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Eugene Allen Hackman (born January 30, 1930) is an American retired actor and novelist. In a career that has spanned more than six decades, Hackman has won two
Academy Awards The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking, i.e., ...

Academy Awards
, four
Golden Globes The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a no ...
, one
Screen Actors Guild Award Screen Actors Guild Awards (also known as SAG Awards) are accolades given by the (SAG-AFTRA). The award was founded in 1952 to recognize outstanding performances in movie and prime time television. The statuette given, a nude male figure holding ...
, and two BAFTAs. Upon the death of
Sidney Poitier Sidney L. Poitier (; born February 20, 1927) is a Bahamian-American retired actor, film director, activist, and ambassador. In 1964, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award presented annually by the ...

Sidney Poitier
in 2022, Hackman became the oldest living and earliest surviving
Best Actor Best Actor is the name of an award which is presented by various film, television and theatre organizations, festivals, and people's awards to leading actors in a film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a wo ...
Oscar-winner. Nominated for five Academy Awards, Hackman won Best Actor for his role as
Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle is a fictional character portrayed by actor Gene Hackman in the films ''The French Connection (film), The French Connection'' (1971) and its sequel, ''French Connection II'' (1975), and by Ed O'Neill in the 1986 telev ...
in the critically acclaimed thriller '' The French Connection'' (1971) and Best Supporting Actor as "Little" Bill Daggett in
Clint Eastwood Clinton Eastwood Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American actor, film director, producer, and composer. After achieving success in the Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a to ...

Clint Eastwood
's Western film ''
Unforgiven ''Unforgiven'' is a 1992 American revisionist Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and written by David Peoples. The film portrays William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer who takes on one more job, years after he had turned to f ...
'' (1992). His other nominations for Best Supporting Actor came with the films ''
Bonnie and Clyde Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910May 23, 1934) and Clyde Chestnut Barrow (March 24, 1909May 23, 1934) were an Crime in the United States, American criminal couple who traveled the Central United States with Barrow Gang, their gang during ...
'' (1967) and '' I Never Sang for My Father'' (1970), with a second Best Actor nomination for ''
Mississippi Burning ''Mississippi Burning'' is a 1988 American historical crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally a ...
'' (1988). Hackman's other major film roles included '' The Poseidon Adventure'' (1972), ''
The Conversation ''The Conversation'' is a 1974 American mystery Mystery, The Mystery, Mysteries or The Mysteries may refer to: People * Mystery (pickup artist) Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is ...

The Conversation
'' (1974), ''
French Connection II ''French Connection II'' is a 1975 American action thriller film starring Gene Hackman and directed by John Frankenheimer. It is a fictional sequel to the initially true story of the 1971 Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award winning pictur ...
'' (1975), '' A Bridge Too Far'' (1977), '' Superman: The Movie'' (1978)—as arch-villain
Lex Luthor Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor ( or ) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Lex Luthor originally appeared in ''Action Comics'' #23 (cover da ...
, '' Hoosiers'' (1986), ''
No Way OutNo Way Out may refer to: Film and television *No Way Out (1950 film), ''No Way Out'' (1950 film), a film starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier *No Way Out (1973 film), ''No Way Out'' (1973 film), a film starring Alain Delon and Richard Conte * ...
'' (1987), ''
Bat*21 ''Bat*21'' is a 1988 American war film directed by Peter Markle, and adapted from the book by William C. Anderson, novelist and retired United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Atmosphere of Earth, air military b ...
'' (1988), '' The Firm'' (1993), '' The Quick and the Dead'' (1995), ''
Get Shorty Image:Get Shorty (novel).jpg, First edition (publ. Delacorte Press) ''Get Shorty'' is a 1990 in literature, 1990 novel by American novelist Elmore Leonard. In 1995 in film, 1995, the novel was adapted into a Get Shorty (film), film of the same n ...
'' (1995), '' Crimson Tide'' (1995), ''
Enemy of the State An enemy of the state is a person accused of certain crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accept ...
'' (1998), ''
Antz ''Antz'' is a 1998 American computer-animated " technique Computer animation is the process used for digitally generating animated images. The more general term computer-generated imagery (CGI) encompasses both static scenes and dynamic images ...
'' (1998), '' The Replacements'' (2000), '' Behind Enemy Lines'' (2001), ''
The Royal Tenenbaums ''The Royal Tenenbaums'' is a 2001 American comedy-drama Comedy-drama, or dramedy, is a genre of dramatic works that combines elements of comedy and Drama (film and television), drama. History The advent of radio drama, film, cinema and in par ...
'' (2001), and ''
Welcome to Mooseport ''Welcome to Mooseport'' is a 2004 political satire comedy film directed by Donald Petrie, and starring Ray Romano and Gene Hackman (in his final film role). It was filmed in Jackson's Point, Ontario and Port Perry, Ontario. Plot Former President ...
'' (2004)—his final film role before retirement.


