One of the remarkable aspects of GENE HACKMAN's (Jack Ames) emergence as one of the major actors of his generation, is that there is no such thing as a Gene Hackman role
One of the remarkable aspects of GENE HACKMAN's (Jack Ames)
emergence as one of the major actors of his generation, is that
there is no such thing as a Gene Hackman role. He won the Best
Supporting Actor Oscar® for his portrayal of the vicious sheriff
in "Unforgiven." He previously received an Oscar®
for Best Actor for "The French Connection," a Best Actor
nomination for "Mississippi Burning" and Best Supporting
Actor nominations for "I Never Sang For My Father" and
"Bonnie and Clyde."
Recent roles have seen Hackman playing a right-wing conservative
senator in "The Birdcage," with Robin Williams and Nathan
Lane, a manipulative movie producer in "Get Shorty,"
with John Travolta, and a charismatic by-the-books military commander
in "Crimson Tide" with Denzel Washington. Other films
include "The Quick and the Dead," "Extreme Measures,"
"The Chamber" and "Absolute Power" with Clint
Hackman's teaming with Tom Cruise as a smooth-as-silk corporate
lawyer in "The Firm," his follow-up to Clint Eastwood's
"Unforgiven," gave him two back-to-back $100 million
winners at the U.S. box-office.
Gene Hackman has been celebrated as an actor who literally seems
to disappear into the characters he plays. "Unforgiven,"
directed by and co-starring Clint Eastwood, gave us a conscienceless
brute who saw himself as civilized. As a direct contrast to the
kind of law Hackman practices in "The Firm," is the
compassionate attorney he played in "Class Action."
His versatility is further evidenced in his critically acclaimed
return to his New York stage roots, in Mike Nichol's "Death
and the Maiden," with Glen Close and Richard Dreyfuss.
Two projects, "Geronimo" with Robert Duvall and "Wyatt
Earp" with Kevin Costner, are both westerns reflecting the
resurgence of the form kicked off by the success of "Unforgiven,"
casting him in historical roles in each case.
The driven, almost monomaniacal energy of his Oscar® winning
portrayal of Popeye Doyle in "The French Connection,"
bears no relationship to the laconic, good old boy FBI agent he
created in "Mississippi Burning" for which he earned
his most recent Best Actor nomination. It has been noted frequently
that he literally seems to disappear into the characters he plays
in (repetition of earlier sentence) such film as "Hoosiers,"
Another Woman," "The Package," Mike Nichol's "Postcards
from the Edge" (with Meryl Streep) and in Peter Hyam's "The
Even a brief list of Hackman's films recall the dazzling virtuosity
and variety of his choices and achievements, "Bonnie and
Clyde," "Scarecrow," "The Conversation,"
"Under Fire," "All Night Long," "Reds,"
"Twice in a Lifetime," "No Way Out." The common
denominators are talent and his daring.
Diversity has always been a Hackman hallmark, a fact established
early in the career by the contrast between two Oscar® nominated
performances: Melvin Douglas' tortured son in "I Never Sang
For My Father" and the brutal Popeye Doyle in "The French
Connection," shortly followed by two of his most respected
and most dangerously off-beat portrayals: the raucous and trigger-tempered
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