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GENE HACKMAN (Rankin Fitch) has received two Academy Awards: Best Actor for "The French Connection" and Best Supporting Actor for "Unforgiven." He also received Oscar nominations for "Bonnie and Clyde," "I Never Sang For My Father" and "Mississippi Burning." His list of honors also includes two British Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, two National Organization of Theatre Owners Awards, the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award, and a comprehensive collection of awards from leading critics' groups. He has received retrospective tributes from the British Film Institute, the San Francisco Film Festival and the American Film Institute. Most recently, he received the Cecile B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the 2003 Golden Globes ceremony.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Hackman's emergence as one of the major actors of his generation is that there is no such thing as a Gene Hackman role. Hackman's most recent roles include the scheming patriarch of a dysfunctional family in "The Royal Tenenbaums," for which he won his third Golden Globe Award, a hardnosed naval commander whose methods buck the system in "Behind Enemy Lines" and a life-long conman pulling off his final con in David Mamet's "The Heist." Other recent film roles cast him as a sexually tormented businessman in "Under Suspicion," a man dragged in over his head when drafted as a pro football coach during a strike in "The Replacements" and a reprobate magnate targeted by two beautiful women in "Heartbreakers."

Hackman's recent feature credits also include starring roles in "Enemy of the State," opposite Will Smith, Robert Benton's "Twilight," with Paul Newman and Susan Sarandon, "Extreme Measures," "The Birdcage," also starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane, and Clint Eastwood's "Absolute Power," in which Eastwood also starred.

Hackman earned his second Oscar for his role as the vicious sheriff in "Unforgiven," the Academy Award-winning western directed by and also starring Eastwood and Morgan Freeman. He also starred in another western "The Quick and the Dead," opposite Sharon Stone, "The Crimson Tide," opposite Denzel Washington, and "Get Shorty," with John Travolta and Danny DeVito.

Previously Hackman has starred in two other films based on John Grisham's novels, "The Firm" and "The Chamber."

Hackman began his career in the theatre and made his screen debut in the 1964 film, "Lilith," which starred Warren Beatty. Since then Hackman has appeared in more than 70 films, ranging from comedies to action films to westerns to dramas. These include Francis Ford Coppola's critically acclaimed "The Conversation," the boxoffice hit "The Poseidon Adventure," Warren Beatty's Academy award-winning "Reds," "Scarecrow," "Hoosiers," "Another Woman," "Under Fire," "All Night Long," "Twice in a Lifetime," "Night Moves," directed by Arthur Penn, and three of the "Superman" films in which he appeared as Lex Luthor.

Hackman was born in Riverside, California, and reared in Danville, Illinois, where his father was a newspaper printer. He jointed the Marines at 16 and became a radio operator. After his discharge from the service, Hackman moved from radio to television and worked at va

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