Morgan Freeman

 

(* 1937)

Morgan FreemanBiographical Sketch

Morgan Freeman (born Memphis, TN, USA, June 1, 1937) is an American actor, narrator, director and producer, reportedly ranked as Hollywood’s 3rd highest-grossing box office star. Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Invictus (2009). He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Glory (1989), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Seven (1995), Deep Impact (1998), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Bruce Almighty (2003), The Dark Knight Trilogy, The Lego Movie (2014), and Lucy (2014). He is known for his distinctively smooth, deep voice. Freeman got his break as part of the cast of the 1970s children’s program The Electric Company.

Although an opponent to Black History Month, which he feels undermindes instead of bolstering racial equality, Freeman is an active voice in the fight against racial, sexual, and other forms of discrimination. He made his directorial debut in 1993 with the apartheid drama Bopha!, starring Danny Glover; and in July 2009, he was one of the presenters at the 46664 Concert celebrating Nelson Mandela’s birthday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. He supported the defeated proposal to change the Mississippi state flag, which contains the Confederate battle flag, and he sparked controversy when, appearing on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight in 2011, he accused the Tea Party movement of racism. – Likewise in 2011, Freeman was featured with John Lithgow in the Broadway debut of Dustin Lance Black’s play, 8, a staged reenactment of Perry v. Brown, the federal trial that overturned California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. In the play Freeman portrayed Attorney David Boies. The production was held at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.

In 2004, Freeman and others formed the Grenada Relief Fund to aid people affected by Hurricane Ivan on the island of Grenada. The fund has since become PLANIT NOW, an organization that seeks to provide preparedness resources for people living in areas afflicted by hurricanes and severe storms. Freeman has worked on narrating small clips for global organizations, such as One Earth, whose goals include raising awareness of environmental issues. He has narrated the clip “Why Are We Here,” which can be viewed on One Earth’s website.

Effective January 4, 2010, Freeman replaced Walter Cronkite as the voiceover introduction to the CBS Evening News. CBS cited the need for consistency in introductions for regular news broadcasts and special reports as the basis for the change. As of 2010, Freeman is also the host and narrator of a Discovery Channel television show focused on physics outreach, Through the Wormhole.

 

Major Awards

Academy Awards
  • 2004: Best Supporting Actor – “Million Dollar Baby”
American Film Institute (AFI)
  • 2011: Life Achievement Award
Golden Globe Awards
(Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
  • 1989: Best Actor, Motion Picture Musical or Comedy – “Driving Miss Daisy”
  • 2012: Cecil B. DeMille Award – for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment
Screen Actors Guild (USA)
  • 2004: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – “Million Dollar Baby”
National Board of Review (USA)
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Driving Miss Daisy”
  • 2009: Best Actor – “Invictus”
    Tied with George Clooney (“Up in the Air”)
National Society of Film Critics (USA)
  • 1987: Best Supporting Actor – “Street Smart”
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Driving Miss Daisy”
  • 1995: Best Actor – “Se7en”
New York Film Critics Circle
  • 1987: Best Supporting Actor – “Street Smart”
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Driving Miss Daisy”
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
  • 1987: Best Supporting Actor – “Street Smart”
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Driving Miss Daisy”
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Glory”
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Lean on Me”
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Johnny Handsome”
Hollywood Film Awards
  • 2000: Outstanding Achievement in Acting – contributions to the art of film
  • 2010: Hollywood Innovator Award
Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.)
  • 2008: Kennedy Center Honors
Obie Awards
  • 1980: Distinguished Performance by an Actor – “Coriolanus”
  • 1984: Distinguished Performance by an Actor – “The Gospel at Colonus”
  • 1987: Distinguished Performance by an Actor – “Driving Miss Daisy”
Black Reel Awards (USA)
  • 2009: Best Actor – “Invictus”
  • 2015: Best Voice Performance – “The LEGO Movie”
NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Awards (USA)
  • 1989: Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture – “Driving Miss Daisy”
  • 1989: Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture – “Lean on Me”
  • 1997: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Amistad”
  • 1998: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Deep Impact”
  • 2003: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Bruce Almighty”
  • 2004: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Million Dollar Baby”
  • 2009: Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture – “Invictus”
The Drama Desk Organisation (USA)
  • 1978: Drama Desk Award – “The Mighty Gents”
Actors’ Equity Association / Equity (USA & Great Britain)

1978: Clarence Derwent Award, Most Promising Male – “The Mighty Gents”

