Capital: € 400 million
Age: 82
Born: April 22, 1937
Country of origin: United States
Source of wealth: actor
Last updated: 2022

Short introduction

Jack Nicholson made a name for himself as a rebellious hero who opposes social conventions. His unmistakable trademark is his “killer smile”. Nicholson is one of the highest paid actors of all time.

Nicholson also made a name for himself as an enfant terrible away from the camera. In the 1960s, he was one of the actors who publicly acknowledged their drug use. He was also a vocal critic of “family ideology” throughout his life. He was married to actress Sandra Knight for only five years.

Early life

Jack Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937 in the small town of Neptune City in New Jersey as the illegitimate son of 17-year-old Frances Nicholson. Fearing stigma, Nicholson’s grandmother, Ethel May, pretended to be his mother. His grandfather, who initially pretended to be his father, was an alcoholic and left the family when Nicholson was a baby.

His mother June thought Nicholson was his sister for the rest of her life. It was only after her early death that he learned the truth thanks to Time Magazine research. The magazine named several possible fathers. Nicholson himself did not do any research on this.

Nicholson’s predilection for acting began long before the production became apparent within his family. At his high school, he was part of the theater group. During this time he made the decision to become an actor.


After graduation, Nicholson went to Los Angeles, where he lived with his birth mother, who worked there as a secretary. Nicholson stayed afloat with a job in a toy store until he switched to the well-known film company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

However, he first had to be satisfied with the job as an errand boy. In the animation department, he was also responsible for the fan mail. After an unsuccessful audition, Nicholson first took acting classes.

In 1956 he made his debut in the series “Martine Theater” in a supporting role. During this time, Nicholson met his long-time sponsor and mentor Roger Corman, who was one of the most important producers of the then popular B-Movies. He gave Nicholson his first leading role in the crime drama “The Cry Baby Killer.” In it, he emulated hot-headed youth heroes like James Dean.

Nicholson’s first public success was in 1960 in the horror comedy “Little shop full of horrors”, in which he fell victim to a sadistic dentist. Although the producer Corman only invested 30,000 dollars, the film became a cult film.

In the course of the 1960s, Nicholson played in other inexpensive horror films. He was the first co-director in the production of the film “The Terror”. In 1967 Nicholson also contributed the screenplay to the film “The Trip”, which deals with the topic of drugs in a revolutionary way at that time.

In the late 1960s, Nicholson’s connections with Roger Corman helped to play roles in the motorcycle films popular at the time. In 1969 Nicholson made the big breakthrough with the role of drinking lawyer Georg Hanson in the world success “Easy Rider”. He became one of the young faces of New Hollywood, which experienced a golden era in the 1970s.

One of Nicholson’s greatest successes at the time was starring in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The latter earned him his first Oscar for Best Male Actor.

Nicholson’s greatest hits in the 1980s were “Shining” (1980), “Time of Tenderness” (1984) and Batman (1989). For “Time of Tenderness” he received the Oscar for best supporting actor. “Batman” had a record $ 400 million in gross profit.

In 1997 Nicholson won his second Oscar for Best Male Actor for his role in “It doesn’t get better”. The third followed in 2002 for “About Schmidt.” Nicholson’s last appearance in front of the camera in 2010 was “How do you know it’s love?”.

Career highlights

The highlight in Jack Nicholson’s career was the film “Easy Rider” (1969). Although Nicholson did not receive an Oscar for his role, he became a cult actor of the young generation beyond the United States.

Nicholson also made history with “Easy Rider”. The film is not only considered a prototype of the road movie genre, but also the starting signal for the era of New Hollywood, which revolutionized the old Hollywood film studios in the 1970s.

Famous quotes

“Women don’t need to emancipate themselves. They won’t be as good as men anyway. ”

“There is only one that is more expensive than a woman – an ex-wife.”

“I prefer to be alone. The word husband means housebound. Who wants that? ”

Amazing facts

In 1989, Jack Nicholson earned a record $ 60 million for the lead role in Batman. The record was not broken until decades later.

Jack Nicholson had been friends with actor Danny DeVito since he was a teenager. They met through relatives who ran a hairdressing salon together


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