Morgan Freeman is a journeyman actor who suddenly found himself an overnight success at 50.
Morgan Freeman is a reluctant American treasure. Dignified and wry, humble yet confident, he’s a journeyman actor who suddenly found himself an overnight success at 50, an age when many actors, especially those of color, are forced into retirement for lack of work.
In Mississippi, he stumbled on what would become his life’s passion when a teacher encouraged him to channel his show-off energy into performing. Despite earning a reputation as one of New York’s premiere theatre actors, Freeman was frequently out of work and took odd jobs to scrape by. Along the way he battled alcohol abuse and the break-up of his first marriage and was tempted to walk away from acting. Freeman was saved from spiritual suicide by the unlikely pair of Robert Redford, who cast him in Brubaker, and a pimp named Fast Black, the role in Street Smart which earned Freeman his first Oscar nomination and Hollywood’s belated embrace.
Since then he has built a cinematic legacy in a diverse range of films, including Amistad, Glory, Unforgiven, Seven, Driving Miss Daisy, Kiss the Girls, The Shawshank Redemption, Invictus, The Dark Knight Rises, Dolphin Tale, The Dark Knight, Red, Lucy and Ted 2, picking up two more Academy Award nominations. Finally, in 2005, Freeman won his elusive Oscar for his tour de force performance in Million Dollar Baby.