Independent Spirit Awards (USA)
  • 1987: Best Supporting Male – “Street Smart”
People’s Choice Awards (USA)
  • 2008: Favorite Cast – “The Dark Knight”
Empire Awards (Great Britain)
  • 1995: Best Actor – “Se7en”
London Film Critics Circle
  • 1995: Actor  of the Year – “Se7en”
City of London
  • 2014: Freedom of the City
Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • 1989: Best Acting Team – “Driving Miss Daisy”
    Shared with Jessica Tandy.
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
(Czech Republic)
  • 2003: Crystal Globe Award – outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema

 

Filmography

Movies
  • The Pawnbroker (1964)
    Role: Man on Street (uncredited)
  • A Man Called Adam (1966)
    Role: Unknown (uncredited)
  • Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968)
    Role: Grand Central Commuter (uncredited)
  • Brubaker (1980)
    Role: Walter
  • Eyewitness (1981)
    Role: Lieutenant Black
  • Teachers (1984)
    Role: Lewis
  • Harry & Son (1984)
    Role: Siemanowski
  • Marie (1985)
    Role: Charles Traughber
  • That Was Then… This Is Now (1985)
    Role: Charlie
  • Street Smart (1987)
    Role: Fast Black
  • Clean and Sober (1988)
    Role: Craig Glenn
  • Glory (1989
    Role: John Rawlins
  • Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    Role: Hoke Colburn
  • Lean on Me (1989)
    Role: Joe Louis Clark
  • Johnny Handsome (1989)
    Role: Lt. Drones
  • The Civil War (1990)
    Role: Frederick Douglass (Voice)
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)
    Role: Judge White
  • Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
    Role: Azeem
  • Unforgiven (1992)
    Role: Ned Logan
  • The Power of One (1992)
    Role: Geel Piet
  • Bopha! (1993)
    Director.
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    Role: Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding / Narrator
  • Outbreak (1995)
    Role: General Billy Ford
  • Se7en (1995)
    Role: Detective Somerset
  • Chain Reaction (1996)
    Role: Paul Shannon
  • Moll Flanders (1996)
    Role: Hibble
  • Amistad (1997)
    Role: Theodore Joadson
  • Kiss the Girls (1997)
    Role: Alex Cross
  • Deep Impact (1998)
    Role: President Tim Beck
  • Hard Rain (1998)
    Role: Jim
  • Nurse Betty (2000)
    Role: Charlie
  • Under Suspicion (2000)
    Role: Victor Benezet
    Also executive producer.
  • Along Came a Spider (2001)
    Role: Alex Cross
    Also executive producer.
  • The Sum of All Fears (2002)
    Role: DCI William Cabot
  • High Crimes (2002
    Role: Charlie Grimes
  • Bruce Almighty (2003)
    Role: God
  • Dreamcatcher (2003)
    Role: Col. Abraham Curtis
  • Levity (2003)
    Role: Pastor Miles Evans
    Also executive producer.
  • Guilty by Association (2003)
    Role: Lt. Redding
  • The Big Bounce (2004)
    Role: Walter Crewes
  • Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    Role: Eddie “Scrap Iron” Dupris
  • An Unfinished Life (2005)
    Role: Mitch
  • War of the Worlds (2005)
    Role: Narrator
  • Batman Begins (2005)
    Role: Lucius Fox
  • Unleashed (2005)
    Role: Sam
  • Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (2005)
    Role: Neil Armstrong; documentary.
  • Edison Force (2006)
    Role: Ashford
  • The Contract (2006)
    Role: Frank Carden
  • Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
    Role: The Boss
  • 10 Items or Less (2006)
    Role: Himself
    Also executive producer.
  • Evan Almighty (2007)
    Role: God
  • Feast of Love (2007)
    Role: Harry Stevenson
  • Gone Baby Gone (2007)
    Role: Jack Doyle
  • The Bucket List (2007)
    Role: Carter Chambers
  • Wanted (2008)
    Role: Sloane
  • The Love Guru (2008)
    Role: Narrator
  • The Dark Knight (2008)
    Role: Lucius Fox
  • Thick as Thieves (2009)
    Role: Keith Ripley
    AKA The Code.
  • The Maiden Heist (2009)
    Role: Charles
  • Invictus (2009)
    Role: Nelson Mandela
    Also executive producer.
  • RED (2010
    Role: Joe Matheson
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011)
    Role: Narrator
  • Dolphin Tale (2011)
    Role: Dr. McCarthy
  • The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)
    Role: Monte Wildhorn
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    Role: Lucius Fox
  • Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
    Role: Speaker Allan Trumbull
  • Oblivion (2013)
    Role: Beech
  • Now You See Me (2013)
    Role: Thaddeus Bradley
  • Last Vegas (2013)
    Role: Archie
  • The LEGO Movie (2014)
    Role: Vitruvius (Voice)
  • Transcendence (2014)
    Role: Joseph Tagger
  • Lucy (2014)
    Role: Professor Norman
  • Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)
    Role: Dr. McCarthy
  • 5 Flights Up (2014)
    Role: Alex
    Also executive producer.
  • Last Knights (2015)
    Role: Bartok
  • Ted 2 (2015)
    Role: Patrick Meighan
  • Momentum (2015)
    Role: Senator
  • London Has Fallen (2016)
    Role: Vice President Allan Trumbull
  • Now You See Me 2 (2016)
    Role: Thaddeus Bradley
  • Ben-Hur (2016)
    Role: Sheikh Ilderim
  • Going in Style (2017)
    Role: Willie
Television
  • The Electric Company (1971–1977)
    Roles: Mel Mounds / Easy Reader / various characters; 780 episodes.
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1978)
    Role: Uncle Hammer Logan; TV movie.
  • Hollow Image (1979)
    Role: Ralph Simmons “Sweet Talk”; TV movie.
  • Ryan’s Hope (1981)
    Role: Cicero Murphy; 2 episodes.
  • The Marva Collins Story (1981)
    Role: Clarence Collins; TV movie.
  • Another World (1982–1984)
    Role: Dr. Roy Bingham
  • The Atlanta Child Murders (1985)
    Role: Ben Shelter; TV miniseries.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985)
    Role: Marty; episode Dealer’s Choice.
  • Resting Place (1986)
    Role: Luther Johnson; TV movie.
  • Fight For Life (1987)
    Role: Dr. Sherard; TV movie.
  • Clinton and Nadine (1988)
    Role: Dorsey Pratt; TV movie.
  • Smithsonian Channel’s Sound Revolution (2008)
    Role: Himself (host).
  • Stephen Fry in America (2008)
    Role: Himself; episode Mississippi.
  • Saturday Night Live (2010)
    Role: Himself (cameo); episode Bryan Cranston / Kanye West.
  • Madam Secretary (2015)
    Role: Chief Justice Frawley; episode The Show Must Go On.
    Also the episode’s director and one of the series’s executive producers.
Narrator
  • Cosmic Voyage (1996)
    Documentary.
  • The Long Way Home (1997)
    Documentary.
  • The Hunting of the President (2004)
    Documentary.
  • A Remarkable Promise (2004)
    Short film.
  • Slavery and the Making of America (2004)
    Documentary.
  • March of the Penguins (2005)
    Documentary.
  • Prom Night in Mississippi (2009)
    Documentary.
  • Through the Wormhole (2010-2015)
    Host.
  • Curiosity (2011)
    Episode Is There a Parallel Universe?
  • Born to Be Wild (2011)
    Documentary.
  • Breaking the Taboo (2011)
    Documentary.
  • Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (2014)
    Documentary.
  • The Story of God with Morgan Freeman (2016)
    Host.

