Jack Nicholson's Oscar Winning Performances over the Decades

By | July 13, 2021

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In The Shining. Source: (IMDb).

Jack Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937, to June Frances Nicholson, who was only 17 when he was born. June’s parents agreed to raise Nicholson as their own child, and he believed his mother was his sister until Time magazine researchers informed him of the truth in 1974 (both his mother and grandmother were deceased by that point). Jack Nicholson, who was voted class clown, first went to California in 1950. His first real job in show business was as an assistant to the animators, Hanna and Barbera, but he decided to act, and his film debut came in The Cry Baby Killer (1958). His acting career really seemed to be going nowhere after the film, so he worked on the screenplay for The Trip (1967). He also cowrote the film Head (1968), which starred The Monkees, and arranged the soundtrack for the movie.

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Source: (IMDb).

His First Oscar Nomination

His breakthrough role came as George Hanson, a lawyer who is arrested after a drunken night, and travels from New Mexico to New Orleans with two motorcyclists he meets in jail. This role in Easy Rider (1969) was supposed to go to Rip Torn, but he got into a fight with Dennis Hopper, allowing Nicholson to step into the role which would lead to his first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He received three other nominations prior to his first win, this time for Best Actor: Five Easy Pieces (1971), The Last Detail (1973), and Chinatown (1974). Five Easy Pieces was a blockbuster, and his performance helped to create his persona and to define him as a leading man and helped to solidify his place in Hollywood. Over the course of his acting career, he has been nominated for a total of 12 Oscars for acting, making him the most nominated actor. Of those 12, he has won three. His three wins for a male actor are tied with two actors: Daniel Day-Lewis and Walter Brennan.