Real name: Morgan Freeman
Birthdate: June 1, 1973
Partner: Myrna Colley-Lee
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Freeman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Sr., a barber who died in 1961 from liver cirrhosis, and Mayme Edna (née Revere), a cleaner. He has three older siblings. Freeman's family moved frequently during his childhood, living in Greenwood, Mississippi, Gary, Indiana, and finally Chicago, Illinois. Freeman made his acting debut at age eight, playing the lead role in a school play. At age twelve, he won a statewide drama competition, and while in high school performed in a radio show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1955, he turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, opting to work as a mechanic in the United States Air Force.
Although his first credited film appearance was in 1971's Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?, Freeman first became known in the American media through roles on the soap opera Another World and the PBS kids' show The Electric Company, (notably as Easy Reader and Vincent the Vegetable Vampire) which he claimed he should have left earlier than planned.
It was my idea to just do The Electric Company for a couple of years and go on. But, you get trapped by that money thing. It's golden handcuffs. It gets a lot of people, including soap opera actors and commercial actors. Then, they don't want to see you in serious work. That was going to be me, having people come up to me saying "My kids love you!". I was there three years too long.
Freeman is recognized for his distinctive voice, making him a frequent choice for narration. In 2005 alone, he provided narration for two of the most successful films of the year, War of the Worlds and the Academy Award-winning documentary film, March of the Penguins. After three previous nominations (a supporting actor nomination for Street Smart, 1987, and leading actor nominations for Driving Miss Daisy, 1989, and The Shawshank Redemption, 1994), he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Million Dollar Baby at the 77th Academy Awards.
Freeman has a role in Rob Reiner's The Bucket List, opposite Jack Nicholson, playing terminal cancer patients who must fulfill their lists of goals. The film is scheduled to be released in 2008.
Freeman was married to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from October 22, 1967 until 1979. He has been married to Myrna Colley-Lee since June 16, 1984. He has two sons, Alphonso and Saifoulaye, from previous relationships. He adopted his first wife's daughter, Deena, and the couple also had a fourth child, Morgana. Freeman lives in Charleston, Mississippi and New York City. He has a private pilot's license, and co-owns and operates Madidi, a fine dining restaurant, and Ground Zero, a blues club, both located in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
On Saturday October 28, 2006, Freeman was honored at the 1st Mississippi's Best Awards in Jackson, Mississippi with the Lifetime Achievement Award award for his works on and off the big screen. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts and Letters from Delta State University during the school's commencement exercises on May 13, 2006.