's very sensitive. You never could steamroll Michelle. She's always very tough in that sense.
[on Heath Ledger's death] I warned him of the stress, the pressure, and the expectations that comes with that Joker character.
[on working with Martin Scorsese in The Departed (2006)] We wanted to create a really bad man, basically a villain who was pretty flamboyant and somebody who you wanted them to get pretty bad. I thought it would bring out the best in Marty.
In my whole career there was only one time when a director said to me, "OK, come right down the pike and just look beautiful, Jack". That was Ken Russell on Tommy (1975).
The only really good role I've rejected - and I could kill myself - was The Great Gatsby (1974). Since I was 18, people said I should do Jay Gatsby. I didn't really go after the part for well, personal reasons I don't want printed.
Stardom? Your name becomes a brand image like a product. You become Campbell's soup, with 31 different varieties of roles you can play.
[on Warren Beatty] He's the right height for a movie star. I'm too short.
What I wish I knew at 18? Everything - from wishing I learned a foreign language to becoming a good chef.
[on shooting The Shining (1980)] I was living in London, which is one of my favorite cities on Earth. The 17-week filming schedule at Pinewood Studios ended up as 47 weeks because the director, Stanley Kubrick, did so many takes for every single scene. I thought to myself: 'OK, I'm going to show all of these people. I am working with the toughest director in the business - and I am going to burn London to the ground every night with partying.' But eight weeks into the picture, I jumped over a wall during a night out. I got the jump wrong and was out for eight weeks with a bad back.

Salary (21)

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) $12,500
Chinatown (1974) $500,000
Tommy (1975) $75,000
The Fortune (1975) 10% gross "from the very first dollar"
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 + profit percentage (totaling $60,000,000)
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
How Do You Know (2010) $12,000,000

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