Five Easy Decades: How Jack Nicholson Became the Biggest Movie Star in Modern Times

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John Wiley & Sons, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 484 pages
3 Reviews

Five Easy Decades

Unconventional, uninhibited, and unrestrained, Jack Nicholson is both a famous and infamous pop-culture icon known for his romantic escapades, his hair-trigger temper, and his love affair with the L.A. Lakers. Now, this candid, probing biography gives you a spellbinding, incisive look at the megawatt Method actor with the enigmatic Cheshire cat grin.

Jack rose to fame with portrayals of antiheros ranging from the demented, demonic, and despicable to characters who were somehow lovable in spite of their eccentricities. He has won three Oscars and seven Golden Globes, but beyond the accolades and his trademark shades is a man who remains largely unknowable. His bad-boy image masks a complicated past, a complex present, half adozen children, an art collection, and real estate and business empires that have made him one of the world's wealthiest entertainers.

Author Dennis McDougal, a veteran journalist with access to Hollywood's heavy hitters, has scoured public records extending back to the 1930s, spent hundreds of hours in film and public libraries, and interviewed scores of friends, associates, and family who Jack either didn't know or forgot long ago, to create a brutally honest account of Jack's life that unflinchingly recounts the good, the bad, and the just plain unfathomable.

In many ways, Jack's story mirrors that of Hollywood. For fifty years—from J. J. Gittes to the Joker; Easy Rider to Five Easy Pieces; The Shining, Terms of Endearment, and A Few Good Men to As Good as It Gets and The Departed—his life and career reflect the shifting fortunes of an industry that set the cultural pace for America, and then the world. Find out how it all happened, year by year, film by film, through triumph and trauma, in Five Easy Decades.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - valerieweak - LibraryThing

Because of this book, I found a few movies to see that I didn't know about (The Last Detail), learned a bit about the changes to the film industry between the 1950's and the present day, and got some surprising details about Marlon Brando, Nicholson's next door neighbor for a few decades. Read full review

Five easy decades: how Jack Nicholson became the biggest movie star in modern times

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Taking on not just a legendary subject, but a legendarily private subject-refusing biographers and TV personalities, Nicholson prefers "the occasional magazine Q&A or quickie newspaper interview ... Read full review

Contents

Easy Riding 19691975
87
Wanted Man 19761984
197
BookV Things Have Changed 19932005
327
Epilogue
397
Notes
411
Bibliography
447
Photo Credits
469
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

\Dennis McDougal writes about Hollywood for the New York Times. A former Los Angeles Times staff writer, he won more than forty awards for his hard-nosed coverage of the entertainment industry. He is the bestselling author of The Last Mogul: Lew Wasserman, MCA and the Hidden History of Hollywood and Privileged Son: Otis Chandler and the Rise and Fall of the L.A. Times Dynasty.

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