The winner of three Golden Globes, two Academy Awards and the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Gene Hackman along with Dustin Hoffman were voted "Least Likely to Succeed" by their classmates at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.
Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman was born on January 30, 1930 in San Bernardino, California, the son of Lyda Gray and Eugene Ezra Hackman.
At age 16, Gene Hackman left home to join the U.S. Marine Corps (lying about his age), where he served four-and-a-half years as a field radio operator. After the Marines, he moved to New York, working in several minor jobs before studying journalism and television production on the G.I. Bill at the University of Illinois.
Gene Hackman began his acting career performing in several off Broadway plays.
In 1963 he made his Broadway debut in 1963 in Children From Their Games. Roles followed in A Rainy Day in Newark, Any Wednesday, Poor Richard, and The Natural Look. Gene Hackman returned to Broadway in 1992 to star in Death and the Maiden.
In 1961, Gene made his film debut in an uncredited role in Mad Dog Coll. Gene's first credited role was as Norman in Lilith (1964).
Gene Hackman's big break came in 1967 when he was cast to play Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
In 1970, Gene Hackman would receive his second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Gene Garrison for I Never Sang for My Father.
Gene Hackman would win the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his role as Detective Popeye Doyle in The French Connection (1971).
During the 1970s and 1980s, Gene Hackman appeared in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Conversation (1974), The French Connection II (1974), Young Frankenstein (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Reds (1981), Under Fire (1983) and Hoosiers (1986).
He also played Lex Luthor in Superman I, Superman II and Superman IV.
In 1988, he would receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for the role of Agent Rupert Anderson in Mississippi Burning.
During the 1990s, Gene Hackman appeared in Loose Cannons (1990), Postcards From the Edge (1990), The Firm (1993), Crimson Tide (1995), Get Shorty (1995), The Birdcage (1996),
In 1992, he would win his second Academy Award, this time for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven.
During the 2000s, he appeared in The Replacements (2000), The Royal Tenebaums (2001) and Runaway Jury (2003). His final film was Welcome to Mooseport (2004).
Gene Hackman is now retired and lives in New Mexico. He devotes his time to writing.
Together with undersea archaeologist Daniel Lenihan, Hackman has written three novels: Wake of the Perdido Star (1999), Justice for None (2004), and Escape from Andersonville (2008).
A little trivia about Gene Hackman: he was the first choice to play Mike Brady on "The Brady Bunch" (1969).
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