John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson (born April 22, 1937) is a retired American actor, film director, producer, and writer. Throughout his career, Jack Nicholson has portrayed unique and challenging roles; many of which include dark portrayals of neurotic and/or psychopathic characters. Nicholson's twelve Oscar nominations make him the most nominated male actor.
Nicholson has twice won the Academy Award for Best Actor, for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and for As Good as It Gets. He also won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the 1983 film Terms of Endearment. He is tied with Walter Brennan and Daniel Day-Lewis for most acting wins by a male actor (three). Nicholson is well known for playing villainous roles, such as Frank Costello in The Departed, Jack Torrance in The Shining and the Joker in 1989's Batman.
Nicholson was one of only two actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s; the other being Michael Caine. He has won six Golden Globe Awards, and received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 1994, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. Notable films in which he has starred include Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Last Detail, Chinatown, The Passenger, The Shining, Reds, Wolf, A Few Good Men, The Pledge, About Schmidt, and The Departed.
Nicholson was born in New Jersey, the son of a showgirl, June Frances Nicholson (stage name June Nilson). June had married Italian American showman Donald Furcillo (stage name Donald Rose) six months earlier in Elkton, Maryland, on October 16, 1936. Furcillo was already married. Although he reportedly offered to take care of the child, June's mother Ethel insisted that she bring up the baby, partly so that June could pursue her dancing career. Although Furcillo claimed to be Nicholson's father and to have committed bigamy by marrying June, biographer Patrick McGilligan asserted in Jack's Life that Latvian-born Eddie King (originally Edgar A. Kirschfeld), June's manager, may have been Nicholson's biological father. Other sources suggest June Nicholson was unsure of who the father was. Nicholson's mother was of Irish, English, and Pennsylvania Dutch descent, though he and his family reportedly self-identified as Irish.
Nicholson was brought up believing that his maternal grandparents, John Joseph Nicholson (a department store window dresser in Manasquan, New Jersey) and Ethel May (née Rhoads, a hairdresser, beautician and amateur artist in Manasquan), were his parents. Nicholson only discovered that his "parents" were actually his grandparents and his sister was in fact his mother in 1974, after a journalist for TIME magazine who was doing a feature on Nicholson informed him of the fact. By this time, both his mother and grandmother had died (in 1963 and 1970, respectively). Nicholson has stated he does not know who his biological father is, saying "Only Ethel and June knew and they never told anybody", and has chosen not to have a DNA test or to pursue the matter.
Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey. He was raised in his mother's Roman Catholic religion. Before starting high school, his family moved to an apartment in Spring Lake, New Jersey. "Nick", as he was known to his high school friends, attended nearby Manasquan High School, where he was voted "class clown" by the Class of 1954. He was in detention every day for a whole school year. A theatre and a drama award at the school are named in his honor. In 2004, Nicholson attended his 50-year high school reunion accompanied by his aunt Lorraine.
Full Name at Birth
John Joseph Nicholson
Date of Birth
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Actor, Film Director, Producer, Writer.
Claim to Fame
Hoffa, The Shining, The Two Jakes
Bresler Kelly & Associates
Celebrity Talent International