Legendary actor Morgan Freeman celebrated his 80th birthday on June 1, 2017, and what better way to celebrate the impressive thespian’s milestone than to brush up on all the fascinating facts about his life?
Obviously, there’s so much more than just the distinctive voice that has made Morgan such a beloved celebrity over the decades. As you can see below, his talents stretch well beyond the realm of acting.
The Mississippi native definitely had his struggles on the path to stardom, growing up as the youngest of five children and with little money. What he did manage to scrape together as a kiddo, however, went to checking out the latest flicks at the movie theater.
But that’s not the only thing that inspired him to get into showbiz. Take a look below to learn more about his life before and after becoming a star.
And don’t forget to SHARE the fascinating facts about Morgan Freeman with your friends!
Thumbnail Photos: Columbia Air Force Base, Wikimedia Commons / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1. He Was In The Air Force
Before attending LA City College, Morgan served from 1955 to 1959 in the Air Force. According to Military.com, he even turned down a partial drama scholarship to another college, Jackson State University, so he could join the armed forces instead.
2. His First Acting Role Was A Form Of Punishment
While in junior high school, he pulled a chair out from underneath a female classmate in a ill-advised attempt to flirt with her. The school ordered him to participate in the drama department as his penalty. He of course ended up falling for the art form.
3. He Can Speak French Fluently
4. He Broke Academy Award Records
Following the Best Picture win for Million Dollar Baby in 2004, Morgan became the only African-American actor to have appeared in three separate winning films for that category.
The other films include 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy and Unforgiven from 1992.
5. He Broke Golf Records, Too
Morgan’s skill with golf clubs landed him the honor of becoming the first American athlete to make par on the “Extreme 19th” hole at the Legend Golf & Safari Resort in South Africa.
He’s also known for his unique one-handed swinging style.
6. He Founded A Charity Following Hurricane Ivan
Originally known as the Granada Relief Fund in 2004, the funds raised went to help victims of the hurricane. It has since evolved into PLANIT NOW, which provides “preparedness resources for people living in areas afflicted by hurricanes and severe storms.”
7. He's Written A Cookbook
The actor got help from his famous buddies to compile the recipes in Morgan Freeman and Friends: Caribbean Cooking for a Cause. Funds from the book’s sales went to support his hurricane-relief charity.
Tom Hanks, Tim Robbins, and Katie Couric are among the stars who contributed dishes.
8. He Keeps 26 Beehives At His Mississippi Ranch
Morgan revealed in an interview with Jimmy Fallon that he transformed the 124-acre land to become a home for honeybees in 2014, after the actor learned about their rapid decline in the insect’s population over recent years.
9. He Co-Owns A Blues Club
Morgan opened the club, called Ground Zero Blues Club, in 2001 with two friends in Clarksdale, Mississippi. They also have apartments for rent located above the establishment, but something tells me you’ll have to be OK with hearing music at all hours of the night before signing a lease.
10. He Has A Special Cabinet For His Oscars
A friend was so sure that he would win at least one Academy Award in his career that they built him a custom cabinet back in 1998. It finally fulfilled its destiny with his 2004 win for his role as a boxing instructor in Million Dollar Baby.
Did you learn any new facts about the legendary actor? Be sure to SHARE with your friends!