Morgan Freeman

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freem...

Born on June 01, 1937

Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Height 1.88m / 6' 2"

Biography

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman attended Los Angeles City College before serving several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic between 1955 and 1959. His first dramatic arts exposure was on the stage including appearing in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly!.Throughout the 1970s, he continued his work on stage, winning Drama Desk and Clarence Derwent Awards and receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance in The Mighty Gents in 1978. In 1980, he won two Obie Awards, for his portrayal of Shakespearean anti-hero Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival and for his work in Mother Courage and Her Children. Freeman won another Obie in 1984 for his performance as The Messenger in the acclaimed Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Lee Breuer's The Gospel at Colonus and, in 1985, won the Drama-Logue Award for the same role. In 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Coleburn in Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy, which brought him his fourth Obie Award. In 1990, Freeman starred as Petruchio in the New York Shakespeare Festival's The Taming of the Shrew, opposite Tracey Ullman. Returning to the Broadway stage in 2008, Freeman starred with Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in Clifford Odets' drama The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols.Freeman first appeared on TV screens as several characters including "Easy Reader", "Mel Mounds" and "Count Dracula" on the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) show The Electric Company (1971). He then moved into feature film with another children's adventure, Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow! (1971). Next, there was a small role in the thriller Blade (1973); then he played Casca in Julius Caesar (1979) and the title role in Coriolanus (1979). Regular work was coming in for the talented Freeman and he appeared in the prison dramas Attica (1980) and Brubaker (1980), Eyewitness (1981), and portrayed the final 24 hours of slain Malcolm X in Death of a Prophet (1981). For most of the 1980s, Freeman continued to contribute decent enough performances in films that fluctuated in their quality. However, he really stood out, scoring an Oscar nomination as a merciless hoodlum in Street Smart (1987) and, then, he dazzled audiences and pulled a second Oscar nomination in the film version of Driving Miss Daisy (1989) opposite Jessica Tandy. The same year, Freeman teamed up with youthful Matthew Broderick and fiery Denzel Washington in the epic Civil War drama Glory (1989) about freed slaves being recruited to form the first all-African American fighting brigade.His star continued to rise, and the 1990s kicked off strongly with roles in The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), and The Power of One (1992). Freeman's next role was as gunman Ned Logan, wooed out of retirement by friend William Munny to avenge several prostitutes in the wild west town of Big Whiskey in Clint Eastwood's de-mythologized western Unforgiven (1992). The film was a sh and scored an acting Oscar for Gene Hackman, a directing Oscar for Eastwood, and the Oscar for best picture. In 1993, Freeman made his directorial debut on Bopha! (1993) and soon after formed his production company, Revelations Entertainment.More strong scripts came in, and Freeman was back behind bars depicting a knowledgeable inmate (and obtaining his third Oscar nomination), befriending falsely accused banker Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). He was then back out hunting a religious serial killer in Se7en (1995), starred alongside Keanu Reeves in Chain Reaction (1996), and was pursuing another serial murderer in Kiss the Girls (1997).Further praise followed for his role in the slave tale of Amistad (1997), he was a worried US President facing Armageddon from above in Deep Impact (1998), appeared in Neil LaBute's black comedy Nurse Betty (2000), and reprised his role as Alex Cross in Along Came a Spider (2001). Now highly popular, he was much in demand with cinema audiences, and he co-starred in the terrorist drama The Sum of All Fears (2002), was a military officer in the Stephen King-inspired Dreamcatcher (2003), gave divine guidance as God to Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty (2003), and played a minor role in the comedy The Big Bounce (2004).2005 was a huge year for Freeman. First, he he teamed up with good friend Clint Eastwood to appear in the drama, Million Dollar Baby (2004). Freeman's on-screen performance is simply world-class as ex-prize fighter Eddie "Scrap Iron" Dupris, who works in a run-down boxing gym alongside grizzled trainer Frankie Dunn, as the two work together to hone the skills of never-say-die female boxer Hilary Swank. Freeman received his fourth Oscar nomination and, finally, impressed the Academy's judges enough to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. He also narrated Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (2005) and appeared in Batman Begins (2005) as Lucius Fox, a valuable ally of Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman for director Christopher Nolan. Freeman would reprise his role in the two sequels of the record-breaking, genre-redefining trilogy.Roles in tentpoles and indies followed; highlights include his role as a crime boss in Lucky Number Slevin (2006), a second go-round as God in Evan Almighty (2007) with Steve Carell taking over for Jim Carrey, and a supporting role in Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007). He co-starred with Jack Nicholson in the breakout hit The Bucket List (2007) in 2007, and followed that up with another box-office success, Wanted (2008), then segued into the second Batman film, The Dark Knight (2008).In 2009, he reunited with Eastwood to star in the director's true-life drama Invictus (2009), on which Freeman also served as an executive producer. For his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in the film, Freeman garnered Oscar, Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations, and won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor.Recently, Freeman appeared in RED (2010), a surprise box-office hit; he narrated the Conan the Barbarian (2011) remake, starred in Rob Reiner's The Magic of Belle Isle (2012); and capped the Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Freeman has several films upcoming, including the thriller Now You See Me (2013), under the direction of Louis Leterrier, and the science fiction actioner Oblivion (2013), in which he stars with Tom Cruise.Read More

