Gene Hackman Biography

Gene Hackman or Eugene Allen Hackman is a retired American actor and novelist. This biography provides detailed information about his childhood, life, career, achievements and timeline.

Gene Hackman
Quick Facts

Birthday: January 30, 1930

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Gene Hackman College Dropouts

Age: 89 Years, 89 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Also Known As: Gene, Eugene Allen Hackman

Born in: San Bernardino, California, U.S

Famous as: Actor and Author

Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Betsy Arakawa (m. 1991) Fay Maltese

father: Eugene Ezra Hackman

mother: Lyda (née Gray)

siblings: Richard

U.S. State: California

Continue Reading Below

In his long career of over 50 years, American actor Eugene Allen “Gene” Hackman has been nominated for 5 academy awards. He first came to fame in 1967 as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde. He has won three Golden Globes and two BAFTAs. He started bagging film roles with his debut in “Lilith”. His supporting role in “I Never Sang for My Father” won him an Academy Award nomination for the Best Supporting Actor. He appeared in “A Bridge Too Far” as Polish General Stanislaw Sosabowski, as the criminal mastermind Lex Luthor in “Superman: The Movie”, and its sequels, and as the head of an eccentric family in “The Royal Tenenbaums”. He earned a Best Actor nomination for “Mississippi Burning”. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in “The French Connection”. He played the sadistic sheriff “Little” Bill Daggett in the western “Unforgiven” which earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field”.

Recommended Lists:

Recommended Lists:

