Today is the first day of the month of June, which happens to be the birthday of beloved actor, Morgan Freeman. Today he turns 79-years-old and we thought of honoring the Hollywood star by telling you about his life.
Often called the greatest living actor in film, Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman attended Los Angeles City College before serving several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic between 1955 and 1959. His first dramatic arts exposure was on the stage including appearing in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly!
Throughout the 1970s, he continued his work on stage, winning Drama Desk and Clarence Derwent Awards and receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance in The Mighty Gents in 1978.
In the 80’s he won three Obie Awards and the Drama-Logue Award for his work on stage.
Freeman first appeared on TV screens as several characters including “Easy Reader”, “Mel Mounds” and “Count Dracula” on the Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) show The Electric Company (1971). He then moved into feature film with another children’s adventure, Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow! (1971).
He continued to rise, and the 1990s and played in strong scripts.
His career soaring to new heights, Freeman appeared frequently in well reviewed studio films including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and Clint Eastwood’s Oscar winning film, Unforgiven (1992)
Freeman received his third Academy Award nominated role for his turn in The Shawshank Redemption (1994). Box office hits Se7en (1995) with Brad Pitt and Kiss the Girls (1997) with Ashley Judd followed.
Teaming up with Steven Spielberg, Freeman gave a powerful performance in Amistad (1997), before portraying the US President in Deep Impact (1998). Continuing to show his range, the next few years saw Freeman appearing in Neil Labute’s dark comedy Nurse Betty (2000) and reprising his Kiss the Girl’s persona of “Alex Cross” in Along Came a Spider (2001), which he also produced. Memorable co-starring bows in blockbusters The Sum of All Fears (2002) and Bruce Almighty (2003) followed.
Whether acting or narrating, Freeman has done box-office hit after box-office hit and has become one of the most highly renowned actors of his generation.
Freeman is also known for being the Executive Producer and star of the television series Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman which airs on the Science Channel.
Morgan Freeman has been married two times. He was married to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from 1967 to 1979. The marriage of 12-years produced one child, daughter Morgana Freeman .
Morgan Freeman also adopted Bradshaw’s daughter, Deena. At the time Deena Freeman became a mother herself.
The actor married his second wife, Myrna Colley-Lee in 1984. The couple separated in 2008 amid accusations of his cheating and finalized their divorce in 2010.
Colley-Lee has worked as a costume designer, art director, and set designer for film and television productions.
Myrna Colley-Lee was born in 1941 at Hamlett, N.C. She completed her B.F.A. in art education from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and studied scene painting and properties at Brooklyn College, N.Y. In 1980 she received her M.F.A. in scenic and costume design from Temple University, Philadelphia, Penn.
Her costume design work has been featured in the productions Relativity at the Black Rep, St. Louis, Mo., The Piano Lesson and Forest City at the Cleveland Playhouse, Ohio, and Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago, Ill.
Freeman and Colley-Lee did not have children of their own, but she helped raised her husband’s step granddaughter.
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In 2008, as Myrna Colley-Lee and Morgan Freeman were in the midst of contentious divorce proceedings, the woman made sensational claims that her husband was having an affair with his step-granddaughter, E’Dena Hines –who was the granddaughter of Morgan Freeman’s first wife Jeanette Adair Bradshaw and who was tragically killed last year at age 33.
Morgan Freeman is the father of four grown children.
Morgan Freeman is the father of actor, Alfonso Freeman from his relationship with Loletha Adkins. Alfonso Freeman was born September 13, 1959. Alfonso briefly attended Cal State University-Long Beach as an Art Major. He came to L.A. to film the TV mini-series The Atlanta Child Murders (1985). He has performed in movies alongside his father including, The Shawshank Redemption. Alfonso married for the first time in 1982 and fathered three sons. He and his first wife, Cynthia, divorced in 1989. He remarried in 1994 to Larcenia Young.
Morgan Freeman’s second child is Saifoulaye Freeman (born 1960) from another relationship. According to his father’s biography, Saifoulaye has made a career as a flight instructor. Little is known about his personal life, as it has not led to the limelight.
Child number three would be, Deena Freeman who is not the actors actual biological child. He adopted her when he married her mother Jeanette in 1967.
The last of Morgan’s biological children is Morgana Freeman. She was born in 1971 to Morgan and first wife Jeanette. She has been pictured with her famous father at red carpet events but she is has also avoided the spotlight.