Known For

TradeMarks

Frequently plays characters with calm demeanor

Rich yet mellow voice

Deep authoratitve voice

Often plays authorative leaders that seem highly trustworthy (even when they are not)

[Narration] Often provides narration for his films, as either himself or the character he is playing.

Trivia

Ranked #31 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]

Considered joining the Air Force to become a fighter pilot but opted to stay with acting instead.

Has reprised the same character three times. He played Dr. Alex Cross in Kiss the Girls (1997) and then reprised the role in Along Came a Spider (2001). He also played God in Bruce Almighty (2003) and then reprised that role in Evan Almighty (2007). Finally, he played Lucius Fox in both Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008).

He was (along with director/actress Billie Allen, director/playwright Garland Thompson, and journalist Clayton Riley') a founding member of the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop, named after noted Black actor Frank Silvera.

Received the "Hollywood Outstanding Achievement in Acting" Award on August 7, 2000.

Father of Morgana Freeman with Jeanette Adair Bradshaw. He also adopted his first wife's daughter, Deena.

Father of Alfonso Freeman from his relationship with Loletha Adkins and Saifoulaye Freeman (born 1960) from another previous relationship.

Village Voice Obie for Driving Miss Daisy (1989). [1990]

Village Voice Obie for Great Performances: The Gospel at Colonus (1985). [1986]

Village Voice Obie for Coriolanus (1979) and "Mother Courage". [1980]

Quotes

I gravitate towards gravitas.

[on the failure of The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)] I knew that movie wasn't going to work. I don't think Brian De Palma had a clue. It struck me that he didn't read the book - or that he didn't like the book. It was the one time Tom Hanks was awfully miscast. Originally, they hired Alan Arkin to play my role. I thought that was perfect casting. But then they thought they had to be politically correct and make the judge black. So they fired Alan Arkin and hired me. Not a great way to get a role. I was kind of a suck-a-- for not turning it down, but they weren't going to give it back to Alan anyway. I never did get around to seeing the movie.

[on the box-office failure of Amistad (1997)] People thought it was a picture about slavery. But it wasn't about slavery at all. It was about American jurisprudence. The point of the film ultimately was that the President in not the king. But I think people were like "Jesus, not another movie about slavery!" We really do have a negative response to negative history. Which is a shame.

[on the violence in Se7en (1995)] If you don't show the actual violence and the audience provides their own violence, it's much more gruesome. This is a guy who spent a lot time planning and preparing, and what was he doing? He was punishing people for their sins. He had a moral agenda. A twisted moral agenda, but do you know how many people do? People in high places.

[on the box-office failure of The Shawshank Redemption (1994)] It took a long time for word of mouth to kick in because no one could say it. It was "The Shimshunk Reduction", "The Hudsucker Redemption"; I mean people just couldn't say it, which really made me angry because I knew that at the time! The movie we made was called "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption". Isn't that a great title? But they were like "That won't fit on the marquee". So it took a year or two for people to say it. Some people still can't say it.

