I’ve always been a big fan of Jack Nicholson. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time I watched ‘The Shining’, nor will I forget the countless nights of lost sleep that followed it.

Nicholson’s performance in it opened my eyes to the true power an actor or actress can have in a role – I was glued to the screen.

Of course, Nicholson is now, incredibly, 81-years-old, and can look back on an eventful and fantastic career at the summit of Hollywood.

Over the years, his distinctive brows and deep growl of a voice have helped him play a whole host of disturbed characters, including roles in the aforesaid ‘The Shining’ and ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, he’s worked alongside some of the greatest actors and actresses of all time.

But did you know that his family was hiding a secret from him for a long, long time? One that would only be discovered by chance? If you didn’t, then you’d better read on…

On April 22, 1937, John Joseph Nicholson was born in New York. The young boy would grow up in New Jersey with his grandmother, Ethel Nicholson, who owned a beauty salon.

Jack Nicholson mother
Jack himself believed that his grandma was his biological mom – his alcoholic father had left the family when Nicholson was but a child.

His sister, June, was 19 and, after working as a dancer, left to try and become an actress. When he reached the tender age of 17, Jack moved to Los Angeles with an eye on following suit.

In 1963, June died of cancer and Nicholson’s grandma, Ethel, died seven years after.

Though he hardly had the most ideal beginnings in life, Jack strived to achieve what he wanted. He pursued his acting desires with great determination, and eventually was rewarded with success.

However, when he was 37, he received a phone call from a journalist who had written a report on him for the movie ‘Chinatown’.

It was a call that would change everything.

During his research in 1974, the reporter in question had uncovered a family secret that he would go on to relay to Jack himself: The people Jack thought were his parents had actually been his grandparents.

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