Morgan Freeman

With a wise, genial presence that made him the perfect fit to play presidents and even gods, Morgan Freeman was a true fan favorite. Born in Tennessee in 1937, Freeman moved often throughout his childhood, living in Mississippi and Indiana before eventually settling in Chicago, Illinois. He began performing in school plays at age nine and by 12, he was performing on a Nashville based radio show. After graduating high school, Freeman served for four years in the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged with the rank of Airman 1st Class. He decided to return to his interest in performing at this point, moving to Los Angeles where he could study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. His early breaks included a role in a touring production of "The Royal Sea Hunt" and a handful of appearances as an extra in films like "The Pawnbroker" (1964) and "A Man Called Adam" (1966) before he finally began booking on-screen speaking roles, appearing in the TV movie "Caught in the Middle" (1970) and soon joining the cast of the progressive kids program "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77) in 1971. The actor's credits became steadily more prominent after that series wrapped in 1977, with him appearing with Robert Redford in the prison drama "Brubaker" (1980) and with Nick Nolte in the comedy-drama "Teachers" (1984). Freeman made waves in 1987 when he played a fast talking pimp in the drama "Street Smart" (1987), earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The role put him on Hollywood's radar. In 1989 alone, he played Sergeant Major John Rawlins in the Civil War drama "Glory" (1989), a highly unconventional principal at a disadvantaged school in the drama "Lean on Me" (1989), and a chauffeur who strikes up an unexpected friendship with an elderly woman in "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989), for which he earned his second Academy Award nomination. He followed this banner year with roles in the blockbuster "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991) and the gritty Western "Unforgiven" (1992) before earning a third Oscar nod, this time for his role as the second lead as well as the narrator in the inspiring drama "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994). In 1995, Freeman co-starred with Brad Pitt as a detective investigating a serial killer in the acclaimed crime drama "Se7en" (1995). He went on to play the president of the United States in "Deep Impact" (1998) and God himself in the comedy "Bruce Almighty" (2003), before finally winning an Oscar for his role as a boxing coach in the Clint Eastwood directed drama "Million Dollar Baby" (2004). Freeman continued to appear in several projects per year for the next several years, memorably reprising the role of God in "Evan Almighty" (2007), as well as appearing in "Gone Baby Gone" (2007), "Wanted" (2008), the blockbuster "Dark Knight" (2008) franchise, and the true life soccer drama "Invictus" (2009)-for which he earned yet another Oscar nod. Freeman played the president once again in the action movie "Olympus Has Fallen" (2013) and made an unexpected but memorable appearance as Ilderim in the big-budget remake of "Ben-Hur" (2016). While also appearing in films like "Just Getting Started" (2017) and "The Poison Rose" (2019), Freeman also reprised his role as President Trumbull for the "Olympus Has Fallen" sequels "London Has Fallen" (2016) and "Angel Has Fallen" (2019).