Early life and education

Hackman was born in
San Bernardino, California San Bernardino (; Spanish language, Spanish for Bernardino of Siena, "St. Bernardino") is a city located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. The city serves as the county seat of San Bernardino County, California. As one of the I ...
, the son of Eugene Ezra Hackman and Anna Lyda Elizabeth (née Gray). He has one brother, Richard. He has
Pennsylvania Dutch The Pennsylvania Dutch (), translated from German to English as Pennsylvania Germans, are a cultural group formed by German immigrants settling in the state of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially t ...
,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, and
Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish English *Scottish national identity, the Scottish iden ...
ancestry; his mother was Canadian, and was born in Lambton, Ontario. His family moved frequently, finally settling in
Danville, Illinois Danville is a city in and the county seat of Vermilion County, Illinois, Vermilion County, Illinois. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, its population was 33,027. As of 2019, the population was an estimated 30,479. History The ar ...
, where they lived in the house of his English-born maternal grandmother, Beatrice. Hackman's father operated the printing press for the ''
Commercial-News The ''Commercial-News'' was a daily newspaper that served Danville, Illinois and surrounding communities. It was owned by Community Newspaper Holdings, who acquired it from Gannett Company, Gannett in 1998. His parents divorced when he was 13 and his father subsequently left the family. Hackman decided that he wanted to become an actor when he was ten years old. Hackman lived briefly in
Storm Lake, Iowa Storm Lake is a city in Buena Vista County, Iowa Buena Vista County (; ) is a County (United States), county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the population was 20,260. Its county seat is Storm L ...
, and spent his
sophomore year In the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washi ...
at Storm Lake High School. He left home at age 16 and lied about his age to enlist in the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
. He served four and a half years as a field radio operator.Stated on ''
Inside the Actors Studio ''Inside the Actors Studio'' is an American talk show that airs on Ovation (American TV channel), Ovation. The series premiered in 1994 on Bravo (US TV channel), Bravo where it aired for 22 seasons and was hosted by James Lipton from its premiere ...
'', 2001
He was stationed in China (
Qingdao Qingdao (, also spelled Tsingtao; , Mandarin: ) is a major city in eastern Shandong Shandong (; alternately romanized as Shantung) is a coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative ...

Qingdao
and later in Shanghai). When the
Communist Revolution A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution often, but not necessarily, inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism. Depending on the type of government, socialism can be used as an intermediate stage ...
conquered the mainland in 1949, Hackman was assigned to Hawaii and Japan. Following his discharge in 1951, he moved to New York City and had several jobs. His mother died in 1962 as a result of a fire she accidentally started while smoking. He began a study of journalism and television production at the
University of Illinois The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (U of I, Illinois, or colloquially the University of Illinois or UIUC) is a public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university in Illinois in the twin cities of Champaign ...
under the
G.I. Bill The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill, was a law that provided a range of benefits for some of the returning World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, ...
, but left and moved back to California.


Career


Beginnings to the 1960s

In 1956, Hackman began pursuing an acting career. He joined the
Pasadena Playhouse The Pasadena Playhouse is a historic performing arts venue located 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, California, United States. The 686-seat auditorium produces a variety of cultural and artistic events, professional shows, and community engageme ...

Pasadena Playhouse
in California, where he befriended another aspiring actor,
Dustin Hoffman Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is known for his versatile portrayals of antihero An antihero (sometimes spelled as anti-hero) or antiheroine is a main character in a story who lacks convent ...

