"If I go into a restaurant there's a very good chance that I'm going to spend my time being the mayor." (Jack Nicholson)
In 1994 the American Film Institute gave a Lifetime Achievement Award to Jack Nicholson, who became one of the youngest actors ever to receive the award. It was a fitting choice, given that Nicholson was already one of the most decorated and critically acclaimed actors in the history of Hollywood. Such tributes typically come as a capstone to a star's career, not when the actor is still in his 50s. In fact Nicholson would go on to win the Oscar for Best Actor just a few years after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award as a result of As Good As It Gets (1997), and he would earn another Academy Award nomination for About Schmidt (2002). Those two would give him 12 Academy Award nominations, more than any other man in history, and make him one of just two actors to be nominated in every decade between 1960 and 2010.
In addition to winning so many awards, many of Nicholson's roles have become pop culture fixtures, and many of his most famous lines have become part of the lexicon, helping cement his legacy and making him a living legend. Americans of all ages are familiar with the classic movies Nicholson acted in. His career has continued into the current decade, thanks to his ability to seamlessly transition into playing different kinds of elderly roles in everything from dramas to comedies.
While any actor would be proud to have his resume, Nicholson has transcended Hollywood stardom and has become his own institution, instantly recognizable not just for his past roles and sound bites but also for his prominent status everywhere he goes. Whether he's sitting courtside at a Lakers game or hanging out with other celebrities, Nicholson has crafted an image unlike anyone else, combining cool with bad-boy behavior. From conducting bizarre pranks with Hunter S. Thompson to fighting lawsuits and dating models, the always quotable Nicholson has seemingly reveled in it all, once noting, "Well, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I haven't been a rogue most of my life."
©2012- Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors