Some actors are so incredibly unique that they stand out for their singularity as well as their talent. Jack Nicholson is one of them. His inimitable skill is on full display in classic movies like The Shining (1980), Terms of Endearment (1983), and Chinatown (1984), just to name a few. He has demonstrated that he is brilliant at handling intense dramatic roles along with lighthearted zany ones.
Nicholson has been the recipient of three well-deserved Academy Awards, is a Kennedy Center honoree, and has gotten dozens of other accolades—but hasn’t appeared on-screen since 2010.
His fans want to know where Jack Nicholson is these days and if he is well. Is he puttering around in the garden or on the golf course? Does he plan to return to acting? We have the latest on this popular actor’s doings.
Nicholson’s Last Film Role Was 2010’s ‘How Do You Know?’
With an illustrious career that spans decades, shelves groaning with awards, and nothing left to prove, Nicholson can be understandably choosy about the projects he tackles. In 2013, he shared his criteria for selecting movies to act in with Vanity Fair:
“…I only want to do films that move people, films about emotions and people.” He also said that he does not feel the same urge to “be out there anymore.”
Sometimes, he pops up in the unlikeliest places. A tuxedo-clad Nicholson presented a selection of political humor clips culled from four decades of Saturday Night Live on the show’s 40th anniversary retrospective on February 15, 2015. Nicholson was an ideal choice, thanks to the sardonic wit he is widely known for.
Nicholson also appeared on the HBO program The Fight Game, hosted by Jim Lampley, to discuss Muhammad Ali. Nicholson recalled getting into an elevator at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel with Ali and his friend, Warren Beatty.
Beatty introduced the two men. Talking about the encounter with Lampley, Nicholson was still wide-eyed with delight at making the acquaintance of the legendary boxer.
He had opportunities to make more films but he declined them. One was the sequel to The Shining titled Doctor Sleep (2019). There were a couple of alternatives to casting Nicholson again as Jack Torrance, director Mike Flanagan said.
One was to have a digitally created Jack, which was nixed. Another was to hire a different actor who could be a reasonable Nicholson lookalike, so Flanagan went with Henry Thomas of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial fame.
Why did Nicholson give a thumbs-down to the juicy role? Flanagan told Variety that the star is “very serious about being retired.” Flanagan added that he heard Nicholson turned down a part in Ready Player One (2018) for the same reason he walked away from Doctor Sleep—he was definitely not being cajoled out of retirement.
Nicholson Is An Avid Sports Fan
You may have seen the star sitting in the front row at L.A. Lakers games. He has been a season ticket holder since 1970 and seems to have an unquenchable passion for his favorite team. Occasionally, though, Nicholson’s ardor gets the better of him.
That happened in 2003, when he was watching the Lakers go up against the San Antonio Spurs in a playoff match. When Shaquille O’Neal got his third foul, Nicholson became so enraged that he shouted at the referee. BBC News reported that officials said he would have been ejected from the spectator area if he had ventured onto the court.
In sassy Nicholson style, he reportedly said, “I pay a lot of money for this seat. This is the NBA, you can’ t tell me to sit down.”
The outcome of the Lakers’ games is so important to Nicholson that the producers of Ironweed (1987), a film he was in, were obliged to work around their games when filming was scheduled per a stipulation in Nicholson’s contract.
He was apparently deeply affected by the shocking death of Kobe Bryant, Bryant’s teenage daughter, and seven other passengers in a tragic helicopter crash in California on January 26, 2020.
Nicholson told CBS Los Angeles in a phone interview, “My reaction is the same as almost all of L.A. Suddenly, where everything was solid, there’s a big hole in the wall. I was so used to seeing and talking to Kobe that——it kills you. It’s just a terrible event.”
We hear Nicholson’s a big New York Yankees fan, too.
Nicholson Has An Enviable Art Collection
When he isn’t following the Lakers or making rare guest appearances, Nicholson is busy scooping up art of the highest caliber. He favors contemporary and 20th-century works.
The artists represented in Nicholson’s sublime collection include Magritte, Andy Warhol, Rodin, Henri Matisse, Picasso, and Tamara de Lempicka.
In 2015, CNBC placed Nicholson fifth on their list of Hollywood’s 10 leading art collectors along with heavy hitters like Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.
“I think Jack Nicholson has one of the best collections out here,” artist Ed Ruscha told Vanity Fair in 1995. It’s valued at a cool $150 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
He’s Likely Spending More Time With His Children
Nicholson’s image is more of a swinging single than a devoted dad, but he has six children with five different women.
Looking back at his life in an interview with The Sun in 2012, Nicholson said, “I…wish I had known how much joy that having children can bring. I didn’t see enough of my eldest daughter Jennifer because I was trying to make a career. I have a daughter Lorraine and son Raymond, with whom I was able to spend much more time.”
He savors giving his younger children fatherly advice—“I say: ‘Do not lie, do not steal and do not be afraid’”—and doing things like attending plays his daughter is acting in.
In 2021, People reported that Nicholson was spotted at a Lakers game on October 19, 2021. It was the first time he had been courtside to see them in nearly two years. With him was his son, Raymond.
Nicholson seems to have everything: a spectacular career to reflect upon, children, fans galore, wealth, and leisure pursuits. But there is something missing: a special lady to share it all with. When he talked about it in 2015, he sounded melancholy.
“I would love that one last romance,” Nicholson said, according to Closer Weekly. “But I’m not very realistic about it happening. What I can’t deny is my yearning.”
The Status Of His Health Is Unclear
There has been talk that Nicholson has dementia or memory loss, but other than some comments that have surfaced in the media, those rumors can’t be confirmed.
Jack Nicholson has plenty to occupy his time now that he has stepped back from acting, perhaps permanently. His admirers hope that one irresistible role will be presented to him that he just can’t turn down. Until then, however, we will have to be content with watching his many wonderful films and waiting for him to make a surprise public appearance.