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Jack Nicholson Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

(CNN) — Here’s a look at the life of actor Jack Nicholson, who has won three Academy Awards and been nominated for 12, the most of any male performer.


Birth date: April 22, 1937

Birth place: Neptune, New Jersey

Birth name: John Joseph Nicholson

Father: Identity not confirmed publicly

Mother: June Nicholson

Marriage: Sandra Knight (1961-1966, divorced)

Children: with Jennine Gourin: Tessa (though he has not claimed paternity publicly); with Rebecca Broussard: Lorraine and Raymond; with Winnie Hollman: Honey (though he has not claimed paternity publicly); with Susan Anspach: Caleb; with Sandra Knight: Jennifer

Other Facts

Raised by Ethel May Nicholson. It wasn’t until Nicholson was an adult that he learned that Ethel May was his grandmother and not his mother. His birth mother was June Nicholson, whom he grew up believing was his sister.

Worked in film for 10 years before his breakthrough role in “Easy Rider.”

Wrote, produced and starred in the 1966 western “Ride in the Whirlwind.”

Ardent Los Angeles Lakers fan.


1954 – Moves to Los Angeles.

1958 – Makes his film debut in “The Cry Baby Killer.”

1969 – The film “Easy Rider” is released and earns him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

1974 – The film “Chinatown” is released.

1976 – Wins the Best Actor Academy Award for his performance in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

1980 – The film “The Shining” is released.

1984 Wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Terms of Endearment.”

1989The film “Batman” is released. Nicholson plays the Joker.

1998 Wins the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in “As Good as It Gets.”

1994 – Smashes another man’s car windshield with a golf club during a traffic dispute. Later, charges are dropped and Nicholson reaches an undisclosed settlement with the car’s owner.

1999 – Receives the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

December 2001 – Kennedy Center honoree.

2006 – Co-stars in the Martin Scorsese film “The Departed.”

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