Good morning everyone, hope you’re all doing well 🤞🏼 I’m not gonna ramble on too much today as this past week hasn’t been great, my family and I suffering at the moment with our health (each of us are being affected in different ways) and it’s been a nightmare trying to get internet as the place we’re currently residing at doesn’t have any, meaning we’ve had to resort to using alternative ways to be able to access free Wi-Fi (i.e library, cafes etc…) so it’s been a horrendous time for us at the moment. Anyway let’s move on with todays post…
From winning his long-overdue first Oscar for Million Dollar Baby to providing the best God there’ll ever be on film, Morgan Freeman is an icon for the ages. Happy 85th Birthday to the irreplaceable Morgan Freeman! An endlessly versatile, magnificently voiced, living Hollywood legend, Freeman has given us some of the most iconic performances of all time. From Shawshank Redemption‘s resplendent drama to the comedic heights of Bruce Almighty, I want to start this post off by saying a huge Happy Birthday to one of my all-time favorite actors in the world!
Morgan Porterfield Freeman Jr. was born on June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. He has three older siblings. As an infant, Freeman was sent to his paternal grandmother in Charleston, Mississippi. He moved frequently during his childhood, living in Greenwood, Mississippi; Gary, Indiana; and finally Chicago, Illinois.
He made his acting debut at age nine, playing the lead role in a school play. He then attended Broad Street High School, a building that serves today as Threadgill Elementary School, in Greenwood, Mississippi. At age 12, he won a statewide drama competition, and while settling into school, discovered music and theatre. Freeman graduated high school in 1955, but turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, opting instead to enlist in the United States Air Force. He served as an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, rising to the rank of airman first class. After serving from 1955 to 1959, he moved to Los Angeles, California, and took acting classes at the Pasadena Playhouse. He also studied theatre arts at Los Angeles City College, where a teacher encouraged him to embark on a dance career.
Freeman worked as a dancer at the 1964 World’s Fair and was a member of the Opera Ring musical theatre group in San Francisco. He acted in a touring company version of The Royal Hunt of the Sun. Between acting and dancing jobs, Freeman realized that acting was where his heart lay. Beginning in 1971, Freeman starred in the PBS children’s television show The Electric Company, which gave him financial stability and recognition among American audiences. In 1980, regular work was coming in for the talented Freeman and he appeared in the prison dramas Attica and Brubaker. For most of the 1980s, Freeman continued to contribute 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) and dazzled audiences, and pulled a second Oscar nomination in the film version of Driving Miss Daisy (1989) opposite Jessica Tandy. More strong scripts came in, and Freeman was behind bars portraying a knowledgeable inmate (and obtaining his third Oscar nomination), befriending falsely accused banker Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). With Se7en (1995), Chain Reaction (1996), and Kiss The Girls following over the next few years.
Freeman was married to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from October 22, 1967, until November 18, 1979, and subsequently married Myrna Colley-Lee on June 16, 1984. The couple separated in December 2007 and divorced on September 15, 2010. Freeman has four children: Alfonso, Deena, Morgana, and Saifoulaye. Freeman and Colley-Lee adopted Freeman’s step-granddaughter from his first marriage, E’dena Hines, and raised her together. He resides in Charleston, Mississippi, and maintains a home in New York City. He earned a private pilot’s license at age 65 and owns or has owned at least three private aircraft, including a Cessna Citation 501, a Cessna 414 twin-engine prop, and an Emivest SJ30.
Career success has allowed Morgan to indulge in his favorite hobby sailing. One of his acquisitions is a 38-foot sailboat that he has piloted through the Caribbean and the North Atlantic. He is often accompanied on his trips by his second wife, costume designer Myrna Colley-Lee, and one of his seven grandchildren, E’Dena Hines, who in August 2015 was sadly murdered by her boyfriend. Also In addition to acting, Freeman has directed the drama Bopha! (1993). He also founded the film production company Revelations Entertainment with business partner Lori McCreary. He is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor, the AFI Life Achievement Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. For his performances in theatrical productions, he has won three Obie Awards, one of the most prestigious honors for recognizing excellence in theatre.
