Throughout his career, Hackman made film history by playing some of the most memorable roles ever in movies such as “French Connection”, “Superman: The Movie” or “Mississippi Burning”
The retired and acclaimed actor Gene Hackman celebrates 91
A Brief Overlook on Gene Hackman’s life and career
The acclaimed actor Gene Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California on January 30, 1930. Hackman left home at age 16 and lied about his age to enlist in the United States Marine Corps where he served four and a half years as a field radio operator stationed in China and later Hawaii and Japan. Following his discharge in 1951, Hackman moved to New York working on several different jobs. It wasn’t up until 1956 at age 26, that he began pursuing an acting career, joining the Pasadena Playhouse in California where he forged an enduring friendship with then aspiring actor, Dustin Hoffman. During the 1960’s Hackman came to prominence by appearing in films such as the 1967 “Bonnie and Clyde” that earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. That breakthrough role brought Hackman a rapid ascension as one of Hollywood’s finest actors. He appeared in several lead and also memorable roles throughout the 1970’s, including “I Never Sang for My Father” in 1970, “The Poseidon Adventure” in 1972 and “French Connection” in 1971 as Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, a role that earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor. Hackman also appeared in the 1975 sequel “French Connection II” and in 1978 as the arch-villain Lex Luthor in “Superman: The Movie”. The actor continued a successful career during the 1980’s and 1990’s, among some of his best known movies of that period are “Hoosiers” 1986, “The Firm” 1993, “Crimson Tide” 1995, “Enemy of the State” 1998, “The Birdcage” 1996 and “Antz” 1998. Two films from that period stands among his finest, “Mississippi Burning” from 1998 that earned him a second Academy Award for Best Actor nomination and the Clint Eastwood 1992 Western “Unforgiving” as “Little” Bill Daggett which earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2004 Hackman, who also became a writer and novelist, gave a interview to Larry King, where he announced that he had no future film projects lined up and in 2008, while promoting his third novel, he confirmed that he had retired from acting.
Watch Gene Hackman as Jimmy Popeye Doyle in the 1971 film French Connection
Watch Gene Hackman dressed in drag in a funny scene of the film The Birdcage, 1996
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