Continue Reading Below
Gene Hackman
Childhood & Early Life
  • Eugene Allen Hackman, or Gene Hackman as he is known, was born to Lyda Gray Hackman and Eugene Ezra Hackman on January 30, 1930 at San Bernardino, California. He has a brother, Richard.
  • His family moved frequently and finally settled in Danville, Illinois, where they lived in his English-born maternal grandmother Beatrice’s house. Hackman’s father operated the printing press for a local paper - the Commercial News.
  • Hackman’s parents divorced in 1943, and his father subsequently left the family. Gene lived briefly in Storm Lake, Iowa, and studied at the Storm Lake High School.
  • When he was sixteen-years-old, he left home to join the United States Marine Corps. He served for four-and-a-half years as a field radio operator. After his discharge, he moved to New York, and took several minor jobs.
    Continue Reading Below
Top
Career and Later Life
  • Hackman began pursuing an acting career in 1956. He joined the Pasadena Playhouse in California where he forged a friendship with aspiring actor, Dustin Hoffman. They were later voted “The Least Likely To Succeed”.
  • He moved to New York City, and began performing in Off-Broadway plays. In 1964, he bagged a role in “Any Wednesday” with actress Sandy Dennis. Film roles followed, and he debuted in “Lilith”.
  • In 1967, Hackman appeared in the television series “The Invaders” in an episode called “The Spores”. He appeared in an episode of “I Spy” as “Hunter”, in the episode “Happy Birthday...Everybody”.
  • In 1969, he played a ski coach in “Downhill Racer” and an astronaut in “Marooned”. He played the role of a member of a barnstorming skydiving team, The Gypsy Moths.
  • In 1970, his supporting role in “I Never Sang for My Father” won an Academy Award nomination for the Best Supporting Actor. He began receiving leading roles, like in the movie “The Poseidon Adventure”.
  • He appeared in the war film “A Bridge Too Far” in 1977 as Polish General Stanislaw Sosabowski. He then played the role of criminal mastermind Lex Luthor in “Superman: The Movie”, and its sequels.
  • He earned a Best Actor nomination for “Mississippi Burning”. He played the role of Secretary of Defense trying to cover up a homicide in 1987’s “No Way Out” opposite Kevin Costner.
    Continue Reading Below
  • In the 1980s, Hackman appeared in movies such as “Reds”, “Under Fire”, “Hoosiers”, and “Uncommon Valor”. “Hoosiers” was voted the fourth-greatest film of all time in the sports genre by an American Film Institute poll.
  • In 1990, the actor underwent an angioplasty, which kept him out from work for a while.
  • In 1993, he appeared in “Geronimo: An American Legend” as Brigadier General George Crook. He co-starred with Tom Cruise as a corrupt lawyer in “The Firm”.
  • In 1995, Hackman played an inept Hollywood producer in “Get Shorty”, the villainous John Herrod in “The Quick and the Dead” and submarine Captain Frank Ramsey in the film “Crimson Tide”.
  • He appeared in the John Grisham story “The Chamber” in 1996, playing a convict on death row. He then played the comic role of ultra-conservative Senator Kevin Keeley in “The Birdcage”.
  • He re-teamed with director-star Clint Eastwood in “Absolute Power” to play the President of the United States. He co-starred with Will Smith in “Enemy of the State”.
  • Hackman starred as an aging professional thief in David Mamet’s crime film “Heist” who is forced into one final job, and in the comedy “Heartbreakers” alongside Sigourney Weaver, Ray Liotta and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
    Continue Reading Below
  • He played the head of an eccentric family in “The Royal Tenenbaums”. He acted in the Grisham legal drama, “Runaway Jury”, where he got a chance to act with longtime friend Dustin Hoffman.
  • Hackman’s final film to date was “Welcome to Mooseport” in 2004, a comedy with Ray Romano, in which Hackman portrayed a former President of the United States.
Top
Major Works
  • Hackman appeared in the supporting role of Buck Barrow in the movie “Bonnie and Clyde” in 1967. It earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
  • In 1974, he won the lead role in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation”, which was nominated for several Oscars. He also appeared in the comic role of the blind hermit in “Young Frankenstein”.
  • In 1975, he appeared in the Western horse-race saga “Bite the Bullet”, and in “French Connection II”. He also appeared in the highly acclaimed film “Night Moves”, receiving a BAFTA nomination for lead actor.
Top
Awards & Achievements
  • In 1972, Gene Hackman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as New York City Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in “The French Connection”.
    Continue Reading Below
  • In 1992, he played the sadistic sheriff “Little” Bill Daggett in the western “Unforgiven” directed by Clint Eastwood and written by David Webb Peoples. It earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
  • Gene Hackman was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field” at the Golden Globes in 2003.
Top
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Hackman married Faye Maltese in 1956. They had three children - Christopher Allen, Elizabeth Jean and Leslie Anne. The couple divorced in 1986 after three decades of marriage.
  • In 1991, he married Betsy Arakawa. They live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Betsy is co-owner of an upscale retail home furnishings store in Santa Fe called Pandora’s, Inc.
Top
Trivia
  • This actor is known to have turned down lead roles in reputed movies such as “Jaws”, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.
Top

1. The French Connection (1971)

  (Thriller, Crime, Action, Drama)

2. Unforgiven (1992)

  (Drama, Western)


3. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

  (Drama, Crime, Action, Biography)

4. The Conversation (1974)

  (Drama, Mystery, Thriller)



5. Young Frankenstein (1974)

  (Comedy)

6. Mississippi Burning (1988)

  (Crime, Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller)




7. A Bridge Too Far (1977)

  (War, History, Drama)

8. Hoosiers (1986)

  (Sport, Drama)





Awards

Academy Awards(Oscars)
1993 Best Actor in a Supporting Role Unforgiven (1992)
1972 Best Actor in a Leading Role The French Connection (1971)
Golden Globe Awards
2002 Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
1993 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Unforgiven (1992)
1972 Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama The French Connection (1971)
BAFTA Awards
1993 Best Actor in a Supporting Role Unforgiven (1992)
1973 Best Actor The French Connection (1971)
1973 Best Actor The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

See the events in life of Gene Hackman in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Gene Hackman Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/gene-hackman-3807.php
Last Updated
- September 20, 2017

People Also Viewed

Dwayne Johnson
(American)
 
Jason Momoa
(American)
 
Sylvester Stallone
(American)
 
Clint Eastwood
(American)
 

Brad Pitt
(American)
 
Leonardo DiCaprio
(American)
 
Tom Cruise
(American)
 
Chris Pratt
(American)