I was in Africa when I got the call for Unforgiven (1992). Clint called my agency and made an offer for a western. I was like "He called for me?" It was jaw-dropping.

I'm not intimidated by lead roles. I'm better in them. I don't feel pressure - I feel released at times like that. That's what I'm born to do.

I've been living with myself all of my life, so I know all of me. So when I watch me, all I see is me. It's boring. - on why he dislikes watching his own films.

[on the failure of The Big Bounce (2004)] It was a wonderful experience. Steve Bing was the producer and was very generous. But the movie didn't turn out very well. The director [George Armitage] fell ill and we shut down production for a few weeks while he recuperated. And I think when he came back he just didn't pick up the ball and run with it the way he should have, and the movie suffered greatly for that..

[on his hesitation to do Along Came a Spider (2001)] I had a philosophic aversion to it. I didn't want to do the same thing twice. Then I realized that my philosophical aversion was bullshit. I realized I liked Alex Cross. And the fact that he's black is totally incidental. That's a rare thing for a black actor to find.

Filmography

Today Today Himself-Guest/...(9episodes,1993-2016)
Another World Another World Dr.RoyBingham(1episode,1983)
A Man Called Adam  A Man Called Adam  PartyGuest(uncredited)
Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?  Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?  GrandCentralCommuter(uncredited)
The Electric Company The Electric Company CountDracula/...(780episodes,1971-1977)
Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow!  Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow!  Afro
Blade  Blade  Chris
Good Morning America Good Morning America Himself-Guest(3episodes,2005-2016)
Ryan's Hope Ryan's Hope CiceroMurphy(2episodes,1981)
Saturday Night Live Saturday Night Live Himself(uncredited)(1episode,2010)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry  UncleHammer
Texas Texas DetectiveMichaels(2episodes,1981)
Brubaker  Brubaker  Walter
Entertainment Tonight Entertainment Tonight Himself(12episodes,2007-2015)
Late Night with David Letterman Late Night with David Letterman Himself(1episode,1990)
The Twilight Zone The Twilight Zone Tony(segment"Dealer'sChoice")(1episode,1985)
That Was Then... This Is Now  That Was Then... This Is Now  CharlieWoods
The Oprah Winfrey Show The Oprah Winfrey Show Himself-Guest(2episodes,2006-2010)
Resting Place  Resting Place  LutherJohnson
Biography Biography Himself(4episodes,1996-2010)
American Experience American Experience Himself-Narrator/...(2episodes,1991-2002)
Clinton and Nadine  Clinton and Nadine  DorseyPratt
The Arsenio Hall Show The Arsenio Hall Show Himself-Guest(2episodes,1989-1992)
Live! with Kelly Live! with Kelly Himself-Guest(7episodes,1989-2016)
Glory  Glory  Sgt.Maj.JohnRawlins
Johnny Handsome  Johnny Handsome  Lt.A.Z.Drones
Lean on Me  Lean on Me  PrincipalJoeClark
The Civil War The Civil War FrederickDouglass/...(9episodes,1990)
The Bonfire of the Vanities  The Bonfire of the Vanities  JudgeLeonardWhite
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Himself-Guest/...(7episodes,2005-2013)
The Power of One  The Power of One  GeelPiet
Unforgiven  Unforgiven  NedLogan
Late Night with Conan O'Brien Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself-Guest(2episodes,1993-2007)
Late Show with David Letterman Late Show with David Letterman Himself-Guest(3episodes,2008-2012)
Bopha!  Bopha! 
A Century of Cinema  A Century of Cinema  Himself
The Shawshank Redemption  The Shawshank Redemption  EllisBoyd'Red'Redding
Cinema 3 Cinema 3 Himself(2episodes,2008-2010)
Se7en  Se7en  Somerset
The Daily Show The Daily Show Himself-Guest(2episodes,2010-2013)
Chain Reaction  Chain Reaction  PaulShannon
