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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Born Today: Gene Hackman- Bio.com

Gene Hackman biography

Born On This Day

Happy Birthday! Gene Hackman is 84 today.

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Quick Facts

Best Known For

Gene Hackman is an Academy Award-winning actor known for his range and versatility in several flims.

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Synopsis

Gene Hackman was born on January 30, 1930, in San Bernardino, California. He dropped out of high school to join the Marines, and then studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse Theatre. Hackman's breakout film was Bonnie and Clyde. His famous performances include Popeye Doyle in The French Connection and Lex Luther in Superman. Hackman has received two Oscars. He has since retired from acting.

Early Life

Actor and writer Gene Hackman was born on January 30, 1930, in San Bernardino, California. An Academy Award-winning actor, Hackman played nearly every type of role imaginable, from politicians to super cops to military leaders to criminal masterminds. As a child, he moved to Illinois with his parents where his father worked as a newspaper press operator. His father abandoned the family when Hackman was in his early teens.

When he was 16 years old, Hackman dropped out of high school to join the U.S. Marine Corps. He lied about his age in order to enlist. During his time in the service, Hackman worked as a radio operator and finished his high school education. After being discharged in 1951, Hackman tried to find his way, living in Illinois and New York while working a variety of jobs. He studied journalism and TV production for a time as well.

Hackman eventually decided on acting and studied at the Pasadena Playhouse Theatre in the 1950s. Dustin Hoffman was one of his fellow students, and the two became friends and shared the dubious distinction of being voted "least likely to succeed" by their peers. Around this time, Hackman married Faye Maltese in 1956.

Big Break

Returning to New York, Hackman landed his first off-Broadway role in Chaparral in 1958. He became friends with actor Robert Duvall and even had Dustin Hoffman as a roommate for a time. Struggling for several years, Hackman landed his first film role -- only a bit part -- in 1961's Mad Dog Coll. He made his Broadway debut two years in the Children From Their Games, which was quickly followed a role in A Rainy Day in Newark later that year. Hackman was also part of the original cast of Any Wednesday with Sandy Dennis, which debuted the following year. After seeing him on Broadway, Director Robert Rossen cast Hackman in the drama Lilith (1964) with Warren Beatty.
Beatty proved instrumental in Hackman's big career breakthrough. He helped Hackman land a supporting role in Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which starred Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the infamous criminal couple. Hackman played Clyde's brother, Buck Burrow, who joins his sibling and his lady on their bank robbery spree. The role brought Hackman a lot of critical attention and his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Three years, Hackman garnered another Best Supporting Actor nod from the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences for his work on I Never Sang for My Father (1970). In the film, he played a professor trying to forge a relationship with his estranged father (played by Melvyn Douglas) after his mother's death.