Born: June 1, 1937
Place of Birth: Memphis, TN
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Career and Life
Morgan Freeman is an actor, film director, and film narrator.
Morgan Freeman was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the son of Mayme Edna (née Revere; 1912–2000), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman (July 6, 1915 – April 27, 1961), a barber, who died of cirrhosis in 1961. He has three older siblings. According to a DNA analysis, some of his ancestors were from Niger. In 2008, a DNA test suggested that among all of his African ancestors, a little over one-quarter came from the area that stretches from present-day Senegal to Liberia and three-quarters came from the Congo-Angola region. Freeman was sent as an infant to his paternal grandmother in Charleston, Mississippi. He moved frequently during his childhood, living in Greenwood, Mississippi; Gary, Indiana; and finally Chicago, Illinois. When Freeman was 16 years old, he almost died of pneumonia.
Freeman made his acting debut at age nine, playing the lead role in a school play. He then attended Broad Street High School, a building which serves today as Threadgill Elementary School, in Greenwood, Mississippi. At age 12, he won a statewide drama competition, and while still at Broad Street High School, he performed in a radio show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1955, he graduated from Broad Street, but turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, opting instead to enlist in the United States Air Force and served as an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, rising to the rank of Airman 1st Class.
After four years in the military, he moved to Los Angeles, California, took acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse and dancing lessons in San Francisco in the early 1960s, and worked as a transcript clerk at Los Angeles City College.
From his early life, Freeman has two extramarital children; one of them is Alfonso Freeman.
Freeman was married to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from October 22, 1967, until November 18, 1979.
Freeman married Myrna Colley-Lee on June 16, 1984. The couple separated in December 2007 and divorced on September 15, 2010. Freeman and Colley-Lee adopted Freeman's stepgranddaughter from his first marriage, E'dena Hines, and raised her together. On August 16, 2015, Hines was murdered in New York City at age 33.
In 2008, the TV series African American Lives 2 revealed that some of Freeman's great-great-grandparents were slaves who migrated from North Carolina to Mississippi. Freeman discovered that his Caucasian maternal great-great-grandfather had lived with, and was buried beside, Freeman's African-American great-great-grandmother (in the segregated South, the two could not marry legally at the time). A DNA test on the series stated that he is descended in part from the Songhai and Tuareg peoples of Niger.
After becoming concerned with the decline of honeybees, Freeman decided to turn his 124-acre ranch into a sanctuary for them in July 2014, starting with 26 bee hives.
At age 65, Freeman earned a private pilot's license. He owns or has owned at least three private aircraft, including a Cessna Citation 501 jet and a Cessna 414 twin-engine prop. In 2007, he purchased an Emivest SJ30 long-range private jet and took delivery in December 2009. He is certified to fly all of them.
Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and Invictus (2009). He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Glory (1989), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Seven (1995), Deep Impact (1998), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Bruce Almighty (2003), The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), Wanted (2008), RED (2010), Now You See Me (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), and Lucy (2014). He rose to fame as part of the cast of the 1970s children's program The Electric Company. Noted for his deep voice, Freeman has served as a narrator, commentator, and voice actor for numerous programs, series and television shows. He is ranked as the fifth-highest box office star with $4.31 billion in total box office grosses, an average of $74.4 million per film.