Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Morgan Freeman

Name: Morgan Freeman
Height: 6' 2"
Sex: M
Nationality: American
Birth Date: June 1, 1937
Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Profession: actor, producer, director
Education: Los Angeles City College Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California
Husband/Wife: Myrna Colley-Lee (costume designer; married on June 16, 1984), Jeanette Adair Bradshaw (married on October 22, 1967; divorced in 1979)
Father: Grafton Curtis Freeman
Mother: Mayme Edna Freeman
Son: Alfonso Freeman and Saifoulaye Freeman
Daughter: Deena Freeman (adopted) and Morgana Freeman
Claim to fame: played as Hoke Colburn in Bruce Beresford' Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Freeman left his breakthrough performance until quite late in life - he was 50 when he gave an acclaimed, villainous performance in ‘Street Smart’. Now he's viewed as a reliable pair of hands, lending gravitas to movies that deserve it, such as ‘The Shawshank Redemption’.

At the age of 12, Freeman won a state-wide drama competition, but turned down a partial scholarship in drama, from Jackson State University, to serve in the Air Force.

In 1965, he worked as an extra on the feature film, ‘The Pawnbroker’, and a few years later made his Broadway debut in ‘Hello, Dolly!’

A New York stage actor for most of his career, he made his film debut in 1971 with ‘Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?’ But his big movie breakthrough came playing the villain ‘Fast Black’ - a pimp in 1987's ‘Street Smart’.

The menacing role earned him an Oscar nomination for supporting actor, but his next Oscar bid - two years later for ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ - changed the way producers were willing to cast him.

"Driving Miss Daisy kind of ruined a lot of things," Freeman says. "People see you as very loving and dependable and stable, and they want you to be that way, because there's really something secure in it for audiences."

He made his directorial debut with the story of a black South African policeman and his son, divided by apartheid, in ‘Bopha!’

The following year, Morgan received another best actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Red, a prison lifer in the moving drama, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. He also received praise for his work as a cop tracking a serial killer, with novice partner Brad Pitt, in ‘Seven’.

Steven Spielberg tapped the actor's innate moral rectitude for the role of an abolitionist in ‘Amistad’. Director Mimi Leder saw him as the perfect figure to lend dignity and leadership to a world in crisis, as the US President coping with an impending meteor crash, in ‘Deep Impact’.

Freeman went on to offer a terrific performance as a hit man who obsesses over the woman he has targeted to kill, in ‘Nurse Betty’.

Proving that it’s ‘never too late’, Morgan Freeman has secured his place as a veteran of the movie world.

2008 Wanted
2008 The Dark Knight
2007 Evan Almighty
2007 The Feast of Love
2007 Gone, Baby, Gone
2007 The Bucket List
2006 Lucky Number Slevin
2006 10 Items or Less
2006 The Contract
2005 Blues Divas
2005 Batman Begins
2005 An Unfinished Life
2005 March of the Penguins
2005 Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D
2005 Unleashed
2005 Slavery and the Making of America [TV Documentary Series]
2005 War of the Worlds
2005 Edison Force
2005 Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters
2004 Million Dollar Baby
2003 Dreamcatcher
2003 The Art of Romare Bearden
2003 American Experience: Partners of the Heart
2003 Bruce Almighty
2003 The Hunting of the President
2003 A Tale of Two Schools
2003 Levity
2003 Last of the Mississippi Jukes
2003 The Big Bounce
2002 The Sum of All Fears
2002 High Crimes
2001 Along Came a Spider
2000 The Directors: Steven Spielberg
2000 Under Suspicion
2000 Scandalize My Name: Stories From the Blacklist
2000 The Directors: Clint Eastwood
2000 Nurse Betty
1998 Hard Rain
1998 Deep Impact
1997 Kiss The Girls
1997 Amistad
1997 The Long Way Home
1996 Moll Flanders
1996 Chain Reaction
1996 Cosmic Voyage
1995 Seven
1995 Outbreak
1994 The Shawshank Redemption
1992 Rabbit Ears: The Savior is Born
1992 The Power of One
1992 Unforgiven
1992 Greatest Stories Ever Told: The Savior Is Born
1992 Rabbit Ears: Follow the Drinking Gourd
1991 American Experience: The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry
1991 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
1991 The True Story of "Glory" Continues
1990 Ken Burns' Civil War [TV Documentary Series]
1990 The Bonfire of the Vanities
1990 The Earth Day Special
1989 Lean on Me
1989 Johnny Handsome
1989 Glory
1989 Driving Miss Daisy
1988 Clinton and Nadine
1988 Clean and Sober
1987 Street Smart
1987 Fight for Life
1986 Resting Place
1985 Marie
1985 The Atlanta Child Murders
1985 That Was Then... This Is Now
1985 The Execution of Raymond Graham
1984 Harry and Son
1984 Teachers
1981 Death of a Prophet
1981 The Marva Collins Story
1981 Eyewitness
1980 Attica
1980 Brubaker
1979 Hollow Image
1978 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
1971 Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?
Fighting for Freedom: Revolution & Civil War

1993 Bopha!

Executive Producer
2006 10 Items or Less
2003 Levity
2001 Along Came a Spider
2000 Under Suspicion
1999 Mutiny

