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Now & Then: Jack Nicholson

Since I’m in a Jack Nicholson kind of mood I thought I’d choose him for this week’s Now & Then actor (a day later than normal).

Few actors need as little said about them as this legend of the screen (but I’m not known for saying little about anything).

He’s been around forever (at least the whole of my lifetime) and has given us some of the best characters and films of the past six decades.

He was born John Joseph Nicholson and was raised by his grandparents, believing them to be his parents and his mother to be his sister.

It wasn’t until 1974 when a Time Magazine researcher learned this information and informed Nicholson that he became aware of it. Sadly by this time his mother and grandmother had died. He was 37.

Before making it as an actor Jack worked as an office worker for animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (Hanna-Barbera cartoons - Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo etc) at the MGM cartoon studio, and was offered an entry-level job as an animator. Fortunately for us he turned it down as he had his sights set on being an actor.

As well as acting, Nicholson is also talented behind the camera and is an accomplished writer and director. He’s written a number of screenplays and directed several movies including Goin’ South (1978) which he also starred in.

Unfortunately he’s retired from acting now. His last film was How Do You Know, co-starring Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers), Reece Witherspoon (Legally Blonde) and Paul Rudd (Ant-Man).

It’s a real shame but lucky for us we still have plenty of his movies to enjoy again and again!

My top Jack Nicholson movie recommendations are:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

The Shining (1980)

Batman (1989)

A Few Good Men (1992)

Wolf (1994)

Mars Attacks (1996)

The Bucket List (2007)

What’s your favourite Jack Nicholson movie?


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