 

Notable Stage Appearances

  • Hello, Dolly! (St. James Theatre , New York, 1964-1970)
    Role: Rudolph
  • The Niggerlovers (Orpheum Theatre , New York, 1967)
    Role: Creampuff
  • The Dozens (Booth Theatre , New York, 1969)
    Role: Kgaravu
  • Exhibition (Actors’ Playhouse , New York, 1969)
    Role: David
  • Purlie (Broadway Theatre / Winter Garden Theatre / August Wilson Theatre, New York, 1970-1971)
    Role: Purlie
  • The Mighty Gents (Ambassador Theatre , New York, 1978)
    Role: Zeke
  • White Pelicans (Lucille Lortel Theatre , New York, 1978)
    Role: Winston
  • Coriolanus (Joseph Papp Public Theater / Anspacher Theater / Delacorte Theater , New York, 1979)
    Roles: Caius Martius / Coriolanus
  • Julius Caesar (Joseph Papp Public Theater / Anspacher Theater , New York, 1979)
    Role: Casca
  • Mother Courage and Her Children (Joseph Papp Public Theater / Newman Theater , New York, 1980)
    Role: Chaplain
  • Buck (American Place Theatre , New York, 1983)
    Role: Fred Milly
  • Medea and the Doll (Samuel Beckett Theatre , New York, 1984)
    Role: Dr. Winston Crews
  • Driving Miss Daisy (John Houseman Theatre , New York, 1987-1990)
    Role:  Hoke Coleburn
  • The Gospel at Colonus (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre , New York, 1988)
    Role: Messenger
  • The Taming of the Shrew (Delacorte Theater , New York, 1990)
    Role: Petruchio
  • The Country Girl (Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre , New York, 2008)
    Role: Frank Elgin
  • 8 (Eugene O’Neill Theatre , New York, 2011)
    Role: David Boies

 

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