Dustin Hoffman
. Already seen as outsiders by their classmates, Hackman and Hoffman were voted "The Least Likely To Succeed", and Hackman got the lowest score the Pasadena Playhouse had yet given. Determined to prove them wrong, Hackman moved to New York City. A 2004 article in '' Vanity Fair'' described Hackman, Hoffman, and
Robert Duvall Robert Selden Duvall (; born January 5, 1931) is an American actor and filmmaker whose career spans more than seven decades. He is the recipient of an Academy Awards, Academy Award, four Golden Globe Awards, a British Academy Film Awards, BAFT ...

Robert Duvall
as struggling California-born actors and close friends, sharing NYC apartments in various two-person combinations in the 1960s. To support himself between acting jobs, Hackman was working at a Howard Johnson restaurant when he encountered an instructor from the Pasadena Playhouse, who said that his job proved that Hackman "wouldn't amount to anything". A Marine officer who saw him as a doorman said "Hackman, you're a sorry son of a bitch". Rejection motivated Hackman, who said, Hackman got various bit roles, for example on the TV series '' Route 66'' in 1963, and began performing in several
Off-Broadway An off-Broadway theatre is any professional theatre venue in Manhattan in New York City with a seating capacity Seating capacity is the number of people A people is any plurality of persons considered as a whole. Used in politics and l ...
plays. In 1964 he had an offer to co-star in the play ''Any Wednesday'' with actress
Sandy Dennis Sandra Dale Dennis (April 27, 1937 – March 2, 1992) was an American actress. She made her film debut in the drama '' Splendor in the Grass'' (1961). For her performance in the comedy-drama film ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ''Who's Afrai ...
. This opened the door to film work. His first role was in ''
Lilith Lilith (; he, Wiktionary:לילית, לִילִית, Līlīṯ) is a demonic figure in Jewish mythology, Judaic mythology, supposedly the primordial she-demon and alternatively first wife of Adam. She is presumed to be mentioned in Biblical He ...
'', with
Jean Seberg Jean Dorothy Seberg (; ; November 13, 1938August 30, 1979) was an American actress who lived half of her life in France. Her performance in Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 film Breathless (1960 film), ''Breathless'' immortalized her as an Pop icon, icon ...
and
Warren Beatty Henry Warren Beatty (né Beaty; born March 30, 1937) is an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, whose career spans over six decades. He has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards, including four for Academy Award for Best Actor, B ...

Warren Beatty
in the leading roles. In 1966 he played a small part as Dr. John Whipple in the epic film ''Hawaii.'' In 1967 he appeared in an episode of the television series ''
The Invaders ''The Invaders'' is an American science-fiction television program created by Larry Cohen that aired on ABC for two seasons, from 1967 to 1968. Roy Thinnes stars as David Vincent, who tries to thwart an in-progress alien invasion despite the ...
'' entitled " The Spores". Another supporting role,
Buck Barrow Marvin Ivan "Buck" Barrow (March 14, 1903 – July 29, 1933) was a member of the Barrow Gang The Barrow Gang was an American gang A gang is a group or society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent ...
in 1967's ''
Bonnie and Clyde Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910May 23, 1934) and Clyde Chestnut Barrow (March 24, 1909May 23, 1934) were an Crime in the United States, American criminal couple who traveled the Central United States with Barrow Gang, their gang during ...
'', earned him an
Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry The film industry or motion picture industry comprises the technological and commercial institutions of filmmaking F ...

Academy Award
nomination as
Best Supporting ActorBest Supporting Actor may refer any one of many different awards, including: * AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor * AVN Award for Best Supporting Actor * Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor * Black Reel Award: Best Supporting Ac ...
. In 1968 he appeared in an episode of ''
I Spy I Spy or iSpy may refer to: Game * I spy, a guessing game Books * I-Spy (Michelin), a series of spotter's guides for children *I Spy (Scholastic), ''I Spy'' (Scholastic), a 1990s series of picture books by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick Film a ...
'', in the role of "Hunter", in the episode "Happy Birthday... Everybody". That same year he starred in the ''
CBS Playhouse ''CBS Playhouse'' is an American anthology In book publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term refers to the d ...
'' episode " My Father and My Mother" and the dystopian television film '' Shadow on the Land''. In 1969 he played a ski coach in ''
Downhill Racer ''Downhill Racer'' is a 1969 American sports Sport pertains to any form of competitive physical activity or game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21&nb ...
'' and an
astronaut An astronaut (from the Greek "astron" (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and "nautes" (ναύτης), meaning "sailor") is a person trained, equipped, and deployed by a List of human spaceflight programs, human spaceflight program to serve as a ...

