Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday with Morgan Freeman

I'm thrilled to pay tribute to one of my all time favorite actors, Morgan Freeman. In his prolific career he has taken on the roles of police detective, pimp, car mechanic, prisoner, cowboy, boxing coach, rancher, soldier, Frederick Douglas, Nelson Mandela, the President of the United States and even God Himself.

A little background: Morgan Freeman was born  June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee.(For all you astrology buffs out there, that makes him a Gemini born in the Chinese Year of the Ox). After graduating from high school in 1955, he enlisted in the U.S.Air Force. He then moved to Los Angeles to study acting. And the rest is history.

Here's peak at some of his most memorable characters. I love this guy!

Fast Black in Street Smart (1987) with Christopher Reeve and directed by Jerry Schatzberg. A news reporter lies when his fake story about a pimp describes a real pimp up for murder. Freeman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

FAST BLACK: My mama always called me Leo.

Hoke Colburn in Driving Miss Daisy (1989) with Jessica Tandy and directed by Bruce Beresford. Tells the story of the close friendship between a Jewish lady and her chauffeur. Freeman was once again nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

HOKE: I'm gonna hold on no matter how she run me. You see, I used to rassle hogs down yonder in Macon, and, let me tell you, ain't no hog got away from me yet!

Sergeant Major John Rawlins in Glory (1989) with Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington and directed by Edward Zwick. The story of the first all-black volunteer force in the Civil War.

RAWLINS: And all this time I keep askin' myself, when, O Lord, when it's gonna be our time? Gonna come a time when we all gonna hafta ante up. Ante up and kick in like men. LIKE MEN! You watch who you call a nigger! If there's any niggers around here, it's YOU. Just a smart-mouthed, stupid-ass, swamp-runnin' nigger! And if you not careful, that's all you ever gonna be!

Ned Logan in Unforgiven (1992) with Clint Eastwood and directed by Clint Eastwood. A gunslinger takes one last job with his partner.

NED: All right, so what did these fellas do? Cheat at cards? Steal some strays? Spit on a rich fella?

Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) with Tim Robbins and directed by Frank Darabont. Two men in prison form a close, lifelong friendship. Freeman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

RED: There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left.

William Somerset in Seven (1995) with Brad Pitt and directed by David Fincher. Two detectives hunt down a serial killer.

SOMERSET: This isn't going to have a happy ending.

Theodore Joadson in Amistad (1997) with Djimon Hounsou and Anthony Hopkins and directed by Steven Spielberg. A court room drama about a mutiny aboard a slave ship in 1839.

JOADSON: There remains one task undone. One vital task the Founding Father's left to their sons before their thirteen colonies could precisely be called United States. And that task, Sir, as you well know, is crushing slavery.

Alex Cross in  Kiss the Girls (1997) with Ashley Judd and directed by Gary Fleder. In the search for a serial killer, investigators get help from a victim who escaped.

ALEX: I don't work like you. I don't hate.

God in Bruce Almighty (2003) with Jim Carrey and directed by Tom Shadyac. God takes a vacation and puts Bruce in charge. Freeman also played God in Evan Almighty (2007) with Steve Carell, a modern Noah's Ark story.

GOD: Parting your soup is not a miracle Bruce, it's a magic trick. A single mom who's working two jobs, and still finds time to take her son to soccer practice, that's a miracle. A teenager who says "no" to drugs and "yes" to an education, that's a miracle. People want me to do everything for them. What they don't realize is *they* have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.

Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris in Million Dollar Baby (2004) with Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank and directed by Clint Eastwood. A woman trains to be a professional boxer. Freeman received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

EDDIE: Dues? The boy can't afford pants, you want him to pay dues?

Mitch Bradley in An Unfinished Life (2005) with Robert Redford and directed by Lasse Hollstrum. A Wyoming rancher welcomes his estranged daughter-in-law back into his life.

MITCH: I know people everywhere that thought they got dealt a bad hand.

Lucius Fox in Batman Begins (2005) with Christian Bale and directed by Christopher Nolan. Freeman reprised the role of Batman's gadget engineer in The Dark Knight (2008) and in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

LUCIUS: Spying on 30 million people isn't part of my job description.

Him in 10 Items or Less (2006) with Paz Vega directed by Brad Silberling. An actor prepping for an upcoming role meets a quirky grocery clerk  and the pair hit the road to show one another their respective worlds.

HIM: Am I bothering you standing here?

Carter Chambers in The Bucket List (2007) with Jack Nicholson and directed by Rob Reiner. Two men who are terminally ill travel the world to do all the things they've dreamed of before they die.

CARTER: Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others?

Nelson Mandela in Invictus (2009) with Matt Damon and directed by Clint Eastwood. The film was inspired by the true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country. Freeman was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

MANDELA: My family is very large. 42 million.


  1. I adore Morgan Freeman. You know going in, if he's in the movie it's going to be worth your time. Invictus and Shawshank Redemption are my two faves of his. I even liked him in Robin Hood with Kevin Costner.

  2. Hi, Leslie: I haven't seen all his films, but they are on my bucket list. You are so right. His movies are totally worth it!

  3. I spent my formative years watching him on The Electric Company on PBS - then was surprised when he not only went on to movie success 15 or so years later - but became one of the most highly regarded actors of his generation. He's really terrific onscreen in everything I've seen him in. My brother briefly met him at his music club down in the South - and reports that Mr. Freeman is as nice a guy as he is a good actor!

  4. Craig: Yes, I remember reading about his experience on Electric Company. Who would have thought what the future would hold for him! How cool for your brother to meet him. I am not surprised that he is great guy in person. I think you can tell a lot about an actor by the roles they choose to play. (Are you listening, Adam Sandler?)

  5. I love your site, and Morgan Freeman is definitely one of my all time favorite actors. Thanks for the info.

    Patricia, Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice