Jack Nicholson’s biographyJohn Jack Joseph Nicholson is an American actor, director, screenwriter and producer, known all around the world for his countless portrayals of insane characters. His most notable films include Stanley Kubrick’s horror The Shining, Miloš Forman’s comedy-drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Tim Burton’s superhero film Batman and many others. Other projects worth mentioning are the independent road drama Easy Rider, the drama Five Easy Pieces, the neo-noir mystery film Chinatown directed by Roman Polanski, the drama art film The Passenger, the comedy-drama Terms of Endearment, the legal drama film A Few Good Men, the romantic comedy-drama As Good as It Gets, and Martin Scorsese’s crime drama The Departed.
ChildhoodJack Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937, in Neptune City to an 18-years-old showgirl June Nicholson, who was of Irish, English, and German descent. Six months prior to giving birth to her son, June married her colleague, showman Donald Furcillo. The man considered himself to be Jack’s son and, although being married at the time, offered June financial support. June’s parents, however, were appalled by the sole idea of it and took the child in as their own, while the young mother continued her dancing career.
Beginning of the careerAfter graduating from high school, Nicholson moved to Los Angeles determined to make it in the film industry. He took a job as an office worker for legendary animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Soon he was offered a starting-level job as an animator, which he declined, stating that he dreamt of being an actor.
A desperate screenwriterThe acting did not bring Nicholson any fame, and in 1967 Jack decided he would achieve greater success in the field of writing. That same year he wrote an LSD-inspired screenplay for a counterculture-era psychedelic film The Trip, starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. He got a taste of writing and co-wrote a script with Bob Rafelson on a satirical musical adventure film Head, starring television rock group The Monkees. He also arranged the movie's soundtrack.
American idolFinally, after a number of Academy Award nominations, Jack Nicholson has received his first well-deserved statuette for his amazing performance in the iconic movie adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. According to the contemporary film critics, Nicholson has reached the highest point of artistic excellence in his portrayal of a violent and hot-tempered Irishman, Randle P. McMurphy, who faked his mental illness in order to escape prison.
Nicholson went on to win his next Academy Award for Best Actor by the end of the 20th century. His portrayal of a mean-spirited, obsessive-compulsive novelist in a romantic comedy-drama film As Good as It Gets was highly praised.
21st centuryIn 2002, Jack Nicholson appeared in a comedy-drama film About Schmidt, where he portrayed a retired actuary, questioning his own life after his wife has passed away. His character was extremely different from all those Nicholson had played before – quiet and reserved.
In comedy film, Anger Management Nicholson played an aggressive therapist assigned to help Adam Sandler’s character control his emotions. In 2003, the actor was cast as an aging playboy, who fell in love with the mother of his younger girlfriend in a romantic comedy Something’s Gotta Give.