astronaut
in '' Marooned''. Also that year, he played a member of a barnstorming skydiving team that entertained mostly at county fairs, a movie which also inspired many to pursue skydiving and has a cult-like status amongst skydivers as a result: ''
The Gypsy Moths ''The Gypsy Moths'' is a 1969 American drama film In film and television show, television, drama is a category of narrative fiction (or docudrama, semi-fiction) intended to be more serious than humour, humorous in tone. Drama of this kind is u ...
''. He nearly accepted the role of
Mike BradyMichael Brady may refer to: * Michael Brady (soccer) (born 1964), U.S.-English soccer player and coach * Michael Brady (politician), American state legislator * Michael Brady (baseball), American baseball player * Mike Brady (golfer) (1887–1972), ...
for the TV series ''
The Brady Bunch ''The Brady Bunch'' is an American sitcom A sitcom, clipping Clipping may refer to: Words * Clipping (morphology) In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspe ...
'', but his agent advised that he decline it in exchange for a more promising role, which he did.


1970s

Hackman was nominated for a second Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in '' I Never Sang for My Father'' (1970). The next year, he won the
Academy Award for Best Actor The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS, often pronounced ; also known as simply the Academy or the Motion Pictu ...
for his performance as New York City Detective
Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle is a fictional character portrayed by actor Gene Hackman in the films ''The French Connection (film), The French Connection'' (1971) and its sequel, ''French Connection II'' (1975), and by Ed O'Neill in the 1986 telev ...
in '' The French Connection'' (1971), marking his graduation to leading-man status. After ''The French Connection'', Hackman starred in ten films (not including his cameo in ''
Young Frankenstein ''Young Frankenstein'' is a 1974 American comedy horror Comedy horror, also known as horror comedy, is a literary Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from La ...
'') over the next three years, making him the most prolific actor in Hollywood during that time frame. He followed ''The French Connection'' with leading roles in the disaster film '' The Poseidon Adventure'' (1972) and
Francis Ford Coppola Francis Ford Coppola (; ; born April 7, 1939) is an American film director A film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects and visualizes the screenplay (or script) while guiding the film crew and actors in the fulfilment ...

Francis Ford Coppola
's ''
The Conversation ''The Conversation'' is a 1974 American mystery Mystery, The Mystery, Mysteries or The Mysteries may refer to: People * Mystery (pickup artist) Erik von Markovik (born September 24, 1971), more popularly known by his stage name, Mystery, is ...

The Conversation
'' (1974), which was nominated for several Oscars. That same year, Hackman appeared, in what would become one of his most famous comedic roles, as Harold the Blind Man in ''Young Frankenstein''. He appeared as one of
Teddy Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt Jr. ( ; October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or his initials T. R., was an American politician, statesman, conservationist, naturalist, historian, and writer who served as the 26th president o ...

Teddy Roosevelt
's former
Rough Riders The Rough Riders was a nickname given to the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, one of three such regiments raised in 1898 for the Spanish–American War The Spanish–American War (April 21 – August 13, 1898, es, Guerra hispano-estad ...

Rough Riders
in the Western horse-race saga ''
Bite the Bullet To "bite the bullet" is to endure a painful or otherwise unpleasant situation that is seen as unavoidable.
...
'' (1975). He reprised his Oscar-winning role as Doyle in the sequel ''
French Connection II ''French Connection II'' is a 1975 American action thriller film starring Gene Hackman and directed by John Frankenheimer. It is a fictional sequel to the initially true story of the 1971 Academy Award for Best Picture, Academy Award winning pictur ...
'' (1975), and was part of an all-star cast in the war film '' A Bridge Too Far'' (1977), playing Polish General . Hackman showed a talent for both comedy and the "slow burn" as criminal mastermind
Lex Luthor Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor ( or ) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Lex Luthor originally appeared in ''Action Comics'' #23 (cover da ...
in '' Superman: The Movie'' (1978), a role he would reprise in its 1980 and 1987 sequels.


