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Morgan Freeman
Forecourt Ceremony held on Wednesday, June 5, 2002
Born: June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee
Age at the time of the ceremony: 65
Who doesn't like Morgan Freeman? Tall and willowy and blessed with an unmistakable voice, Freeman rose from the obscurity of early 1970s filmmaking to become one of the most recognizable actors in the world. While rarely headlining a picture, his presence as a suppoting player can make a film.

Freeman's mother was a teacher, his father a barber. Times were tough, so young Morgan was sent to live with his paternal grandmother in Greenwood, Mississippi. Acting the lead in a school play when he was nine, at 12, he won a statewide dramatic competition. While still in high school, he performend on a Nashville radio show.

Enlisting in the Air Force, Freeman became an Automatic Tracking Radar Repairman, achieving the rank of Airman 1st Class. After his Air Force stint, Freeman moved to Los Angeles and studied at the Pasadena Playhouse. He studied dancing and performed as a dancer at the 1964 New York World's Fair. He was a member of an opera company in San Francisco, and appeared in a touring production of The Royal Hunt of the Sun.

Freeman did a bit as an extra in The Pawnbroker (released in April, 1965), and
Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (released in June, 1968) with Doris Day. He made his Broadway debut as Rudolph, one of the waiters in Hello, Dolly! starring Pearl Bailey in late 1967.

After appearing in a cheesy Godfather rip-off, Blade (released in December, 1973) with John Marley, Freeman joined the cast of the children's program The Electric Company, aired over PBS for 780 episodes, from October, 1971 to April, 1977.

Freeman appeared in several of the "Shakespeare in the Park" productions by the New York Shakespeare Festival, two of which were recorded: his Casca in Julius Caesar with Sonny Jim Gaines in the title role (released direct to video in 1979), and his Obie Award-winning turn in the title role of Coriolanus (released direct to video in 1979).

Freeman starred in a television movie depicting the prisoner's revolt at Attica, aired over ABC on March 2, 1980, and returned to prison by co-starring in Brubaker with Robert Redford (released in June, 1980). He played a police detective in Eyewitness with Sigourney Weaver (released in February, 1981), as well as on two episodes of Texas, aired over NBC in August, 1981.

Freeman has done several soap operas, incliding Ryan's Hope, aired over ABC in September, 1981. He got to play an alternate-universe Malcolm X in Death of a Prophet, (released direct to video in October, 1981), then played a lawyer in Teachers (released in October, 1984) with Nick Nolte.

In April, 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Colburn in the original Off-Broadway production of Driving Miss Daisy, opposite Dana Ivey. Freeman finally played a pimp in the complex Street Smart (released in March, 1987) with Christopher Reeve, and a drug counselor in Clean and Sober (released in August, 1988) with Michael Keaton.

Freeman struck paydirt playing principal Joe Louis Clark in Lean on Me (which played the Chinese in March, 1989), and enjoyed a huge hit reprising his role in Driving Miss Daisy (released in December, 1989) with Jessica Tandy. He followed this up with a supporting, but important role in the Civil War film Glory (released in December, 1989) with Matthew Broderick.

Freeman has lent his distinctive voice to hundrens of specials and documentaries. He began with doing the voice of Frederick Douglass for nine episodes of The Civil War, aired over PBS in September, 1990. Freeman then appeared as a iudex ex machina at the finale to The Bonfire of the Vanities (released in December, 1990) with Tom Hanks. Freeman took a rare turn as the bad guy in Robin Hood: Prince of Theives (which played the Chinese in June, 1991) with Kevin Costner in the title role, then played Clint Eastwood's sidekick in Unforgiven (which played the Chinese in August, 1992).

Another signature role for Freeman is as "Red" Redding in The Shawshank Redemption (released in October, 1994) with Tim Robbins. Returning to earth, he played an Army general in Outbreak (which played the Chinese in March, 1995) with Dustin Hoffman, and played a senior detective in Seven (played the Chinese in September, 1995) teaming with Brad Pitt.

Freeman finally got top billing working with director Steven Speilberg in Amistad (released in December, 1997) with Anthony Hopkins, then played the U.S. president in Deep Impact (which played the Chinese in May, 1998) with Robert Duvall.

Freeman's Forecourt ceremony came just before the release of The Sum of All Fears (released in May, 2002) with Ben Affleck. Freeman was memorably cast as God in Bruce Almighty (released in May, 2003) with Jim Carrey. He voiced Frederick Douglass and Thurgood Marshall in Freedom: A History of Us aired over PBS in February, 2003.

Freeman again played Clint Eastwood's sidekick (and getting an Oscar for doing so) in Million Dollar Baby (released in December, 2004) with Hilary Swank, and played a blind piano player in Unleased (released in May, 2005) with Jet Li.

A new chapter seemed to open for Freeman being cast as Bruce Wayne's key scientist / engineer Lucius Fox in Batman Begins (which played the Chinese in June, 2005), with Christian Bale. The horroble flameout of Edison (released direct to video in July, 2006) with Justin Timberlake, didn't stop Freeman one bit. He played yet another police detective in
Gone Baby Gone (released in October, 2007) with Casey Affleck, then switiched gears considerably for the comedy The Bucket List (released in December, 2007) with Jack Nicholson.

Freeman returned to the role of Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight (released in July, 2008) with Christian Bale, then played Nelson Mandela for director Clint Eastwood in
Invictus (released in December, 2009) with Matt Damon. Freeman was in the action picture RED (released in October, 2010) with Bruce Willis, and played a prosthetic designer in Dolphin Tale (which played the Chinese in September, 2011) with Ashley Judd.

Enjoying working with director Christopher Nolan, Freeman signed up for The Dark Knight Rises (released in July, 2012) again with Christian Bale, then did the action picture Oblivion (released in April, 2013) with Tom Cruise. He got to play an FBI scientist (!) in Transcendence (which played the Chinese in April, 2014) with Johnny Depp, and he played the US vice president this time in London Has Fallen (released in March, 2016) with Gerard Butler.

Many people believe that Freeman's turn as Sheik Ilderim is the only saving grace to be found in the remake of Ben-Hur (released in August, 2016) with Jack Huston in the title role. He co-starring in the caper comedy Going in Style (released in April, 2017) with Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, and has played walk-on bits while being the executive producer of the television show Madam Secretary starring Téa Leoni, airing over CBS, beginning in September, 2014. Freeman resorts to wearing an eyepatch for his role as Drosselmeyer in
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (released in November, 2018) with Kira Knightley.
Caption TK
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Morgan Freemen Forecourt ceremony, Wednesday, June 5, 2002. Morgan Freeman gives a grin as his hands are impressed into the cement by two unidentified cement technicians.
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