[[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''''s 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 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 ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''. 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]] [[JustifiedTrope 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 appears 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
* ''The Last Detail'' (1973) - [=SM1=] Billy "Bad-Ass" Buddusky
* ''Film/{{Chinatown}}'' (1974) - Det. Jake Gittes
* ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' (1975) - Randle [=McMurphy=]
* ''Film/TheShining'' (1980) - Jack Torrance
** "Here's... Johnny!"
* ''[[Film/ThePostmanAlwaysRingsTwice1981 The Postman Always Rings Twice]]'' (1981) - Frank Chambers
* ''Film/{{Reds}}'' (1981) - Eugene O'Neill
* ''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
* ''Ironweed'' (1987) - Francis Phelan
* ''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/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:'''

* AcademyAward: Best Actor for ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' and ''Film/AsGoodAsItGets'', and Best Supporting Actor for ''TermsOfEndearment''.
** Notably nominated 12 times by the Academy, more than any male actor in history.
** Also, his three wins put him in a select group of six that have won 3 or more acting Oscars. The others include Creator/MerylStreep, Daniel Day-Lewis, Walter Brennan, Creator/IngridBergman, and KatharineHepburn (the latter of whom has 4).
* AxCrazy: In ''Film/TheShining'', ''Film/{{Batman}}'' and ''Film/TheDeparted''.
* BigBad: In ''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.
* DoingItForTheArt: He not only accepted a minor role in ''Film/BroadcastNews'' for no money, but ''specifically'' requested that he not appear in the trailer, the opening credits, or any advertisements or promotions for the film because he did not want to take attention away from lead actors Creator/WilliamHurt, Creator/AlbertBrooks and Holly Hunter.
* TheGenieKnowsJackNicholson
* HeyItsThatVoice: Without a doubt, has one of the most recognizable voices in the history of cinema. Even if you had never seen his work, you would still probably be able to identify him (but only because of PopCultureOsmosis and the fact that he's one of the most easily-imitated voices ever, next to ChristopherWalken and Creator/WilliamShatner).
* {{Jerkass}}: A lot of his characters fall into this category...
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Although sometimes they wind up becoming one of these.
* TheJoker: In Tim Burton's 1989 film.
* LargeHam: [[Film/TheShining "HERE'S JOHNNY!"]]
* LovableSexManiac: One of Hollywood's most notable.
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: The difference between his interview and his characters is...striking.
* MisplacedAccent: Born in New Jersey, but his default voice (which he hardly ever alters for films) sounds a lot more Midwestern.
* MoneyDearBoy: Averted, for reasons mentioned above.
* MrViceGuy
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: In ''Film/MarsAttacks''
* PsychoticSmirk / SlasherSmile: ''Film/TheShining'', natch.
* StarMakingRole: ''Film/EasyRider'' earned Jack his first Oscar nomination, although ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest'' assured his place in movie history.
** Though it was really ''FiveEasyPieces'' that first solidified him as a leading man.