1980s

Hackman alternated between leading and supporting roles during the 1980s, with prominent roles in '' Reds'' (1981)—directed by and starring
Warren Beatty Henry Warren Beatty (né Beaty; born March 30, 1937) is an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, whose career spans over six decades. He has been nominated for 15 Academy Awards, including four for Academy Award for Best Actor, B ...

Warren Beatty
—'' Under Fire'' (1983), '' Hoosiers'' (1986) (which an
American Film Institute The American Film Institute (AFI) is an American film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is a work of visual art The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting is the practice of applyin ...
poll in 2008 voted the fourth-greatest film of all time in the sports genre), ''
No Way OutNo Way Out may refer to: Film and television *No Way Out (1950 film), ''No Way Out'' (1950 film), a film starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier *No Way Out (1973 film), ''No Way Out'' (1973 film), a film starring Alain Delon and Richard Conte * ...
'' (1987) and ''
Mississippi Burning ''Mississippi Burning'' is a 1988 American historical crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally a ...
'' (1988), where he was nominated for a second Best Actor Oscar. Between 1985 and 1988, he starred in nine films, making him the busiest actor, alongside
Steve Guttenberg Steven Robert Guttenberg (born August 24, 1958) is an American actor, author, businessman, producer, and director. He is known for his lead roles in Hollywood Hollywood is a neighborhood in the Central Los Angeles, central region of Los Angel ...
.


1990s

Hackman appeared with
Anne Archer Anne Archer (born August 24, 1947) is an American actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts ...
in ''
Narrow Margin ''Narrow Margin'' is a 1990 American crime thriller film directed by Peter Hyams and released by TriStar Pictures, loosely based on the 1952 film noir ''The Narrow Margin''. It tells the story of a Los Angeles deputy district attorney who attempt ...
'' (1990), a remake of the 1952 film ''
The Narrow Margin ''The Narrow Margin'' is a 1952 American film noir starring Charles McGraw Charles McGraw (born Charles Crisp Butters; May 10, 1914 – July 29, 1980) was an American stage, film and television actor whose career spanned more than three de ...
''. In 1992, he played the sadistic sheriff "Little" Bill Daggett in the
Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western world, countries that ide ...
''
Unforgiven ''Unforgiven'' is a 1992 American revisionist Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and written by David Peoples. The film portrays William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer who takes on one more job, years after he had turned to f ...
'' directed by
Clint Eastwood Clinton Eastwood Jr. (born May 31, 1930) is an American actor, film director, producer, and composer. After achieving success in the Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a to ...

Clint Eastwood
and written by
David Webb Peoples David Webb Peoples (born February 9, 1940) is an American screenwriter A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter for short), scriptwriter or scenarist, is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing screenplays on which m ...
. Hackman had pledged to avoid violent roles, but Eastwood convinced him to take the part, which earned him a second Oscar, this time for
Best Supporting ActorBest Supporting Actor may refer any one of many different awards, including: * AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor * AVN Award for Best Supporting Actor * Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor * Black Reel Award: Best Supporting Ac ...
. The film also won Best Picture. In 1993, he appeared in '' Geronimo: An American Legend'' as Brigadier General
George Crook George R. Crook (September 8, 1828 – March 21, 1890) was a career United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare, land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight Unifo ...

George Crook
, and co-starred with
Tom Cruise Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (born July 3, 1962) is an American actor and producer. One of the world's highest-paid actors, he has received various accolades throughout his career, including three Golden Globe Awards The Golden Globe Awar ...
as a corrupt lawyer in '' The Firm'', a legal thriller based on the John Grisham novel of the same name. Hackman would appear in a second film based on a John Grisham novel, playing a convict on death row in '' The Chamber'' (1996). Other notable films Hackman appeared in during the 1990s include ''
Wyatt Earp Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929) was an Old West lawman and gambler in the American West The Western United States (also called the American West, the Far West, and the West) is the region In geography ...

Wyatt Earp
'' (1994) (as Nicholas Porter Earp, Wyatt Earp's father), '' The Quick and the Dead'' (1995) opposite
Sharon Stone Sharon Vonne Stone (born March 10, 1958) is an American actress, producer, and former fashion model. Known for playing femme fatale A ''femme fatale'' ( or ; , literally "fatal woman"), sometimes called a maneater or vamp, is a stock charac ...

