Jack Nicholson is one of the wealthiest and most-award-nominated actors in American history. With a net worth of $400 million, Nicholson has appeared in sixty-four films and been nominated for twelve Academy Awards. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice, for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and for As Good as It Gets, and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Terms of Endearment. He is tied with Walter Brennan for the most performance wins by a male actor (three), and second to Katharine Hepburn for most acting wins overall (four). He is also one of only two actors—the other being Michael Caine—nominated for an Academy Award for acting, either lead or supporting, in every decade since the 1960s.
Raised in New Jersey by his grandparents, whom he believed to be his parents until after they had died, Nicholson came to Hollywood and first worked as for William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in the MGM cartoon studio. He first appeared onscreen in Roger Corman’s 1958 teen thriller The Cry Baby Killer, and Nicholson collaborated often with Corman early in his career. Nicholson also worked behind the camera, writing and directing, until his first big break: Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider. Nicholson has been a prolific performer ever since, appearing most notably in Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Shining, Reds, Terms of Endearment, Batman, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets, About Schmidt, Something’s Gotta Give, and The Departed.
Jack Nicholson also set a record for his role as the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989. He used his star power to negotiate a lucrative deal for a percentage of the movie’s gross earnings, which earned him $60 million cumulatively.