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Morgan Freeman Biography

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Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
Memphis, Tennessee
Frequently plays characters with calm demeanor.Narration: Often provides narration for his films, as either himself or the character he is playing.

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Morgan Freeman Biography

With an authoritative voice, and calm demeanour, this ever popular African American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Born in June 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, the young Freeman attended Los Angeles Community College before serving several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic between 1955 and 1959. His first dramatic arts exposure was on the stage and he appeared in an off Broadway production of "The Nigger Lovers" and also in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly! (1969).

Freeman first appeared on TV screens as several characters including Easy Reader, Mel Mounds, and Count Dracula on the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) show "The Electric Company" (1971). He then moved into feature film with another children's adventure, _Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow? (1971)_ . Next there was a small role in the thriller Blade (1973); then he played Casca in _Julius Caesar (1979/II) (V)_ and the title role in Coriolanus (1979). Regular work was coming in for the talented Freeman and he appeared in the prison dramas Attica (1980) (TV) and Brubaker (1980), the slow-moving Eyewitness (1981), and portrayed the final 24 hours of slain Malcolm X in _Death of a Prophet (1981)_ .

For most of the 1980s, Freeman continued to contribute decent enough performances in films that fluctuated in their quality. However, he really stood out, scoring an Oscar nomination as a merciless hoodlum in _Street Smart (1987/I)_ , and then he dazzled audiences and pulled a second Oscar nomination as the patient and dignified chauffeur assisting moody pensioner Jessica Tandy in the delightful Driving Miss Daisy (1989). The same year, Freeman teamed up with youthful Matthew Broderick and fiery Denzel Washington in the epic Civil War drama Glory (1989) about freed slaves being recruited to form the first all-African American fighting brigade.

His star continued to rise, and the 1990s kicked off strongly with roles in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and The Power of One (1992). Freeman's next role was as gunman Ned Logan, wooed out of retirement by friend William Munny to avenge several prostitutes in the wild west town of Big Whiskey in Clint Eastwood's de-mythologized western Unforgiven (1992). The film was a critical and box-office smash and scored an acting Oscar for Gene Hackman, a directing Oscar for Eastwood, and the Oscar for best picture.

Freeman's work did not go unnoticed, more strong scripts came in, and he was back behind bars depicting a knowledgeable inmate (and obtaining his third Oscar nomination), befriending falsely accused banker Tim Robbins in the uplifting The Shawshank Redemption (1994). He was then back out hunting a religious serial killer in Se7en (1995), starred alongside Keanu Reeves in Chain Reaction (1996), and was pursuing another serial murderer in Kiss the Girls (1997).

Further praise followed for his role in the slave tale of Amistad (1997), he was a worried US President facing Armageddon from above in Deep Impact (1998), appeared in the loopy Neil LaBute black comedy Nurse Betty (2000), and reprised his role as "Alex Cross" in Along Came a Spider (2001). Now highly popular, he was much in demand with cinema audiences, and he co-starred in the terrorist drama The Sum of All Fears (2002), was a military officer in the Stephen King-inspired Dreamcatcher (2003), gave divine guidance as God to Jim Carrey in the very funny Bruce Almighty (2003), and played a minor role in the uneven comedy The Big Bounce (2004).

However, 2005 was finally to be Morgan Freeman's year, when again he teamed up with good friend Clint Eastwood to appear in the heart-wrenching drama, Million Dollar Baby (2004). Freeman's on-screen performance is simply world-class as ex-prize fighter Eddie "Scrap Iron" Dupris, who works in a run-down boxing gym alongside grizzled trainer Frankie Dunn, as the two work together to hone the skills of never-say-die female boxer Hilary Swank. Freeman received his fourth Oscar nomination and, finally, impressed the Academy's judges enough to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.

In addition to his film work, his commanding yet mellifluous voice has also led Freeman to be cast to narrate or host dozens of first-rate television specials covering topics from the American Civil War, the American Film Institute, blues music, the White House, and many commemorative events involving the US film industry, most recently as the narrator of the American version of Marche de l'empereur, La (2005).

