Morgan Freeman Biography
Early Life and Introduction to Hollywood
Morgan Freeman was born on June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee. His father was a barber and his mother was a school teacher. Some of his ancestors are from Niger, West Africa. When he was 12 years old, Freeman was forced to take part in his school play as a punishment from pulling out a chair from underneath a girl he had a crush on. It was his introduction to acting. When he was 16 years old, he suffered from pneumonia and almost died.
When he graduated, Morgan Freeman opted to join the Air Force and turned down a drama scholarship. He loved flying. However, he was put on ground patrol and came to the realization that he didn’t like shooting people. So, after four years in the military, he came back to LA and started taking dancing and acting lessons and started taking on acting roles.
Morgan Freeman is one prime example of a person not giving up on their dreams. It wasn’t until he was in his fifties that Freeman got his first big break. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and the early 1970s that Freeman got his debuts in Broadway and films. A kids’ show called The Electric Company and a TV soap opera Another World is considered his big breaks.
Professional Developments & Awards Received
He shot to fame with Street Smart, which got him more projects like Driving Miss Daisy and The Shawshank Redemption, where, finally, his talent started being appreciated. Freeman played God in Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty. His performance in Million Dollar Baby won him an Academy Award for Best supporting actor. More than Freeman’s calm demeanor acting skills, Freeman is more recognized for his ‘God-like’, deeply authoritative, rich yet mellow voice. He provided narration for War of the Worlds and the Oscar-winning documentary, March of the Penguins.
Morgan Freeman was a huge admirer of Nelson Mandela. For several years, he tried playing his role, and finally, in 2007 he purchased the rights to a book by John Carlin, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation. It came out as Mandela’s biopic titled Invictus.
He has worked in a total of 57 projects till date- stage and film included. Freeman has won a whopping 33 awards, including 1 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, 2 Black Reel Awards for Best Actor and Best Voice Performance, 1 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, 7 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor/Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, 8 Film Critics Awards for Best Actor/Supporting Actor in LA, NYC, London, Vancouver, Kansas and Dallas, and many more.
Personal Life, Rumors & Interests
Morgan Freeman married Jeanette Adair Bradshaw on October 1967. Their marriage didn’t last as they divorced in November 1979. Later, Freeman married Myrna Colley-Lee on June 1984. The couple got divorced in September 2010. Morgan Freeman has 4 kids, 2 from his first marriage and two extramarital.
The 82-year-old actor is one of the most respected actors of all time, despite rumors of sexual harassment. Eight women had come forward claiming they were affected by Freeman’s inappropriate on-set behavior during filming. These women claimed he would press himself against them and make inappropriate comments regarding their body and clothes. CNN had done an extensive program on this, for which it was asked to retract the piece and apologize for falsehood and absence of editorial control by Freeman’s lawyer.
Even when he was 65 years old, Freeman didn’t give up on his other passion- Flying. He earned a PPC- Private Pilot’s Certificate that licensed him to fly his private aircraft.
Freeman, like many other powerful influencers, believes in giving back. He is a part of 21 charities and 20 causes. He founded the Plan!t Now Foundation, to help victims of natural disasters. He is a part of Whatever It Takes charity, where the artwork from various celebrities and sold to raise funds for various charitable causes.