John Joseph Nicholson

September 1st, 2010

Jack Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937. Nicholson was brought up believing that his grandparents, John Joseph Nicholson (a department store window dresser in Manasquan, New Jersey) and Ethel May Rhoads (a hairdresser, beautician and amateur artist in Manasquan), were his parents. Nicholson only discovered that his “parents” were actually his grandparents and his sister was in fact his mother in 1974, after a journalist for Time magazine who was doing a feature on Nicholson informed him of the fact. By this time, both his mother and grandmother had died (in 1963 and 1970, respectively). Nicholson has stated he does not know who his father is, saying “Only Ethel and June knew and they never told anybody”, and has chosen not to have a DNA test or to pursue the matter.
Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey. He was raised in his mother’s Roman Catholic religion. Nick, as he was known to his high school friends, attended nearby Manasquan High School, where he was voted “class clown” by the Class of 1954. A theatre and a drama award at the school are named in his honor. In 2004, Nicholson attended his 50-year high school reunion accompanied by his aunt Lorraine.

He has been romantically linked to numerous actresses and models, including Michelle Phillips, Bebe Buell, and Lara Flynn Boyle. Nicholson’s longest relationship was for 16 years with actress Anjelica Huston, from 1973 to 1989, the daughter of film director John Huston. However, the relationship ended when the media reported that Rebecca Broussard had become pregnant with his child. Nicholson and Broussard had two children together, Lorraine Nicholson (born 1990) and Raymond Nicholson (born 1992). Jack’s other children are Jennifer Nicholson (born 1963 with Sandra Knight) and Honey Hollman (b. 1981 with Winnie Hollman). Actress Susan Anspach contends that her son, Caleb Goddard (born 1970), was fathered by Jack, but he has never made any public statements about the allegation.

Nicholson lived next door to Marlon Brando for a number of years on Mulholland Drive in Beverly Hills. Warren Beatty also lived nearby, earning the road the nickname “Bad Boy Drive”. After Brando’s death in 2004, Nicholson purchased his neighbor’s bungalow for $6.1 million, with the purpose of having it demolished. Nicholson stated that it was done out of respect to Brando’s legacy, as it had become too expensive to renovate the “derelict” building which was plagued by mold.
Though he has not been very public about his political views, Nicholson has considered himself a lifelong Democrat. On February 4, 2008, he announced his endorsement of Senator Hillary Clinton in her race for the President of the United States. In an interview on Rick Dees’ radio program, Nicholson said, “Mrs. Clinton has been involved in issues, everything from health care, which we know and prison reform and helping the military, speaking for women and speaking for Americans. And besides, it’s about time we have a Prez with a nice tush.

Notable films in which he has starred include, in chronological order, Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Shining, Reds, Terms of Endearment, Batman, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets, About Schmidt, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Departed.

 

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