Morgan Freeman Trivia

Played "Easy Reader" in the children's TV show "The Electric Company" (1971), 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]

Obie for Coriolanus (1979) and "Mother Courage". [1980]

Obie for The Gospel at Colonus (1985) (TV). [1986]

Obie for Driving Miss Daisy (1989). [1988]

Sons: Alphonse and Saifoulaye.

Daughters: Deena (was adopted) and Morgana.

Received "Hollywood Outstanding Achievement in Acting" Award on 7 August 2000.

He was (along with director/actress Billie Allen, director/ playwright Garland 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 twice. He played Dr. Alex Cross in Kiss the Girls (1997) and then reprised the role in Along Came a Spider (2001), and has also played God in Bruce Almighty and then reprised that role in Evan Almighty. Currently (2007) working on his third reprised role, this time as Lucius Fox in the newest Batman franchise.

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.

May 2001 - Opened the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Broadway debut in the musical "Hello, Dolly!" with Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway.

Has his own production company, Revelation Entertainment.

Has starred in two movies based on Stephen King books: Dreamcatcher (2003) and The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

Has appeared in two films opposite a main character named Jack Ryan: The Sum of All Fears (2002) and The Big Bounce (2004).

Owns a boat which is berthed in the Caribbean. His busy schedule, however, only allows him to go sailing on it once a year.

During an interview with Charlie Rose regarding the 10th year anniversary of The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Freeman said he regarded that film, Glory (1989), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), and Unforgiven (1992) as the highlights of his career.

He is often called the greatest living actor in film, a title he humbly waves off and says he is just "lucky."

Was nominated for Broadway's 1978 Tony Award as Best Actor (Feature Role - Play) for 'The Mighty Gents.'

Said in an issue of Life Magazine (February 2005) that he can be seen as an extra in The Pawnbroker (1964).

Arrived in Los Angeles in 1959 and his first job was as a clerk typist.

Speaks fluent French. He gave an introductory speech in French to the crowd of extras gathered in Montreal's Olympic Stadium to portray the Baltimore Super Bowl audience in The Sum of All Fears (2002).

In May 2005, he won the right to the Internet domain name www.morganfreeman.com from the company Mighty LLC, of Charlestown, Saint Kitts and Nevis in a UN panel.

Applied in 2004 to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark his name. The trademark application is still pending as of May 2005.

Most of the characters he has played aren't written specifically for an African-American actor.

In 1980 he won an Village Voice Obie award for his performances in Mother Courage and Coriolanus.

Won a second Village Voice Obie Award in 1984 for his performance in Gospel at Colonus.

Won a third Village Voice Obie for his performance in Driving Miss Daisy in 1987

Keeps his Oscar statuette inside a cabinet which resides in his office. The cabinet was built by a good friend of his in 1998 especially for the Oscar that his good friend predicted he would win. It even came with a plaque that read: "No Parking. Reserved for Oscar."

Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival 1994

He has played two men who teach someone to box in two separate films. First, he played "Geel Piet" in The Power of One (1992) and, then, he played "Eddie 'Scrap Iron' Dupree" in Million Dollar Baby (2004).

The only African-American actor/actress to appear in three Best Picture Oscar Winners: Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004).

His performance as "Fast Black" in Street Smart (1987) is ranked #77 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

In January 2001, opened Madidi, a fine-dining restaurant in Clarksdale, MS, with local attorney and businessman, Bill Lucket. They also co-own Ground Zero Blues Club, a blues bar and grill that opened in May 2001.

Three films of his are on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are: "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989) at #77, "Glory" (1989) at #31, and "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) at #23.

Father of Alfonso Freeman.

Narrated 2 Academy Award-winning feature length documentaries: "The Long Way Home" (1997) and "March of the Penguins" (2005).

Founded a new internet start-up allowing customers to download movies while they are still in the theaters (www.cstar.com).

Attended the 2004 and 2005 Dubai International Film Festival in the United Arab Emirates.

Played God in "Bruce Almighty" (2003); reprised the role in "Evan Almighty" (2007).

Is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Works closely with screenwriter, Grant Boucher.

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