Morgan Freeman is an American actor, producer and narrator.
He was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Morgan Freeman is the son of Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber.
He has three older siblings.
According to a DNA analysis, some of his ancestors were from Niger.
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.
The young Freeman attended Los Angeles City College before serving several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic between 1955 and 1959.
After four years in the military, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he took acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse and dancing lessons in San Francisco in the early 1960s and worked as a transcript clerk at Los Angeles City College.
During this period, Freeman 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 musical theater group.
His first dramatic arts exposure was on the stage including appearing in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly!.
Around that time, Freeman also performed in an off-Broadway production of The Nigger Lovers.
He continued to be involved in theater work and received the Obie Award in 1980 for the title role in Coriolanus [photo below]. In 1984, he received his second Obie Award for his role as the preacher in The Gospel at Colonus and in 1985 he won the Drama-Logue Award for the same role.
Freeman also won a Drama Desk Award and a Clarence Derwent Award for his role as a wino in The Mighty Gents.
In 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Coleburn in Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy, which brought him his third Obie Award.
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.
Next, there was a small role in the thriller Blade (1973); then he played Casca in Julius Caesar (1979) 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) and Brubaker (1980), Eyewitness (1981), and portrayed the final 24 hours of slain Malcolm X in Death of a Prophet (1981).
Beginning in the mid-1980s, Freeman began playing prominent supporting roles in many feature films, earning him a reputation for depicting wise, fatherly characters.
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) and, then, he dazzled audiences and pulled a second Oscar nomination in the film version of Driving Miss Daisy (1989) opposite Jessica Tandy.
In 1989 he also starred in Edward Zwick’s critically acclaimed Glory, a drama about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, which was one of the first recognized African-American units in the Civil War.
More strong scripts came in, and Freeman was back behind bars depicting a knowledgeable inmate
(and obtaining his third Oscar nomination), befriending falsely accused banker Tim Robbins in 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).
Following an appearance opposite Renee Zellweger in director Neil LaBute’s Nurse Betty, Freeman would return to the role of detective Alex Cross in the Kiss the Girls sequel Along Came a Spider (2001). Freeman continued to keep a high profile moving into the new millennium with roles in such thrillers as The Sum of All Fears (2002) and Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher (2003).
In 2005, Freeman won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby.
He later reprised his roles as Lucius Fox from Batman Begins (2005) for the blockbuster sequels The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). He also appeared in Lucky Number Slevin (2006) and Rob Reiner’s The Bucket List (2007).
In 2009, Freeman teamed up with Clint Eastwood again, playing the role of South African President Nelson Mandela in Invictus – the role earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
In 2010, Freeman co-starred alongside Bruce Willis in Red. In 2013, Freeman appeared in the action-thriller Olympus Has Fallen, the science fiction drama Oblivion, and the comedy Last Vegas. In 2014, he co-starred in the action film Lucy.
In 2015, Freeman played the Chief Justice of the United States in the season two premiere of Madam Secretary.
His latest films include Now You See Me 2 (2016) and London Has Fallen (2016).
Morgan Freeman narrated two Academy Award-winning feature-length documentaries: The Long Way Home (1997) and March of the Penguins (2005).
As of 2010, Freeman is the host and narrator of the Discovery Channel television show, focused on physics outreach, Through the Wormhole.
Freeman was honored with the American Film Institute’s 39th Lifetime Achievement Award on June 9, 2011.
At the 2012 Golden Globes, Freeman received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”
In September 2016, President Barack Obama presented Freeman with a National Medal of Arts.
Freeman is ranked as the 3rd highest box office star with over $4.316 billion total box office gross, an average of $74.4 million per film.
Morgan Freeman has an estimated net worth of $150 million.
Morgan Freeman has been married twice. 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.Freeman and Jeanette Adair Bradshaw divorced 0n 15 September 2010.
In a 2012 interview with TheWrap, Freeman was asked if he considered himself atheist or agnostic. He
replied, “It’s a hard question because as I said at the start, I think we invented God. So if I believe in
God, and I do, it’s because I think I’m God.”
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.
Freeman was injured in an automobile accident near Ruleville, Mississippi, on the night of August 3, 2008. He and a female passenger, Demaris Meyer, were rescued from the vehicle using the “Jaws of Life”.
He owns a boat which is berthed in the Caribbean. His busy schedule, however, only allows him to go sailing on it once a year.
After becoming concerned with the decline of honeybees, Freeman decided to turn his 124-acre ranch into a sanctuary for them in July 2014, starting with 26 bee hives.
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.
Though he was born in Memphis, he actually grew up in the Mississippi Delta region. He moved back to Mississippi to open a blues club and restaurant in 2001.
Freeman speaks French fluently.
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.
Freeman received a trademark on his name from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on September 19, 2006.
He 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 friend predicted he would win. It even came with a plaque that read: “No Parking. Reserved for Oscar.”
Freeman has said that watching Gary Cooper’s films in his youth inspired him to become an actor.
He listed his five favorite films as King Kong (1933), High Noon (1952), Moulin Rouge (1952), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) and Moby Dick (1956).
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on March 18, 2003.
His grandfather was Morgan Herbert Freeman. His father was Morgan Porterfield Freeman. He has said that his parents forgot to give him a middle name.