Morgan Freeman. Date unknown.
 
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Morgan Freeman
Forecourt Ceremony held on Wednesday, June 5, 2002
 
Born: June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee
Age at the time of the ceremony: 65
 
Who doesn't like Morgan Freeman? Tall and willowy and blessed with an unmistakable voice, Freeman rose from the obscurity of early 1970s filmmaking to become one of the most recognizable actors in the world. While rarely headlining a picture, his presence as a suppoting player can make a film.

Freeman's mother was a teacher, his father a barber. Times were tough, so young Morgan was sent to live with his paternal grandmother in Greenwood Mississippi. Acting the lead in a school play when he was nine, at 12, he won a statewide dramatic competition. While still in high school, he performend on a Nashville radio show.

Enlisting in the Air Force, Freeman became an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, achieving the rank of Airman 1st Class. After his Air Force stint, Freeman moved to Los Angeles and studied at the Pasadena Playhouse. He studied dancing and performed as a dancer at the 1964 New York World's Fair. He was a member of an opera company in San Francisco, and appeared in a touring production of The Royal Hunt of the Sun.

Freeman did a bit as an extra in The Pawnbroker (released in April 1965) with Rod Steiger, and Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (released in June 1968) with Doris Day. He made his Broadway debut as Rudolph, one of the waiters in Hello, Dolly! starring Pearl Bailey in late 1967.

After appearing in a cheesy Godfather rip-off, Blade (released in December, 1973) with John Marley, Freeman joined the cast of the children's program The Electric Company, aired over PBS for 780 episodes, from October 1971 to April 1977.

Freeman appeared in several of the "Shakespeare in the Park" productions by the New York Shakespeare Festival, two of which were recorded: his Casca in Julius Caesar with Sonny Jim Gaines in the title role (released direct to video in 1979), and his Obie Award-winning turn in the title role of Coriolanus (released direct to video in 1979).

Freeman starred in a television movie depicting the prisoner's revolt at Attica, aired over ABC on March 2, 1980, and returned to prison by co-starring in Brubaker with Robert Redford (released in June 1980). He played a police detective in Eyewitness with Sigourney Weaver (released in February 1981), as well as on two episodes of Texas, aired over NBC in August 1981.

Freeman has done several soap operas, including Ryan's Hope, aired over ABC in September 1981. He got to play an alternate-universe Malcolm X in Death of a Prophet, (released direct to video in October 1981), then played a lawyer in Teachers (released in October 1984) with Nick Nolte.

In April 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Colburn in the original Off-Broadway production of Driving Miss Daisy, opposite Dana Ivey. Freeman finally played a pimp in the complex Street Smart (released in March 1987) with Christopher Reeve, and a drug counselor in Clean and Sober (released in August 1988) with Michael Keaton.

Freeman struck paydirt playing principal Joe Louis Clark in Lean on Me (which played the Chinese in March 1989), and enjoyed a huge hit reprising his role in the film of Driving Miss Daisy (released in December 1989) with Jessica Tandy. He followed this up with a supporting, but important role in the Civil War film Glory (released in December 1989) with Matthew Broderick.

Freeman has lent his distinctive voice to hundrens of specials and documentaries. He began with doing the voice of Frederick Douglass for nine episodes of The Civil War, aired over PBS in September 1990. Freeman then appeared as a iudex ex machina at the finale to The Bonfire of the Vanities (released in December 1990) with Tom Hanks. Freeman took a rare turn as the bad guy in Robin Hood: Prince of Theives (which played the Chinese in June 1991) with Kevin Costner in the title role, then played Clint Eastwood's sidekick in Unforgiven (which played the Chinese in August 1992).

Another signature role for Freeman is as "Red" Redding in The Shawshank Redemption (released in October 1994) with Tim Robbins. Returning to earth, he played an Army general in Outbreak (which played the Chinese in March 1995) with Dustin Hoffman, and played a senior detective in Seven (played the Chinese in September 1995) teaming with Brad Pitt.

Freeman finally got top billing working with director Steven Speilberg in Amistad (released in December 1997) with Anthony Hopkins; he then played the US president in Deep Impact (which played the Chinese in May 1998) with Robert Duvall.

Freeman's Forecourt ceremony came just before the release of The Sum of All Fears (released in May 2002) with Ben Affleck. Freeman was memorably cast as God in Bruce Almighty (released in May 2003) with Jim Carrey. He voiced Frederick Douglass and Thurgood Marshall in Freedom: A History of Us aired over PBS in February 2003.

Freeman again played Clint Eastwood's sidekick (and getting an Oscar for doing so) in Million Dollar Baby (released in December 2004) with Hilary Swank, and played a blind piano player in Unleased (released in May 2005) with Jet Li.

A new chapter seemed to open for Freeman being cast as Bruce Wayne's key scientist / engineer Lucius Fox in Batman Begins (which played the Chinese in June 2005), with Christian Bale. The horroble flameout of Edison (released direct to video in July 2006) with Justin Timberlake, didn't stop Freeman one bit. He played yet another police detective in
Gone Baby Gone (released in October 2007) with Casey Affleck, then switiched gears considerably for the comedy The Bucket List (released in December 2007) with Jack Nicholson.

Freeman returned to the role of Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight (released in July 2008) with Christian Bale, then played Nelson Mandela for director Clint Eastwood in Invictus (released in December 2009) with Matt Damon. Freeman was in the action picture RED (released in October 2010) with Bruce Willis, and played a prosthetic designer in Dolphin Tale (which played the Chinese in September 2011) with Ashley Judd.

Enjoying working with director Christopher Nolan, Freeman signed up for The Dark Knight Rises (released in July 2012) again with Christian Bale, then did the action picture Oblivion (released in April 2013) with Tom Cruise. He got to play an FBI scientist (!) in Transcendence (which played the Chinese in April 2014) with Johnny Depp, and he played the US vice-president this time in London Has Fallen (released in March 2016) with Gerard Butler.

Many people believe that Freeman's turn as Sheik Ilderim is the only saving grace to be found in the remake of Ben-Hur (released in August 2016) with Jack Huston in the title role. He co-starring in the caper comedy Going in Style (released in April 2017) with Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, and has played walk-on bits while being the executive producer of the television show Madam Secretary starring Téa Leoni, airing over CBS, beginning in September 2014. Freeman resorts to wearing an eyepatch for his role as Drosselmeyer in
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (released in November 2018) with Kira Knightley.
 
 
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California.Morgan Freeman Forecourt block. Executed by Unknown, Wednesday, June 5, 2002. 58 x 38 inches.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Morgan Freemen Forecourt ceremony, Wednesday, June 5, 2002. Morgan Freeman gives a grin as his hands are impressed into the cement by two unidentified cement technicians.
 
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