Photo: Georges Biard / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)
Born: June 1, 1937
Age: 82 years
Born Place: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Spouse: Jeanette Adair Bradshaw (m. 1967; div. 1979), Myrna Colley-Lee (m. 1984; div. 2010)
Famous as: Actor, film narrator
Morgan Freeman (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor and film narrator. Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004) and has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Invictus (2009). He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Glory (1989), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Seven (1995), Deep Impact (1998), The Sum of All Fears (2002), Bruce Almighty (2003), The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), Wanted (2008), Red (2010), Now You See Me (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), and Lucy (2014). He rose to fame as part of the cast of the 1970s children’s program The Electric Company. Noted for his deep voice, Freeman has served as a narrator, commentator, and voice actor for numerous programs, series and television shows.
EARLY LIFE & EDUCATION
Morgan Freeman was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the son of Mayme Edna (née Revere; 1912–2000), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman (July 6, 1915 – April 27, 1961), a barber, who died of cirrhosis in 1961. He has three older siblings. According to a DNA analysis, some of his ancestors were from Niger. In 2008, a DNA test suggested that among all of his African ancestors, a little over one-quarter came from the area that stretches from present-day Senegal to Liberia and three-quarters came from the Congo-Angola region. Freeman was sent as an infant to his paternal grandmother in Charleston, Mississippi. He moved frequently during his childhood, living in Greenwood, Mississippi; Gary, Indiana; and finally Chicago, Illinois. When Freeman was 16 years old, he almost died of pneumonia.
Freeman made his acting debut at age nine, playing the lead role in a school play. He then attended Broad Street High School, a building which serves today as Threadgill Elementary School, in Greenwood, Mississippi. At age 12, he won a statewide drama competition, and while still at Broad Street High School, he performed in a radio show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1955, he graduated from Broad Street, but turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, opting instead to enlist in the United States Air Force and served as an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, rising to the rank of Airman 1st Class.
After four years in the military, he moved to Los Angeles, California, took acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse and dancing lessons in San Francisco in the early 1960s, and worked as a transcript clerk at Los Angeles City College.