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The term "classic film" is a moving target. Classic films aren't only those made in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, and classic actors aren't all dead or retired. Case in point: Jack Nicholson, who will be 70 in 2007 and who has been described by some as an "icon." We couldn't agree more.
Born on April 22, 1937 in New York City, John Joseph Nicholson graduated from high school in New Jersey, and paid his dues in a series of motorcycle flicks such as The Wild Ride (1960) and Hells Angels on Wheels (1967) and Roger Corman movies like Cry Baby Killer (1958, his debut) and The Raven (1963).
His big breakthrough came in 1969 when he replaced Rip Torn in Easy Rider," which was followed by hits Five Easy Pieces (1970), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Last Detail (1973), and Chinatown (1974). In 1975 he turned in his Oscar-winning performance as R. P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and his legend was assured. He later won a Supporting Actor Oscar for Terms of Endearment in 1983. Recent films have included A Few Good Men (1992) and As Good as it Gets (1997). He's had a total of eleven Oscar nominations and three wins so far. In 1994 he was given the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award.
At this point Jack can pretty much do no wrong, and can do whatever he wants. Every basketball fan knows that he's a Los Angeles Lakers nut and never misses a home game. In fact, the rumor is that his films' shooting schedules have to be arranged around the Lakers' home schedule. He has romanced women 26 years his junior on screen and 33 years his junior offscreen. The guy who started out playing weirdos in "B" Movies is now sitting in the front row at the Oscars.
And that's okay with me. So we raise a glass to the man on his birthday, and wish him many happy returns.
Part I: Introduction
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find His Movies
Part IV: Photos, Art, and Posters
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