UPDATE: 5:30 p.m. CST
“Reports of Nicholson retiring from acting due to memory loss or dementia are 100 percent false, adding that the ‘Chinatown’ star is not suffering from any memory-related illness or dementia and has no current plans to retire.
In fact, a source close to the movie icon says Nicholson is actively reading scriptsand is looking forward to his next project.”
This one kinda came out of left field today. Without much fanfare or advance word, legendary actor Jack Nicholson retires at the age of 76. On an even sadder note, it seems that the choice stems at least in part from Nicholson suffering some type of “memory issues.” At the time of this report there are no indications that these issues are related to any type of disease; not to be crass or anything, but this Renegade Reporter hopes it’s a combination of aging and past days of hard partying contributing to any cognitive lapses, rather than something like the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Nicholson won three Oscars during his storied Hollywood career for his roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Next, Terms of Endearment and As Good As It Gets in the years 1976, 1984 and 1996. Over his lifetime Jack has garnered 12 Oscar nominations, 8 times for lead actor and 4 more times for supporting actor for his work in films such as Chinatown, Prizzi’s Honor, and A Few Good Men.
However, Nicholson didn’t need to be nominated for gold statuettes as an affirmation; indeed, anytime Jack was onscreen, his presence was felt. For this Renegade Reporter, two of his funnest and most memorable roles (to me, anyway) would be, of course, Jack Torrance in Kubrick’s The Shining and the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman. I also really loved his over the top villainy as Frank Costello in Scorsese’s The Departed. Given all of the films listed here and many more, it’s safe to say that Nicholson has left an indelible mark upon the industry and art we all love.
And it’s great that he is choosing to retire in his own quiet way. Reports state that he will still be courtside for LA Lakers games and in the audience at the Oscars. When next year’s Academy Awards roll around, here’s hoping they honor the greatness that is Jack. He doesn’t need any type of lifetime achievement award based on his resume and critical accolades — but he certainly deserves one.