2004 Best Supporting Actor Million Dollar Baby
1994 Best Actor Shawshank Redemption
1989 Best Actor Driving Miss Daisy
1987 Best Supporting Actor Street Smart

Berlin International Film Festival
1990 Silver Bear for Best Actress Driving Miss Daisy

Broadcast Film Critics Association
2004 Best Supporting Actor Million Dollar Baby

Golden Globe
2004 Best Supporting Actor Million Dollar Baby
1994 Best Actor (Drama) Shawshank Redemption
1989 Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Driving Miss Daisy

Independent Spirit Award
1987 Best Supporting Actor Street Smart

L.A. Film Critics Association
2004 Best Supporting Actor [Runner-up] Million Dollar Baby
1986 Best Supporting Actor Street Smart

NAACP Image Awards
2004 Best Supporting Actor Bruce Almighty

National Board of Review
2003 Career Achievement Award
1989 Best Actor Driving Miss Daisy

National Society of Film Critics
2004 Best Supporting Actor (Runner-Up) Million Dollar Baby

New York Film Critics Circle
1987 Best Supporting Actor Street Smart

Screen Actors Guild
2004 Best Supporting Actor Million Dollar Baby
1994 Best Actor Shawshank Redemption

* Is in final talks to star opposite James McAvoy in the sci-fi action WANTED. (November 8, 2006)
* Was hoping he would not win his first Oscar for MILLION DOLLAR BABY - because he was eying the Oscars’ worst records by being nominated for the fourth time without a win. (October 3, 2006)
* Accepted the Spencer Tracy Award from University of California, Los Angeles for his outstanding screen performances. (March 8, 2006)
* Says he loves playing the villain so he can explore those dark places in your psyche. (February 22, 2006)
* Freeman and his partners in a Mississippi music club plan to produce a series of live concert DVDs. (January 14, 2006)
* Disagrees with the idea of a month for black history and he thinks it is ridiculous. (December 17, 2005)
* Hosted a star-studded benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Katrina, held in his home state of Mississippi. (October 3, 2005)
* Freeman and chipmaking giant Intel are teaming up on a new venture to distribute premium movies to consumers over the Internet before the films become available on DVD. (July 11, 2005)
* Admits he took a role in BATMAN BEGINS because blockbuster movies pay more money. (June 2, 2005)
* Won control of the Internet domain name www.morganfreeman.com from Mighty LLC, the company that used that name for its commercial benefit to lure Internet users to its Web site. (May 11, 2005)
* Is grounded by America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after he failed to observe landing regulations at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. (2004)
* Narrated world premiere Discovery Channel documentary RAMESES: WRATH OF GOD OR MAN?. (November 29, 2004)
* Selected to drive the Chevrolet Corvette pace car at the start of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, 2004
* Plays practical jokes while filming THE BIG BOUNCE in Hawaii -- Even though they were shooting on the beach and their trailers were on a bluff overlooking a gorgeous scene, Freeman jokingly told a producer he couldn't work in those conditions. The producer turned white and went to a higher up, saying Freeman was upset. (January 30, 2004)
* Freeman is glad to get a chance to play a villain in the alien-hunter horror film DREAMCATCHER (March 27, 2003)
* The judge in THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES (1990) was to have been played by Alan Arkin and named Myron Kovitzky. Late in preproduction, mostly because of scheduling problems, Morgan Freeman replaced Arkin at a cost of over $2 million, and the character became Leonard White.
* Originally, Somerset (Morgan Freeman) drew his pistol with his finger on the trigger. Police officers that were on the set as technical advisors quickly corrected him, as that is not correct police procedure (SE7EN).
* Was nominated Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1988 for STREET SMART, for Best Actor in 1990 for DRIVING MISS DAISY and in 1995 for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION for the same category.
* Played Easy Reader in the children's TV show THE ELECTRIC COMPANY which was produced by The Children's Television Workshop.
* Ranked #31 in Empire (UK) magazine's The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time list. (October 1997)
* He was [along with director/actress Billie Allen, director/ playwright Garland Lee Thompson, and journalist Clayton Riley] a founding member of The Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop named after noted Black actor Frank Silvera.
* Has only reprised the same character once. He played Dr. Alex Cross in KISS THE GIRLS (1997) and then reprised the role in ALONG CAME A SPIDER (2001).
* Considered joining the AIR FORCE to become a fighter pilot, but opted to stay with acting instead.
* Worked as a mechanic in the US Air Force.
* Has recorded a new radio public service announcement about the national parks.
* Recently earned a Private Pilot license.
* Opened the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi. (May 2001)
* Has never been cast opposite a female as a love interest or a romantic lead in his many years of acting.
* Nominated for Best On-Screen Duo at MTV Movie Awards for SE7EN (1996) - shared with Brad Pitt
* Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama at Golden Globe Awards for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1995)
* Nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at Screen Actors Guild Awards for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1995)
* Nominated for Best On-Screen Duo at MTV Movie Awards for ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES (1992) - shared with Kevin Costner
* Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture at Golden Globe Awards for STREET SMART (1988)