Celebrities come and celebrities go, but precious few endure—and Jack Nicholson is one of the few. As we wait to find out if Nicholson will take on a role he was recently offered as a father with Alzheimer’s disease (alongside “son” Robert Downey Jr.), here are five reasons why the 75-year-old is a senior star, with #1 being the very top reason.
#5 He’s a bad boy who does good things
Nicholson is famous for his wild side (; he’s also a longtime supporter of Paul Newman’s A Painted Turtle Camp for kids with serious medical conditions. On December 4, he’ll join Quincy Jones in co-hosting a music benefit for the camp, “A Celebration Of Carole King and Her Music.”
#4 He’s a big time collector of 20th century and contemporary art
Jack’s house is home to an art collection worth more than $100 million dollars, including works by Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and fellow “Jack” Vettriano. Not bad for a guy who as the Joker danced his way through an art gallery smearing the place with paint.
#3 He is acutely aware of his failings
In a recent sit-down with the UK Sun, Jack admitted that he now regrets not having been better at controlling his famous temper, and wishes he’d realized sooner the net results for such behavior. That’s pretty impressive coming from a man whose off-screen blow-ups contributed at least as much to his overall fame as his on-screen ones did. Lesser stars would take that as a license to misbehave, but not Jack.
#2 In 2004, he attended his 50-year high school reunion
Famous movie stars are not often able to live their lives like the rest of us, staying confined to the LA or NY bubble they generally exist in, but Jack wanted to see his graduating peers so he did. Accompanied by his aunt Lorraine, Jack attended his 50th high school reunion at New Jersey’s Manasquan High School proving once and for all that life is truly what you make of it.
#1 He’s not feeling any less wild—but he’s actually acting his age
In an interview with the Daily Express Jack drew the line between the age that you feel and the age that you act:
“I’m definitely still wild at heart. But I’ve struck bio-gravity. I can’t hit on women in public any more. I didn’t decide this; it just doesn’t feel right at my age.”
He also told the Daily Express:
“A lot of the improvements in my character have come through ageing and the diminishing of powers. It’s all a balancing act; you just have to get used to the ride.”
And if that alone doesn’t prove Jack Nicholson still kicks ass, then nothing will.
Is there a celebrity you love? Let us know—and tell us why—in the comments box below.