[[caption-width-right:280:[[Film/TheShining Heeeeere's Jackie!]]]]

You want us to describe Jack Nicholson here? You want the TRUTH?!

'''[[Film/AFewGoodMen YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!]]'''

But if you ''insist''... If you want a candidate for the title of "best actor of all time", John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson (born April 22, 1937) is the man - though he's not so much an actor as a force of nature. He's also in the running for most MagnificentBastard.

Nicholson has been nominated for Academy Awards twelve times. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice, for ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' and for ''Film/AsGoodAsItGets''. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for ''Film/TermsOfEndearment''. He is tied with Walter Brennan and Creator/DanielDayLewis for most acting wins by a male actor (three), and second to Creator/KatharineHepburn for most acting wins overall (four). He is also one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting (either lead or supporting) in every decade since the 1960s (the other being Creator/MichaelCaine). He has won seven Golden Globe Awards, and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 2010 he was the [[LargeHam very enthusiastic]] honorary starter for the Indianapolis 500. In 1994, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. He is internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters, such as SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker in the Creator/TimBurton ''Film/{{Batman}}'' movie and Randle [=McMurphy=] in ''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest''. Also known for keeping up his career, as he has to approve of the script personally to make the movie and thus often avoiding [[MoneyDearBoy only doing his roles for the money.]] Also, because Nicholson is a MASSIVE [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation Los Angeles Lakers]] fan, attending every home game, his shooting schedule has to revolve around the Lakers' schedule. However, he will still take a pretty big paycheck...

He was raised believing [[FamilyRelationshipSwitcheroo his mother was his sister and his grandmother was his mother]] because his real mother had sex with a man out of wedlock, and [[ValuesDissonance back then, being an unwed mom was considered taboo]] (even though everyone close to the Nicholson family knew about this, except for Jack). Both were long dead when he found out--in a conversation with a reporter from ''Time'' magazine about ''Film/{{Chinatown}}''. The irony has been noted on several occasions. For bonus points, he's said that his mother, as part of her cover, would sometimes call him a "son of a bitch."

!!Jack Nicholson has appeared in many films, including:

* ''Film/TheLittleShopOfHorrors'' (1960) - masochistic dental patient Wilbur Force
* ''Film/TheTerror'' (1963) - Lt. Duvalier
* ''Film/EasyRider'' (1969) - George Hanson
* ''Film/FiveEasyPieces'' (1970) - Robert Dupea
* ''Theatre/OnAClearDayYouCanSeeForever'' (1970) - Tad Pringle
* ''Film/{{Chinatown}}'' (1974) - Det. Jake Gittes
* ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' (1975) - Randle [=McMurphy=]
* ''Film/TheShining'' (1980) - Jack Torrance
--> "Here's Johnny!"
* ''Film/{{The Postman Always Rings Twice|1981}}'' (1981) - Frank Chambers
* ''Film/{{Reds}}'' (1981) - Creator/EugeneONeill
* ''Film/TermsOfEndearment'' (1983) - Garrett Breedlove
--> "I was just ''inches'' from a clean getaway."
* ''Film/PrizzisHonor'' (1985) - Charley Partanna
* ''Film/TheWitchesOfEastwick'' (1987) - Daryl Van Horne/[[spoiler:Satan]]
* ''Film/BroadcastNews'' (1987) - Bill Rorish
* ''Film/{{Batman}}'' (1989) - Jack Napier[=/=]SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker
--> "Wait 'til they get a load of me."
* ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' (1992) - Col. Nathan R. Jessup
* ''Film/{{Wolf}}'' (1994) - Will Randall
* ''Film/MarsAttacks'' (1996) - President James Dale and Art Land
* ''Film/BloodAndWine'' (1996) - Alex Gates
* ''Film/AsGoodAsItGets'' (1997) - Melvin Udall
--> "What if all of this...is (a TitleDrop)"
* ''Film/AboutSchmidt'' (2002) - Warren Schmidt
* ''Film/AngerManagement'' (2003) - Dr. Buddy Rydell
* ''Film/TheDeparted'' (2006) - Frank Costello (based loosely on Whitey Bulger)
* ''Film/TheBucketList'' (2007) - Edward Cole

!!Jack Nicholson provides examples of the following tropes:

* AxCrazy: In ''Film/TheShining'', ''Film/{{Batman}}'' and ''Film/TheDeparted''.
* BigBad: In ''Film/{{Batman}}'', ''Film/AFewGoodMen'' and ''Film/TheDeparted''.
* TheCasanova: On and offscreen.
* CheshireCatGrin: All the time.
* ChewingTheScenery: Quite often. Take a look at his almost literal scenery-chewing rat impression in ''Film/TheDeparted''.
* CoolOldGuy: And still going strong.
* DeadpanSnarker: Whenever he's not a LargeHam, he's this.
** In ''Film/TermsOfEndearment'':
--> '''Aurora:''' Would you like to come in?
--> '''Garrett:''' I'd rather stick needles in my eyes.
* TheGenieKnowsJackNicholson: The Genie in ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' imitates Nicholson when Aladdin tries to find the right things to say to Princess Jasmine.
* {{Jerkass}}: A lot of his characters fall into this category...
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Although sometimes they wind up becoming one of these.
* LargeHam: [[Film/TheShining "HERE'S JOHNNY!"]]
* LovableSexManiac: One of Hollywood's most notable.
* MisplacedAccent: Born in New Jersey, but his default voice (which he hardly ever alters for films) sounds a lot more Midwestern.
%%* MrViceGuy
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: In ''Film/MarsAttacks''
* PsychoticSmirk / SlasherSmile: ''Film/TheShining'' ''and'' ''Film/{{Batman}}'', natch.
* YoungFutureFamousPeople: One of his first jobs in Hollywood was an errand boy at Creator/{{MGM}}'s animation studio under [[Creator/HannaBarbera William Hanna and Joseph Barbera]], then producing ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' and other cartoons. He befriended the animators and still kept in touch with many of them after he became a movie star. In a curious case of [[WhatCouldHaveBeen what could have been]], he was offered a starting animator position after Hanna and Barbera saw he had some sketching talent, but he declined as his ambition lay in acting. He's at top far right in [[http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/1956-mgm-cartoon-department-plus-one.html this group sketch.]]