Jack Nicholson is both a charmer and a cliche. Passionate about truth in his art and a mendacious hypocrite in real life. Wildly generous, yet appallingly parsimonious. A pothead and a fine art collector. A priapic satyr and a romantic fool.
In 1954, he took his swaggering wit to Hollywood. He worked as a gofer in the MGM animation department, until — in a story that may be true, or may be a bit of mythology — he was "discovered" in an elevator by MGM producer Joe Pasternak. Nicholson threw himself into acting classes, local theater, a stint in the National Guard, some Beat/intellectual auto-didacting, bit parts in television, Reichian therapy, screenwriting, an early marriage, a lot of drugs and a lot of buddying up with other soon-to-be-famous actors, writers, directors and producers.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, he kept feverishly busy with roles in B-horror films (learning from his early mentor Roger Corman the economy of budget and script). He also did Nouvelle Vague westerns, and recycled, "Wild One"-influenced biker flicks.
"Easy Rider" was followed by "Five Easy Pieces," "Carnal Knowledge" and, of course, "Chinatown."
|1969||Best Supporting Actor||Easy Rider||Nomination|
|1970||Best Actor||Five Easy Pieces||Nomination|
|1973||Best Actor||The Last Detail||Nomination|
|1975||Best Actor||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||Win|
|1981||Best Supporting Actor||Reds||Nomination|
|1983||Best Supporting Actor||Terms of Endearment||Win|
|1985||Best Actor||Prizzi's Honor||Nomination|
|1992||Best Supporting Actor||A Few Good Men||Nomination|
|1997||Best Actor||As Good As It Gets||Win|
|2002||Best Actor||About Schmidt||Nomination|