Happy Birthday, Morgan Freeman – beloved actor turns 86 today!

Today marks the 86th birthday of Morgan Freeman!

Known for his countless iconic roles and instantly recognizable voice, Freeman has become one of the most loved and respected actors in all of Hollywood.

The son of a teacher and a barber, Freeman’s love for the arts first arose when he was cast as the lead role in a school play at the age of nine. Per his autobiography, Freeman would go on to win a Mississippi drama competition at the age of 12. However, after high school, Freeman opted to turn down a partial drama scholarship to Jackson State University to instead serve in the US Air Force.

After four years in the service, Freeman would move to LA in 1959 and once again pursue his love for acting, taking up classes at the Pasadena Playhouse.

After some minor roles, Freeman would eventually get his big break as a recurring cast member on PBS’ The Electric Company. However, despite the steady income and TV time, Freeman was said to be unhappy and tired with his role on the show… fortunately, big things were just around the corner.

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Freeman with the cast of The Electric Company. Credit: Bettmann / Contributor/Getty

Following small roles on shows like Another World and in TV movies like Attica, Freeman would eventually gain critical acclaim and international recognition for his role as the dangerous street hustler Leo Smalls Jr. in 1987’s Street Smart. The movie was a financial flop, but has the honor of earning the legendary actor his very first Oscars nomination Best Supporting Actor.

From then on, Freeman has become a household name across the world and one of the most sought-after stars in Hollywood.

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Morgan Freeman as Red in the critically acclaimed Shawshank Redemption. Credit: Archive Photos / Stringer/Alamy

His filmography stands as one of the greatest acting résumé in the last 100 years, with Freeman shining in movies like Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Bruce Almighty (2003), The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), and Invictus (2009).

And in 2004, Freeman finally won his Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role in Million Dollar Baby. He is also the recipient of a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and multiple NAACP Image Awards.

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Morgan Freeman and Margot Robbie at 2023 Academy Awards. Credit: Rich Polk / Contributor/Getty

And despite turning 86, Freeman is just as active on the big screen as he ever was!

He has recently appeared in the heartwarming (and heartbreaking) 2023 movie A Good Person (written and directed by Zach Braff), as well as George Gallo’s action-thriller, The Ritual Killer.

Happy birthday, Morgan Freeman! And thank you for all the memories!

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