Nicholson: A Biography
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THE GROUNDBREAKING NEW BIOGRAPHY OF A MAN WITH ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC AND FASCINATING CAREERS—AND LIVES—IN HOLLYWOOD.
For five decades, Jack Nicholson has been part of film history. With twelve Oscar nominations to his credit and legendary roles in films like Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson creates original, memorable characters like no other actor of his generation. And his personal life has been no less of an adventure—Nicholson has always been at the center of the Hollywood elite and has courted some of the most famous and beautiful women in the world.
Relying on years of extensive research and interviews with insiders who know Nicholson best, acclaimed biographer Marc Eliot sheds new light on Nicholson's life on and off the screen. From Nicholson’s working class childhood in New Jersey, where family secrets threatened to tear his family apart, to raucous nights on the town with Warren Beatty and tumultuous relationships with starlets like Michelle Phillips, Anjelica Huston, and Lara Flynn Boyle, to movie sets working with such legendary directors and costars as Dennis Hopper, Stanley Kubrick, Meryl Streep, and Roman Polanski, Eliot paints a sweeping picture of the breadth of Nicholson’s fifty-year career in film, as well as an intimate portrait of his personal life.
Equally at home on the bookshelves of serious film historians and fans of compulsively readable Hollywood biographies, Nicholson is both a comprehensive tribute to a film legend and an entertaining look at a truly remarkable life.
by Nupoor Gordon Jacket photography: Archive Photos/Getty Images v3.1 In Memory of Andrew Sarris, we miss the passing of our great teacher, friend, critic, and historian, and for the late Karen Black, whose input was enormous and whose cooperation was unending. And always for baby cocoa bear. Contents Cover Other Books by This Author Title Page Copyright Dedication INTRODUCTION PART ONE Hard Ride to Easy Rider Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 PART TWO
of the state across the border …” To Playboy, he later said this about nudity in American films: “If you suck a tit, you’re an X, but if you cut it off with a sword, you’re a PG … I don’t think there’s anything dirty about sex … I didn’t want to do a ‘Romper Room’ movie … we got in trouble because you weren’t supposed to hear the sound of an orgasm. In England they wanted me to cut one line from the movie: ‘I’m comin’.’ I refused and the movie was never shown there. No one cared that a character
Ted and Alice. Jack had arrived at Cannes with a big smile plastered on his face and the gorgeous Michelle Phillips, late of the Mamas and the Papas. Michelle had since married and divorced Dennis Hopper not long after she had shown up at the Oscars with him for Easy Rider. A few days later after the wedding they’d had a fight that ended with Hopper punching Phillips, and she ended their eight-day marriage. Phillips dropped her line back in the water. The two were first introduced by Lou Adler,
Jack a color TV for his services. He could use it to watch Lakers games, the only thing on television he watched. Jack improvised all of his scenes in one day. There was no written script for his character, so he worked off descriptions fed to him by Jaglom. The good part was that he was going to co-star opposite the luscious Tuesday Weld and the great Orson Welles. Welles had long been a pariah at the studios and was perennially in need of funds to produce his own movies. Jaglom gave him a
only thing anybody remembers from it is Capone bashing in the skull of another gangster with a baseball bat. He had recently read Saul Bellow’s novel Henderson the Rain King, which he bought the film rights to, with the intention of adapting it for himself and possibly directing it as well, but the project went nowhere. Even though he was sure it could be huge, he couldn’t get anyone interested, either the studios or an independent producer who could make it and bring it to them for