Morgan Freeman’s biographyIt’s easy to be an actor, it’s hard to become one, - these words belong to Morgan Freeman, whose name is known to the whole world due to such masterpieces as the Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Million Dollar Baby and many others.
ChildhoodThe actor’s biography began in the south of the United States, in Memphis. His parents met at the local hospital where they both worked. The elder Freeman was an orderly, and his wife, Mayme, was a nurse. Their firstborn Morgan, named after his father, was born on June 1, 1937. Shortly after the birth of his sister, his parents broke up. Mayme, though a patient and pious woman, didn’t want to stand her husband’s drunkenness.
Many workplaces had freed up in the northern states in the early 40s. Mayme forgave her husband, who had come to confess and promised to stop drinking and they moved to Chicago in search of a better life. The three-year-old Morgan and his sister were left in the care of their father's mother.
After the death of their grandmother in 1943 the Freemans took the children to Chicago. Morgan was seven when he saw his father, whom he didn’t remember at all. The parents still didn’t get along, frequent quarrels ended with his father leaving and returning in a few days.
Morgan began school in Chicago. There were both black and white children in the class. It was 1945 and segregation still officially existing in the south, had already been canceled in the north. But here the boy was still humiliated. Mayme's mother, who once came to visit her daughter, took pity on the children and took Morgan and his sister to the south, to the small village of Greenwood.
Subsequently, the actor recalled the time he spent with his grandmother as one of the happiest periods in his life. In Greenwood, he went to school for black. Morgan was very lucky with his teachers who made the tall, uncomplicated boy believe that he would be able to get out into people. He loved to read and at the age of 8, he enrolled in the library, where he literally swallowed a book after another, surprised by the diversity and beauty of the world that he was about to open.
When Morgan was 12 he had to return to Chicago where he first went to the cinema. The tickets were cheap, but the boy had no money at all. He searched for bottles that he laundered and handed over in order to get to the session. Cinema became an obsession for Morgan, he enrolled in the theater circle and by the age of 15 he was already a school star.
The handsome black boy was also a dreamer. After watching a picture about pilots he began to dream about the sky and after graduating from school he became a cadet of a military school in Texas. However, the reality was different from the world that Morgan had invented for himself. The government began the war in Vietnam and Morgan was afraid he could be drafted into the army. After graduating from college, the young man abandoned his military career and moved to California.
25 years of obscurityIn Los Angeles, Morgan knocked on the thresholds of film studios for several years but was never able to get a single role. He was 21 years old, and he had neither money nor acquaintances. He loved the cinema with all his heart and sincerely didn’t understand why he was refused. A few years later the young man moved to New York. There Freeman scratched along with odd jobs and played in amateur theaters.
In the late 60s, the actor managed to get a job on television. After working in a children's show for several years, he noticed that he began to feel craving for alcohol. His father had already died of liver cirrhosis, and Morgan was afraid. He realized that he could repeat his fate. Taking himself in hand, he continued to follow his dream, patiently perceiving new and new refusals.
Morgan lived 25 years in New York. Working in the theater brought him neither satisfaction nor money. Having played many roles, he became increasingly convinced that his vocation was cinema.
In the period from 1975 to 1983, the actor managed to get small roles in the Attica, Brubaker, and Eyewitness pictures. Despite the fact that the Brubaker prison drama deserved recognition of film academics and even caused a resonance in society, Morgan’s role was too small, but recognition was just around the corner.
Rapid riseIn 1984 the 48-year-old actor received a role in the Harry and Son picture. The picture wasn’t very successful but brought recognition to Morgan. Over the next two years, the actor starred in several films, but the true breakthrough came in 1986. The role in the Street Smart drama, where Morgan brilliantly played the role of a pimp, made him a star overnight. He was nominated for an Oscar for this role in 1987.
Morgan began to receive invitations for films but didn’t dare to leave work in the theater. The Driving Miss Daisy staging with him participating was a great success among the theatergoers and was later screened. Morgan still played the driver who became the best friend of the arrogant white lady of Jewish origin, who was played by Jessica Tandy. The story about the difficult relations between two people belonging to different layers of society deserved four Oscars and became the best picture of the 1990s. The actor himself received a Golden Globe.
In the period from 1990 to 1994, Morgan, who broke into the cinema at an age when other actors already leave for writing memoirs, becomes a worldwide star. In 1991 he turned 54 but he was full of strength and shot with youthful passion. Each picture he took part in became popular and critics wondered how the film industry couldn’t notice such an outstanding actor for 25 years. Among the pictures of period two exist which the actor calls his favorite.
The Unforgiven 1992 criminal drama is considered one of the best westerns in the history of cinema and is one of the top Hollywood films. The brilliant Clint Eastwood, who is called the American Dostoevsky, shot the picture, which received four Oscars and two Golden Globes. Morgan, who played the role of Ned, was at the height and seemed equal to Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman, who were already not only American but also world cinema superstars then.
The Shawshank Redemption immediately became known as a cult but it couldn’t be otherwise. The screening of the novel by the idol of American literature Stephen King, originally involved Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford, but the actors were busy in other projects.
Approving Tim Robbins for the role of Andy Dufresne, director Frank Darabont gave the role of Red to Morgan Freeman without hesitation. The fact that Red was a fiery-red Irishman in King's novel didn’t embarrass Darabont at all. Scriptwriters didn’t even make changes to the plot.
Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption (episode)
The speech by Morgan’s character in response to Andy’s question, why his name was Red, was perceived by the public as a planned joke. Probably because I’m Irish, replied the black man, Morgan Freeman.
Interview with Morgan Freeman
Main rolesIn 1995 the premiere of the Seven by David Fincher took place, where Freeman played along with Brad Pitt. The creepy thriller, filmed in the neo-noir traditions, established in the middle of the twentieth century by Martin Scorsese, shocked the public. It’s interesting that the creators of the picture didn’t even hope that Morgan Freeman would agree to the role of one of the detectives, considering the plot too cruel. But he was interested not in the plot, but the fee, as he later said subsequently laughing and everyone took his statement as a joke. However, Mr. Freeman is known as an actor who is very interested in the material component of art.
Between 1996 and 2004 Freeman’s filmography was filled by the Moll Flanders picture, which also featured Robin Wright Penn and John Lynch, the thrillers Hard Rain with Christian Slater and Minnie Driver and Chain Reaction, where Mr. Freeman was accompanied by Brian Cox and Rachel Weisz and also incredibly beautiful Keanu Reeves.
The Under Suspicion subtle psychological thriller especially stands out from the works of that period, where the characters of Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman play a game naturally ended in the destruction of one of them. The picture didn’t receive super-profits at the box office but became a favorite picture for the thoughtful and serious viewer.
In the detective thrillers, shot by the works of James Patterson, Morgan played detective Alex Cross. The actor’s character is not just an ordinary detective, he is an intellectual, an expert in psychology, with a unique intuition and analytical mindset. As noted by critics, no one else could play the role like Freeman. The partners of the actor were Monica Potter, Carey Elwes, and Ashley Judd. The profits from the films broke all the records and in many respects thanks to the stellar brilliance of Morgan Freeman's talent.
From 2004 to 2014 the actor starred in more than 30 films. Among Hollywood celestials he is one of the most powerful, reaching the level where he can even dictate his conditions to producers and directors. However, he doesn’t abuse his influence, except when it comes to running. Morgan Freeman has sore joints and he reluctantly agrees to the role if it requires physical effort.
Thrice nominated for Oscar and has won many prestigious awards, the actor first won the top prize for film academics in 2005 for his role as Eddie Scrap-Iron in the Million Dollar Baby with Hilary Swank.
It was unexpected that Freeman joined the set of the Batman saga. In the Christopher Nolan trilogy he played the inventor who supplied the superhero with ingenious devices to help him fight evil.
Million Dollar Baby - Trailer
Morgan’s participation in the role of God in the Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty comedies is also interesting. At the same time the actor is an atheist, he lacks religious tenets, he needs proof. In an interview, he repeatedly voiced his thoughts that God is just a fantasy.
In 2009 the actor played Nelson Mandela in the picture Invictus, which tells about the fight against apartheid.
Morgan Freeman in the Evan Almighty (episode)
The RED 2010 film, where Bruce Willis and John Malkovich shook the old days along with Morgan Freeman, topped the rental and earned several nominations for the Golden Globe.
The topic of timeless youth continued in the Last Vegas 2013 comedy. Morgan gladly agreed to play in it, especially since his friends Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, and Michael Douglas were already approved for the rest of the roles.
In the political thrillers, Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen the actor played the Speaker of The House, and then the vice-president of the United States. Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart also featured in the pictures.
Both parts of the Now You See Me pleased by the presence of Mr. Freeman, who once again showed an unsurpassed level of acting and performed in his favorite role. The actor played an intellectual, disclosing scammers, who could calculate the situation a few moves ahead.
In 2017 the actor, accompanied by Michael Caine and Christopher Lloyd appeared in the Going in Style comedy. The story about three pensioners who decided on a daring bank robbery has earned the recognition of the audience and enthusiastic reviews by critics. Matt Dillon also appeared in the picture, playing the detective.
In the same year, the Just Getting Started comedy was released which also featured Rene Russo and Tommy Lee, Jones. Freeman played the role of former criminal Duke, hiding from the mafia and working for a modest salary in a nursing home.
Going in Style - Trailer
In the 2018 fairy-tale film project, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms Freeman played the role of Drosselmeyer.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - Trailer
Morgan Freeman’s personal lifeIt is known that the actor has two extramarital sons, Alfonso and Saifoulaye. In 1967 Morgan Freeman got married for the first time. His choice was Jeanette Bradshaw, who already had a daughter, Dinu, from her first marriage. Morgan adopted the girl, and in 1979 the couple had their common child, daughter Morgana. Shortly after her birth Morgan and Jeanette broke up.
The actor’s second choice was costume designer Myrna. The marriage lasted about 30 years. In 2010 it became known about the official divorce of the couple. At the same time information appeared in the media about Morgan Freeman’s affair with his stepgranddaughter E’dena, who later died in strange circumstances.
Since then Morgan Freeman does not answer questions about his personal life. According to unconfirmed information, he is single since 2010.
Morgan Freeman nowadaysIn 2019, two films were released with the participation of the actor. It was the thriller "The Poison Rose", in which Freeman played Doc, and the action-packed thriller "Angel Has Fallen," in which Morgan played the role of Allan Trumbull. Also, since 2019, the film "The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" is being filmed, in which the actor will also take part. The premiere is scheduled for 2021.
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