Hollywood Icon And Legend, Jack Nicholson, Turns 84

Hollywood Icon And Legend, Jack Nicholson, Turns 84

Here's wishing the amazing actor a happy birthday.

Cover Image Source: Actor Jack Nicholson speaks onstage during the AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Michael Douglas at Sony Pictures Studios on June 11, 2009 in Culver City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)

One of the few Hollywood heavyweights, Jack Nicholson, is a legend. Nicholson and his roguishly charming demeanor stunned the world with his acting prowess be it his iconic role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or The Shining, among others. His illustrious career spanning over six decades has seen the legend act in lead and supporting roles including comic characters, romantic leads, anti-heroes and villains. He's often essayed roles that portray him as the outsider, drifter, or a rebellious soul.

The actor and his signature sunglasses hold a distinguished record of being the only male performer to have won 3 Oscars and nominated 12 times. Nicholson will celebrate his 84th birthday on April 22. According to Biograpy.com, Nicholson was born in Neptune, New Jersey, and grew up in Manasquan, New Jersey, about 50 miles south of the city on the Jersey Shore.



He grew up with John and Ethel May Nicholson, and June was said to be his older sister.  Though he was good at academics, he wasn't interested in college. He recalled, "I wasn't filled with a burning desire to make something of myself in those days. And since I was only 16, I figured I had plenty of time to go to college later and so I hung around Jersey for about a year. I made a little money at the racetrack, and I worked as a lifeguard at the beach one summer." Soon, in 1954, Nicholson moved to LA to work part-time in a toy store and also landed a job as a gopher for the animation department of MGM Studios. He stayed with his sister, June, who had an apartment there.



In 1958, he made his film debut with the thriller Cry Baby Killer. In 1963, his sister died of cancer, and over a decade later, when he was 37, a shocking family secret unraveled itself. Nicholson found out that his sister was actually his biological mother. June was only 17 when she conceived Jack, but her parents agreed to treat Nicholson as their own child and never reveal to him his true parentage. It was only when a Times reporter was investigating, that the truth came to light. Initially, June was unsure of the father, but one of June's ex-boyfriends, Don Furcillo-Rose, has since taken responsibility. However, Nicholson decided not to have paternity testing performed.



"I'd say it was a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn't what I'd call traumatizing," Nicholson said about discovering his family's secret. "After all, by the time I found out who my mother was, I was pretty well psychologically formed. As a matter of fact, it made quite a few things clearer to me. If anything, I felt grateful." The actor went on to have a stellar career in acting, but even though the legendary actor achieved every milestone any performer could dream of, he regrets one thing—not having someone to grow old with. It's not like he didn't have anyone. He did find love—he had a loving marriage of six years with actress Sandra Knight between 1962-1968.



Speaking to an American magazine, Knight said, "We had a very beautiful, sweet marriage," reported Express. That relationship didn't last, and after his first marriage ended, he found Anjelica Huston. People thought she was the one, but they went their separate ways after 16 years. He'd cheated on her, and gotten another woman pregnant. Huston couldn't put up with it.  Although the actor acknowledged his mistakes, he was never the one to go back and rectify them. He said, "I may have made a mistake but I don't want to go back and correct it. I'd rather deal with it." The regret was also felt by Anjelica Huston, who later described him as the "love of her life." 



He has broken a lot of hearts, but towards the end, he couldn't help but feel lonely. He opened about these yearnings and said, "I would love that one last romance but I'm not very realistic about it happening. What I can't deny is my yearning." Today, he has decades of success to reminisce, yet he feels something is lacking in life. "I have had everything a man could ask for but no one could say I'm successful with affairs of the heart." Right now, the only thing that gives him a purpose to go on with his life is the love he had for his children and grandchildren. Sharing how he can't overlook their beauty, he said, "They write an essay or a poem and your heart is in your throat. They share such stunning love."


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