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Morgan Freeman (1937)

Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Jr.

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  Summary  

Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Unforgiven, Glory, Seven, Deep Impact, The Sum of All Fears, Bruce Almighty, Batman Begins, March of the Penguins, The Bucket List, Evan Almighty, Wanted, The Dark Knight, and RED.

  Biography  

 early life
Morgan Freeman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Mayme Edna (née Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber who died in 1961 from cirrhosis. He has three older siblings. Freeman was sent as an infant to his paternal grandmother in Charleston, Mississippi. His family moved frequently during his childhood, living in Greenwood, Mississippi; Gary, Indiana; and finally Chicago, Illinois. Freeman made his acting debut at age 9, playing the lead role in a school play. He then attended Broad Street High School, currently Threadgill Elementary School, in Mississippi. At age 12, he won a statewide drama competition, and while still at Broad Street High School, he performed in a radio show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1955, he graduated from Broad Street, but turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, opting instead to work as a mechanic in the United States Air Force.

Freeman moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s and worked as a transcript clerk at Los Angeles Community College. During this period, he also lived in New York City, working as a dancer at the 1964 World's Fair, and in San Francisco, where he was a member of the Opera Ring music group. Freeman acted in a touring company version of The Royal Hunt of the Sun, and also appeared as an extra in the 1965 film The Pawnbroker. He made his off-Broadway debut in 1967, opposite Viveca Lindfors in The Nigger Lovers (about the civil rights era "Freedom Riders"), before debuting on Broadway in 1968's all-black version of Hello, Dolly!, which also starred Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway.

 career
 Acting career

Although his first credited film appearance was in 1971's Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?, Freeman first became known in the American media through roles on the soap opera Another World and the PBS kids' show The Electric Company, which he later said he should have left earlier than he did.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Freeman began playing prominent supporting roles in many feature films, earning him a reputation for depicting wise, fatherly characters. As he gained fame, he went on to bigger roles in films such as the chauffeur Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy, and Sergeant Major Rawlins in Glory . In 1994 he portrayed Red, the redeemed convict in the acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption. In the same year he was a member of the jury at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival.

He also starred in films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Unforgiven, Seven, and Deep Impact. In 1997, Freeman, together with Lori McCreary, founded the film production company Revelations Entertainment, and the two co-head its sister online film distribution company ClickStar. Freeman also hosts the channel Our Space on ClickStar, with specially crafted film clips in which he shares his love for the sciences, especially space exploration and aeronautics.

After three previous nominations—a supporting actor nomination for Street Smart, and leading actor nominations for Driving Miss Daisy, and The Shawshank Redemption—he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Million Dollar Baby at the 77th Academy Awards. Freeman is recognized for his distinctive voice, making him a frequent choice for narration. In 2005 alone, he provided narration for two films, War of the Worlds and the Academy Award-winning documentary film March of the Penguins.

Freeman appeared as God in the hit film Bruce Almighty and its sequel, Evan Almighty, as well as Lucius Fox in the critical and commercial success Batman Begins and its 2008 sequel, The Dark Knight. He starred in Rob Reiner's 2007 film The Bucket List, opposite Jack Nicholson. He teamed with Christopher Walken and William H. Macy for the comedy The Maiden Heist, which was released direct to video due to financial problems of the distribution company. In 2008, Freeman returned to Broadway to co-star with Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher for a limited engagement of Clifford Odets's play, The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols.

He had wanted to do a film based on Nelson Mandela for some time. At first he tried to get Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, adapted into a finished script, but it was not finalized. In 2007 he purchased the film rights to a pre-published 2008 book by John Carlin, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation. Clint Eastwood directed the Nelson Mandela bio-pic titled Invictus, starring Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as rugby team captain Francois Pienaar. In October 2010, Freeman co-starred alongside Bruce Willis in Red.

Freeman's latest project is the Danny DeVito directed film Charlotte Doyle which will also feature Irish actor Pierce Brosnan and is due to start filming in Ireland in early 2012.

