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

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

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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

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Durango –Mexico’s Own Original ‘Wild, Wild West’!
“The Land of Cinema” and the Legendary ‘Duke’by Durango Mexico in Italia Fancia
Durango Mexico is not only a state but city. Of the 31 Mexican
States, geographically speaking, it is one of the largest. It is also, a colonial city and known for it’s abundance of scorpions and a-list hollywood actors that have visited to film major motion pictures.
Lights … camera … action! Are the orders that for more than fifty years (1954-2004) have been constantly repeated in Durango, a.k.a. ‘the Land of Cinema’, for in the City and its surroundings had been filmed dozens of movies, some of which were enacted by renowned actors from Hollywood, as Clark Gable, Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Dylan, Diane Lane, Jack Nicholson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Leguizamo, Marlon Brando, Brad Pitt, Salma Hayek, Dany Devito, John Belushi, Michel Douglas, Kevin Costner, Anthony Quinn, Paul Newman, John Wayne, Harrison Ford, Christopher Reeve, Ringo Starr, Russell Crowe, Robert Power, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Omar Shariff, Julia Roberts, Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, Leonardo di Caprio, Alec Guiness, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and directors like George lucas, Steven Spielberg, Francis Coppola, Sergio Leone, James Cameron, John Ford, Sam Peckinpah, Dino de Laurentis, John Huston, Alfonso Arau, Robert Rodriguez, Alfonso Cuaron just to mention a few of them. Unfortunately, John Candy died there filming his last Hollywood movie, “Wagon Wheels”.
At the same time extremely important and Oscar winning movies like Ben Hur, The Magnificent Seven, Dr. Doctor Zhivago, Star Wars, Superman, Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean, Conan, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Resident Evil, Jesus of Nazareth, The Wild Bunch, Once Upun a Time in the West, The Caveman, Indiana Jones, Thor, Pearl Harbor, Nacho Libre, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Close Encounters of the third Kind, Predator, The Mask of Zorro, Master and Commander, True Grit, Troy, Braveheart, and Mexican movies like Una Aventura en Durango, Patrulla 81, Like Water for Chocolate, Y tu Mama Tambien, Bestia Nocturna, El Juez de la Soga y Uno para la Horca.
The success of Durango in the celluloid is sustained by the beauty of its natural landscapes, its nearly always clear skies, its brightened environments and of course, the colonial features of its Historical Centre. These issues became evident for the first time in the scenes of the movie “La Vida de Villa” (1912), which recounted the revolutionary struggles of Francisco “Pancho” Villa. For Ben Hur, the area of Santiago Papasquiaro in Durango was where the recreation of most of the old Roman empire took place, and for Dr Zhivago, the Sierra Madre and its snowed vistas were Russia. The desserts around the state were the other worldly locations for Star Wars.
The exquisite colonial architecture of Durango, Capital of the State of the same name, is complemented by a splendid natural background, which stores some fantastic places to visit, as the mysterious zone El Silencio, a salt desert loaded with energy, which causes the compasses to go wild, the clocks to stop functioning and the radio waves get lost. NASA conduct research in this area consistently.
Another goose bumping natural spot is ‘El Espinazo del Diablo’ or ‘The Backbone of the Devil’, a road surrounded by precipices that is a privileged viewing point of the Sierra Madre Occidental (2.200 m.a.s.l.)
Durango, at 903 kilometre distance from Mexico City, was the birth place of Doroteo Arango … of who? You should very justifiably ask, but the Doroteo in question was no other than the mythical Francisco “Pancho” Villa, a.k.a. the “Centaur of the North”, one of the most emblematical leaders of the Mexican Revolution in the early 20th century.
Today, Durango is a city that is experiencing economical and industrial growth. The clothing company Carhartt U.S.A, has just built a new manufacturing facility


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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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