Sharon Stone
,
Leonardo DiCaprio Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio (; ; born November 11, 1974) is an American actor and film producer. Known for his work in biopics and period films, DiCaprio has received List of awards and nominations received by Leonardo DiCaprio, numerous accolad ...

Leonardo DiCaprio
and
Russell Crowe Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is an actor, director, musician, and singer. He was born in New Zealand, spent 10 years of his childhood in Australia, and moved there permanently at age 21. He came to international attention for his role ...

Russell Crowe
, and as submarine Captain Frank Ramsey alongside
Denzel Washington Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor, director, and producer. Known for his performances , he has been described as an actor who reconfigured "the concept of classic movie stardom". He has frequently collabo ...

Denzel Washington
in '' Crimson Tide'' (1995). Hackman played movie director Harry Zimm with
John Travolta John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is an American actor and singer. He came to public attention during the 1970s, appearing on the television sitcom ''Welcome Back, Kotter'' (1975–1979) and starring in the box office successes Carri ...

John Travolta
in the comedy-drama ''
Get Shorty Image:Get Shorty (novel).jpg, First edition (publ. Delacorte Press) ''Get Shorty'' is a 1990 in literature, 1990 novel by American novelist Elmore Leonard. In 1995 in film, 1995, the novel was adapted into a Get Shorty (film), film of the same n ...
'' (1995). He reunited with Clint Eastwood in '' Absolute Power'' (1997), and co-starred with
Will Smith Willard Carroll Smith Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, rapper, and film producer. Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywo ...

Will Smith
in ''
Enemy of the State An enemy of the state is a person accused of certain crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accept ...
'' (1998), his character reminiscent of the one he had portrayed in ''The Conversation''. In 1996, he took a comedic turn as conservative Senator Kevin Keeley in ''
The Birdcage ''The Birdcage'' is a 1996 American comedy film directed by Mike Nichols, adapted by Elaine May, and starring Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest. Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart Calista Kay Flockhart (born Novemb ...
'' with
Robin Williams Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Known for his improvisation Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found. Impro ...

Robin Williams
and
Nathan Lane Nathan Lane (born Joseph Lane; February 3, 1956) is an American actor and writer. In a career spanning over 40 years he has been seen on stage and screen in many roles including Albert in ''The Birdcage ''The Birdcage'' is a 1996 American co ...
.


2000s

Hackman co-starred with
Owen Wilson Owen Cunningham Wilson (born November 18, 1968) is an American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He has had a long association with filmmaker Wes Anderson with whom he shared writing and acting credits for ''Bottle Rocket'' (1996), ''Rushmore ...

Owen Wilson
in '' Behind Enemy Lines'' (2001), and appeared in the
David Mamet David Alan Mamet (; born November 30, 1947) is an American playwright, film maker, and author. He won a Pulitzer Prize#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, li ...
crime thriller '' Heist'' (2001), as an aging professional thief of considerable skill who is forced into one final job. He also gained much critical acclaim playing against type as the head of an eccentric family in
Wes Anderson Wesley Wales Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American filmmaker. His films are known for their eccentricity (behavior), eccentricity and distinctive visual and narrative styles. Cited by some critics as a modern-day example of the work of an a ...

Wes Anderson
's comedy film ''
The Royal Tenenbaums ''The Royal Tenenbaums'' is a 2001 American comedy-drama Comedy-drama, or dramedy, is a genre of dramatic works that combines elements of comedy and Drama (film and television), drama. History The advent of radio drama, film, cinema and in par ...
'' (2001), for which he received the
Golden Globe Award The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a ...
for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. In 2003, he also starred in another John Grisham legal drama, ''
Runaway Jury ''Runaway Jury'' is a 2003 American legal thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Weisz. An adaptation of John Grisham, John Grisham's 1996 novel ''The Runaway Jury'', the film pi ...
'', at long last getting to make a picture with his long-time friend
Dustin Hoffman Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is known for his versatile portrayals of antihero An antihero (sometimes spelled as anti-hero) or antiheroine is a main character in a story who lacks convent ...