 Other work
In July 2009 Freeman was one of the presenters at the 46664 concert (celebrating Nelson Mandela's birthday) at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Freeman was the first American to record a par on Legend Golf & Safari Resort's Extreme 19th hole.

At age 65, Freeman earned a private pilot's license. He owns or has owned at least three private aircraft, including a Cessna Citation 501 jet and a Cessna 414 twin-engine prop. In 2007 he purchased an Emivest SJ30
long-range private jet, and took delivery in December 2009.
He is certified to fly all of them.

Effective January 4, 2010, Freeman replaced Walter Cronkite as the voiceover introduction to the CBS Evening News featuring Katie Couric as news anchor. CBS cited the need for consistency in introductions for regular news broadcasts and special reports as the basis for the change.

As of 2010, Freeman is the host and narrator of the Discovery Channel television show Through the Wormhole.

 personal life
 Family
Freeman was married to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from October 22, 1967 until 1979. He married Myrna Colley-Lee on June 16, 1984. The couple separated in December 2007. Freeman's attorney and business partner, Bill Luckett, announced in August 2008 that Freeman and his wife are in the process of divorce. On 15 September 2010, their divorce was finalized in Mississippi.

He has two sons from previous relationships before he married Bradshaw. He adopted his first wife's daughter, and the couple also had his fourth child.

In 2008, the TV series African American Lives 2 revealed that Freeman's great-great-grandparents were slaves who migrated from North Carolina to Mississippi.

 Properties
Freeman lives in Charleston, Mississippi, and New York City. He co-owns and operates Madidi, a fine dining restaurant, and Ground Zero, a blues club, both located in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

 Car accident

Freeman was injured in an automobile accident near Ruleville, Mississippi, on the night of August 3, 2008. The vehicle in which he was traveling, a 1997 Nissan Maxima, left the highway and flipped over several times. He and a female passenger, Demaris Meyer, were rescued from the vehicle using the "Jaws of Life". Freeman was taken via medical helicopter to The Regional Medical Center hospital in Memphis. Police ruled out alcohol as a factor in the crash. Freeman was coherent following the crash, as he joked to a photographer about taking his picture at the scene. He broke his shoulder, arm and elbow in the crash and had surgery on August 5, 2008. Doctors operated for four hours to repair nerve damage in his shoulder and arm. On CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight he stated that he is left handed but currently cannot move the fingers of his left hand. He wears a compression glove to protect against blood pooling due to non-movement. His publicist announced he was expected to make a full recovery. Meyer, his passenger, has sued him for negligence, claiming that he was drinking the night of the accident.

politics
Freeman endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy for the 2008 presidential election, although he stated that he would not join Obama's campaign. He narrates for The Hall of Presidents with Barack Obama, who has been added to the exhibit. The Hall of Presidents re-opened on July 4, 2009 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Freeman joined President Bill Clinton, USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, and USMNT midfielder Landon Donovan on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 in Zurich for the USA bid committee's final presentation to FIFA for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Freeman sparked an outcry in September 2011 when, on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight, he accused the Tea Party movement of racism. He said that the Tea Party's "stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. What's, what does that, what underlines that? Screw the country. We're going to do whatever we do to get this black man, we can, we're going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here." Piers Morgan responded, "But is that necessarily a racist thing?...Wouldn't they say that about any Democrat?" Freeman replied, "It is a racist thing... shows the weak, dark underside of America. We’re supposed to be better than that. We really are. That’s why all those people were in tears when Obama was elected president. ‘Ah look at what we are–this is America.’ Then it just sort of started turning because these people surfaced–like stirring up muddy water." Freeman was criticized for the comments; black Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said the comments were short-sighted and said most who have criticized the Tea Party have never been to a Tea Party, and actor Adam Baldwin said, "It's the content of Obama's character policies, not the color of his skin, that's at issue."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Morgan Freeman", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.