Facts About Morgan Freeman:
- As a child, Morgan Freeman loved to go to the movies, at the time, a movie ticket cost 12 cents. So he used to find and sell milk, soda, and beer bottles for a few cents and was able to make enough money to go to the movies pretty often!
- Has his own production company, Revelation Entertainment.
- Is often called the greatest living actor in film, a title he humbly waves off and says he is just “lucky”.
- In three separate film franchises, Morgan Freeman has played the same character twice. First in the films “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider” as Dr. Alex Cross. Second in “Bruce Almighty” and “Evan Almighty” as God. Third in “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” as Lucius Fox.
- This man of many talents is also something of a chef! He wrote a cookbook called ‘Morgan Freeman And Friends: Caribbean Cooking For A Cause’, to raise money for The Grenada Relief Fund.
- Even though he loved watching movies a lot as a kid and young teen, he didn’t really plan to become an actor himself. At the age of 12, he had a crush on a girl and pulled out her chair from underneath her. As punishment, he was forced to participate in the school’s drama competition.
- He is fluent in French! He studied the language while he was at the University of California, Los Angeles, and since then become totally fluent, even delivering a speech completely in French.
- In 2014, Freeman turned his 124-acre ranch in Mississippi into a beekeeping sanctuary! After learning about the rapid decline of honeybees he decided to take action and currently has 26 hives.
- In 2001, along with three friends, Morgan Freeman opened a blues club! Named Ground Zero, this juke joint style club is in Clarksdale, Mississippi a place known as ground zero for the blues.
- Morgan Freeman has been nominated for and won more awards than the total number of movies in which he’s starred.
- After arriving in California in 1959 Morgan worked as a clerk typist before becoming an actor.
- When Morgan Freeman was just 16 years old, he came down with pneumonia. One day it had gotten so bad that the abscess that was growing in his lungs burst and he almost died.
- Broke his arm and shoulder when he flipped his car near his home in Charleston, Mississippi on August 3, 2008.
- Freeman started the Rock River Foundation in 1990, which provides educational grants to students and schools from elementary school to university levels.
- Has narrated two Academy Award-winning documentaries: “The Long Way Home” and “March of the Penguins.”
- Has said that watching Gary Cooper’s films in his youth inspired him to become an actor.
- Listed his five favorite films as King Kong (1933), High Noon (1952), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and Moby Dick (1956).
- Keeps his Oscar statuette inside a cabinet that resides in his office. The cabinet was built by a good friend of his in 1998 especially for the Oscar that his friend predicted he would win. It even came with a plaque that read: “No Parking. Reserved for Oscar.”
- Has publicly stated that the films “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Glory,” “Driving Miss Daisy,” and “Unforgiven” have been the best films he has acted in.
- In The Shawshank Redemption, the scene in which Andy and Red chat in the prison yard while Red is pitching a baseball took nine hours to shoot. Freeman pitched that baseball for the entire nine hours without a word of complaint. He showed up for work the next day with his arm in a sling.
- The Academy Award-winning actor holds the record of being the first American to record a par on the extreme 19th hole at South Africa’s Legend Golf & Safari Resort, which is the world’s highest and longest par-3 hole.
- Morgan Freeman tried to get a film made about Nelson Mandela for many years. In 2009 Invictus was made and Freeman played Mandela.
- Earned a Private Pilot license at the age of 65.
- Friends with Rita Moreno and Kenny Chesney.
- He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on March 18, 2003.
Morgan Freeman is a wonderful example of a man who started his life with a tough reality. He followed his passion, worked hard, sought opportunities to express his talents, and did good things to support others. After seven decades of building and maintaining his career to god-like status, it seems Morgan Freeman is not quite slowing down anytime soon.
Happy birthday to the Man, the Myth, and the Legend – Morgan Freeman!
Thank you for coming to my blog and reading today’s post, I hope you all have a lovely week and I will see you next time.