Dustin Hoffman
. In 2004, Hackman appeared alongside
Ray Romano Raymond Albert Romano (born December 21, 1957) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and screenwriter. He is best known for his role on the CBS sitcom ''Everybody Loves Raymond'', for which he received an Emmy Award, and as the voice of Mann ...
in the comedy ''
Welcome to Mooseport ''Welcome to Mooseport'' is a 2004 political satire comedy film directed by Donald Petrie, and starring Ray Romano and Gene Hackman (in his final film role). It was filmed in Jackson's Point, Ontario and Port Perry, Ontario. Plot Former President ...
'', his final film acting role to date. Hackman was honored with the
Cecil B. DeMille Award The Cecil B. DeMille Award is an honorary Golden Globe Award The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a non-profit or ...
from the
Golden Globe Awards The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association beginning in January 1944, recognizing excellence in film A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, is ...

Golden Globe Awards
for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field" in 2003.


Retirement from acting

On July 7, 2004, Hackman gave a rare interview to
Larry King Larry King (born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger; November 19, 1933 – January 23, 2021) was an American television and radio host, whose awards included two Peabodys, an Emmy The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are awards for artistic and technical mer ...

Larry King
, where he announced that he had no future film projects lined up and believed his acting career was over. In 2008, while promoting his third novel, he confirmed that he had retired from acting. When asked during a '' GQ'' interview in 2011 if he would ever come out of retirement to do one more film, he said he might consider it "if I could do it in my own house, maybe, without them disturbing anything and just one or two people." He briefly came out of retirement to narrate two documentaries related to the Marine Corps: ''The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima'' (2016)' and ''We, The Marines'' (2017)''.''


Career as a novelist

Together with undersea archaeologist Daniel Lenihan, Hackman has written three historical fiction novels: ''Wake of the Perdido Star'' (1999), a sea adventure of the 19th century; ''Justice for None'' (2004), a Depression-era tale of murder; and ''Escape from Andersonville'' (2008) about a prison escape during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
. His first solo effort, a story of love and revenge set in the Old West titled ''Payback at Morning Peak'', was released in 2011. A police thriller, ''Pursuit'', followed in 2013. In 2011, he appeared on the
Fox Sports Radio Fox Sports Radio is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United S ...
show ''The Loose Cannons'', where he discussed his career and his novels with Pat O'Brien, Steve Hartman, and Vic "The Brick" Jacobs.


Personal life

Hackman's first marriage was to Faye Maltese. They had three children: Christopher Allen, Elizabeth Jean, and Leslie Anne Hackman. The couple divorced in 1986 after three decades of marriage. In 1991 he married classical pianist Betsy Arakawa; they have a home in
Santa Fe, New Mexico Santa Fe ( ; , Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigua ...

Santa Fe, New Mexico
. In the late 1970s, Hackman competed in
Sports Car Club of America The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is a non-profit American automobile club and sanctioning body supporting road racing Road racing is a form of motorsport Motorsport, motorsports or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the ...
races, driving an open-wheeled
Formula Ford Formula Ford, also known as F1600 and Formula F, is an entry-level class of single seater An open-wheel car (formula car, or often single-seater car in British English) is a car with the wheels outside the car's main body, and usually havin ...
. In 1983, he drove a
Dan Gurney Daniel Sexton Gurney (April 13, 1931 – January 14, 2018) was an American racing driver, race car constructor, and team owner who reached racing's highest levels starting in 1958. Gurney won races in the Formula One Formula One (also kn ...
Team Toyota in the
24 Hours of Daytona The 24 Hours of Daytona, currently known as the Rolex 24 At Daytona for sponsorship reasons, is a 24-hour sports car A sports car is a car designed with an emphasis on dynamic performance, such as Automobile handling, handling, accelerat ...
Endurance Race. He also won the
Long Beach Grand Prix The Grand Prix of Long Beach (known as Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach since 2019 for naming rights reasons) is an IndyCar Series race held on a street circuit in Downtown Long Beach, downtown Long Beach, California. Christopher Pook is the founde ...
Celebrity Race. Hackman underwent an
angioplasty Angioplasty, also known as balloon angioplasty and percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), is a minimally invasive Minimally invasive procedures (also known as minimally invasive surgeries) encompass surgical Surgery ''cheirourgikē' ...
in 1990. Hackman is a supporter of the
Democratic PartyDemocratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic Party *Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea *Gabonese Democratic Party *Democ ...
, and was proud to be included on
Nixon's Enemies List 's Official Presidential Photograph, taken in 1971 "Nixon's Enemies List" is the informal name of what started as a list of President of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of governmen ...
. However, he has spoken fondly of
Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of government that is not a monarchy or dictatorship, and is usually associated with the rule of law. ** Republicanism, the ideology in support of republics or against ...
president
Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the and of the . The president directs the of ...

