A Career Well Spent: Jack Nicholson Retires After Five Decades Of Cinema

It seems that Jack Nicholson is retiring from acting. The reports stating that the actor has filmed his last movie, although yet to be confirmed by a rep or Nicholson himself, have been numerous and leave little room for doubt. RadarOnline broke the news first, saying that the 76-year-old actor was quietly leaving the business, due to “memory loss.” According to the anonymous source, cited by Radar, the actor, boasting a career, which spans five decades, now has “memory issues and can no longer remember the lines being asked of him. His memory isn’t what it used to be.”

Jack Nicholson, LA Lakers Game
Hopefully Nicholson will still be keeping up with Lakers games post-retirement. 

In truth, Nicholson hasn’t worked since the 2010 Reese Witherspoon starrer How Do You Know. Of course, the best strategy is always to retire at the height of one’s career and it appears that Nicholson is doing just that – even the harshest critic couldn’t honestly claim that the actor has seen any sort of decline in the past decade.

Watch Nicholson at work in one of the best known roles of his career:

Nicholson’s career in Hollywood began in the distant 1958 with the teen drama The Cry Baby Killer. He had previously worked as a gofer for the infamous animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbara at MGM Studios and was even offered a starting level position, but Nicholson declined, firmly set on becoming an actor. In the 50s and early 60s, he acted in several low-budget productions, most notably in Roger Corman’s Little Shop of Horrors.

A much younger Nicholson gave a show-stopping (and heart-stopping) performers in LSH:

With his acting career going nowhere fast, however, Nicholson decided to try his hand behind the camera.. His first big success as a writer came with 1967’s The Trip, which starred Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. The film’s moderate success later lead to Nicholson’s first big acting break – after a spot opened up on the cast of Hopper and Fonda’s Easy Rider, Nicholson was clearly the man for the job. This is how he got on Hollywood’s radar as a serious actor.

Since then, he has gone on to earn three Oscars and numerous nominations, starring in instant classics, such as the Stephen King adaptation The Shining. The film didn’t earn Nicholson an Oscar, but remains one of his most memorable roles to this day. In the 80s, Nicholson continued his successful streak with films like The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Reds (1981), Prizzi's Honor (1985), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Broadcast News (1987), and Ironweed (1987).

Jack Nicholson, Oscars
Nicholson is a three-times Academy Award laureat.

Most of the roles his career is recognised for today came even later. Tim Burton’s 1989 adaptation of Batman provided the actor with one of his most profitable, not to mention most loved and/or hated roles – that of an exaggerated, cartoonish, yet undeniably entertaining Joker. The film earned him a $60 million chunk of global profits.

At this point, Nicholson never needed to work again, but he continued acting throughout the 90s and 00s. The 00s in particular saw him star in some underrated gems, such as The Bucket List (alongside Morgan Freeman). While Nicholson is certainly bowing out on a high note, his talent of portraying the strangest, most eccentric characters in a very human, relatable way will definitely be missed by Hollywood.

Jack Nicholson, Celebrity Golf Tournament
Hopefully he has a long and happy retirement ahead.


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