Off The Record
Jack Nicholson Was 37 Years Old When He Found Out The Dark Family Secret
Throughout my life, Jack Nicholson has been one of my favorite actors. The first time I saw “The Shining” left a profound impression on me, and I doubt I’ll ever forget all the sleepless nights that followed.
Nicholson’s performance in it blew my mind; I had never before realized how much of an impact an actor or actress can have on a film.
It’s hard to believe that Nicholson has already reached the ripe old age of 81, but he can now reflect on a remarkable career that took him to the very pinnacle of the film industry.
In films like “The Shining” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” among many others, his unique brows and deep growl of a voice enabled him play a wide range of disturbed characters.
His career has spanned over 50 years, and he has shared the screen with many legendary performers.
Nevertheless, were you aware that his loved ones have kept a terrible secret from him for so long? One that could be found by pure luck alone? So, if you didn’t, you should probably keep reading…
John Joseph Nicholson was born in New York on April 22, 1937. The boy’s grandmother, Ethel Nicholson, was a beauty shop owner in New Jersey, where the boy would spend his formative years.
Jack Nicholson mother
Since Jack Nicholson’s alcoholic father had abandoned the family when he was a child, the young Nicholson raised himself to believe that his grandmother was his real mother.
June, his younger sister, abandoned the dance industry to pursue acting when she was 19 years old. At the youthful age of 17, Jack relocated to Los Angeles with the intention of doing the same thing.
June passed away from cancer in 1963, and Nicholson’s grandmother Ethel passed away seven years later.
Jack didn’t exactly start out with a blank slate, but he worked hard to build the life he desired. He was really serious about pursuing an acting career, and his persistence paid off.
When he was 37 years old, though, a reporter who had covered his story for the film Chinatown called him up.
Everything would shift after receiving that one phone call.
In 1974, the investigative journalist in question learned a family secret that he then shared with Jack: the folks Jack had always assumed were his parents were actually his grandparents.
Additionally, June, his so-called sister, was actually his biological mother.
At first, the claims angered the aspiring Hollywood actress and she refused to believe them. Yet, after a tearful phone call, his other purported sister, Lorraine, revealed the truth about Jack’s family.
“It was pretty dramatic event, but it wasn’t what I’d call traumatizing… I was pretty well psychologically formed,” Jack said of the revelation.
June’s parents opted to raise Jack as their own because she was just 18 when she gave birth to him and she wasn’t married at the time. June’s plan was to pretend to be his older sister.
Nicholson’s biological father has never been identified.
Some say June’s manager was the father, while others say she had no idea who the father was.
Imagine the shock of reaching maturity after being led to believe a massive deception all your life. Ethel and June both went to their graves with the secret.
Jack, however, bears them no bitterness.
“I didn’t have to deal with it with them,” he is reported as having said. “They were dead. I am that kind of person-what do I feel-and had the tools to know what I feel. Gratitude. I’ve often said about them: Show me any women today who could keep a secret, confidence, or an intimacy to that degree, you got my kind of gal.”
Despite the fact that this has been a family secret for decades, Jack has become one of the most famous and successful actors of all time.
The fact that he does not hold his family responsible for the things they concealed from him is indicative of a depth of understanding that is uncommon in the average person, and I believe this to be a distinguishing feature of his personality.
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