Ronald Reagan
. He is an avid fan of the
Jacksonville Jaguars The Jacksonville Jaguars are a professional American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport A team sport includes any sport Spo ...
and regularly attended Jaguars games as a guest of then head coach
Jack Del Rio Jack Louis Del Rio Jr. (born April 4, 1963) is an American football American football, referred to simply as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a r ...
. Their friendship goes back to Del Rio's playing days at the
University of Southern California , mottoeng = "Let whoever earns the palm bear it" , religious_affiliation = Nonsectarian - Methodist Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations Denomination may refer to: * Religious de ...

University of Southern California
. In January 2012, the then 81-year-old Hackman was riding a bicycle in the
Florida Keys The Florida Keys are a coral island, coral cay archipelago located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost part of the continental United States. They begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about south of ...
when his bicycle was struck by a pickup truck. He made a full recovery, and was still an active bicyclist as of 2018, at the age of 88.


Theatre credits

* ''The Premise'' improv theatre at The Premise, on Bleecker Street, NYC (1960/61) * ''Children From Their Games'' by
Irwin Shaw Irwin Shaw (February 27, 1913 – May 16, 1984) was an American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and short-story author whose written works have sold more than 14 million copies. He is best known for two of his novels: ''The Young Lions'' (1 ...
at the Morosco Theatre (April 1963) * ''A Rainy Day in Newark'' by Howard Teichmann at the Belasco Theatre (October 1963) * ''Come to the Palace of Sin'' by Michael Shurtleff at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (1963) * ''Any Wednesday'' by Muriel Resnik at the Music Box Theatre and the George Abbott Theatre (1964–1966) * ''Poor Richard'' by Jean Kerr with Alan Bates and Shirley Knight at the Helen Hayes Theatre (1964–1965) * ''The Natural Look'' by Leonora Thuna at the Longacre Theatre (1967) * ''Fragments'' and ''The Basement'' by Murray Schisgal at the Cherry Lane Theatre (1967) * ''Death and the Maiden (play), Death and the Maiden'' by Ariel Dorfman with Glenn Close and Richard Dreyfuss, directed by Mike Nichols, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (1992)


Filmography


Film


Television


Accolades

Asteroid 55397 Hackman, discovered by Roy Tucker in 2001, was named in his honor. The official was published by the Minor Planet Center on May 18, 2019 ().


Works or publications

* Hackman, Gene, and Daniel Lenihan.
Wake of the Perdido Star.
' New York: Newmarket Press, 1999. . * Hackman, Gene, and Daniel Lenihan.
Justice for None.
' New York: St. Martins Press, 2004. . * Hackman, Gene, and Daniel Lenihan.
Escape from Andersonville: A Novel of the Civil War.
' New York: St. Martin's Press, 2008. . * Hackman, Gene.
Payback at Morning Peak: A Novel of the American West.
' New York: Simon & Schuster Inc, 2011. . * Hackman, Gene.
Pursuit.
' New York: Pocket Books, 2013. .


References


External links

* * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Hackman, Gene 1930 births 20th-century American male actors 20th-century American novelists 21st-century American male actors 21st-century American novelists Male actors from California American male film actors American male novelists American male stage actors American people of Canadian descent American people of English descent American people of Pennsylvania Dutch descent American people of German descent American people of Scottish descent Art Students League of New York alumni Best Actor Academy Award winners Best Actor BAFTA Award winners Best Drama Actor Golden Globe (film) winners Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe (film) winners Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winners Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award winners Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe (film) winners Cecil B. DeMille Award Golden Globe winners Living people Male Western (genre) film actors Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award winners People from Danville, Illinois Actors from San Bernardino, California Male actors from Santa Fe, New Mexico People from Storm Lake, Iowa Military personnel from Iowa Silver Bear for Best Actor winners Writers from Santa Fe, New Mexico United States Marines University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign College of Media alumni 20th-century American male writers 21st-century American male writers Novelists from California Novelists from New York (state)