The Chris Rock Show The Chris Rock Show Himself(1episode,2000)
Amistad  Amistad  TheodoreJoadson
Hard Rain  Hard Rain  Jim
60 Minutes 60 Minutes Himself-Actor(segment"MorganFreeman")(1episode,2005)
The View The View Himself-Guest(6episodes,2006-2016)
The Panel The Panel Himself(1episode,2001)
Great Performances Great Performances Messenger(1episode,1985)
Jeopardy! Jeopardy! Himself-VideoCluePresenter(1episode,2013)
The Sum of All Fears  The Sum of All Fears  DCIWilliamCabot
Under Suspicion  Under Suspicion  CaptainVictorBenezet
Under Suspicion  Under Suspicion 
The Howard Stern Radio Show The Howard Stern Radio Show Himself-Guest(1episode,2000)
Inside the Actors Studio Inside the Actors Studio Himself-Guest(1episode,2005)
Getaway Getaway Himself(1episode,2005)
The Directors The Directors Himself(3episodes,1999-2000)
Heaven and Earth with Gloria Hunniford Heaven and Earth with Gloria Hunniford Himself(1episode,2005)
Caiga quien caiga Caiga quien caiga Himself(2episodes,2005-2007)
Very Important Pennis Very Important Pennis Himself(1episode,1996)
Extra Extra Himself/...(8episodes,2013-2016)
The True Story of Glory Continues  The True Story of Glory Continues  Narrator(voice)
Ebony/Jet Showcase Ebony/Jet Showcase Himself(2episodes,1989-1990)
Breakfast Breakfast Himself-Guest(1episode,2010)
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts  The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts  Himself
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Sidney Poitier  AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Sidney Poitier  Himself
Charlie Rose Charlie Rose Himself-Guest(9episodes,2001-2015)
29th NAACP Image Awards  29th NAACP Image Awards  Himself
God kveld Norge God kveld Norge Himself(1episode,2003)
The 73rd Annual Academy Awards  The 73rd Annual Academy Awards  Himself-Presenter:'Wohucanglong'FilmClip
Dreamcatcher  Dreamcatcher  Col.AbrahamCurtis
Bravo Profiles Bravo Profiles Himself(1episode,2000)
22nd NAACP Image Awards  22nd NAACP Image Awards  Himself
Beckmann Beckmann Himself(1episode,2001)
Levity  Levity  MilesEvans
Levity  Levity 
Revealed with Jules Asner Revealed with Jules Asner Himself(1episode,2002)
Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory  Warner Bros. 75th Anniversary: No Guts, No Glory  Himself
Leute heute Leute heute Himself(1episode,2002)
Bruce Almighty  Bruce Almighty  God
The Big Bounce  The Big Bounce  WalterCrewes
HBO First Look HBO First Look Himself/...(7episodes,1995-2008)
Clint Eastwood on Westerns  Clint Eastwood on Westerns  Himself
Go' aften Danmark Go' aften Danmark Himself/...(2episodes,2005-2010)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself-Guest/...(5episodes,2014-2016)
Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary  Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary  Himself
The 22nd Annual Tony Awards  The 22nd Annual Tony Awards  Himself-Performer
Partners of the Heart Partners of the Heart Himself-Narrator(voice)
Visions Visions (1episode,1978)
Neglect Not the Children  Neglect Not the Children  Himself-Host
The 60th Annual Academy Awards  The 60th Annual Academy Awards  Himself-Nominee:BestActorinaSupportingRole
Secrets of the Dead Secrets of the Dead Himself-Narrator(1episode,2015)
Freedom: A History of Us Freedom: A History of Us FrederickDouglass/...(6episodes,2003)
American Masters American Masters Narrator(2episodes,2000)
The 100 Greatest Movie Stars  The 100 Greatest Movie Stars  Himself
Batman Begins  Batman Begins  LuciusFox
Lo + plus Lo + plus Himself-Guest(2episodes,1998-2005)
La noche con Fuentes y Cía La noche con Fuentes y Cía Himself-Guest(1episode,2005)
Tinseltown TV Tinseltown TV Himself(1episode,2004)
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show Himself-Guest(1episode,2006)
Fantastic Fantastic Himself(1episode,2012)
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