To put his career in perspective, I think this quote just about sums it up.

"I was trained to be an actor, not a star. I was trained to play roles, not to deal with fame and agents and lawyers and the press."

Gene Hackman was in born in San Bernardino, California in 1930. He dropped out of school when he was sixteen in order to join the United States Marine Corps and was a disc jockey during his tours in Asia and the Pacific. After leaving the service, he moved to New York City in order to pursue a career in radio. It wasn’t until he was in his late 20’s that he decided he wanted to become an actor.

He moved to Los Angeles and enrolled as a student at the Pasadena Playhouse acting school where both he and fellow student Dustin Hoffman were voted the “least likely to succeed”.

Yes, it’s true that Hackman has been in some (what might be best described as) “forgettable” movies, however the all around body of work is quite impressive. Here’s a listing of his film credits and the year they appeared.

1961 – Mad Dog Call
1964 – Lilith (with Warren Beatty)
1966 – Hawaii
1967 – A Covenant With Death
1967 – First to Fight
1967 – Banning
1967 – Bonnie and Clyde (Oscar nomination for best supporting actor)
1968 – The Split
1969 – Marooned
1969 – Riot
1969 – The Gypsy Moths
1969 –Downhill Racer
1970 – I Never Sang For My Father (another Oscar nomination for best supporting actor)
1971 – Doctors’ Wives
1971 – The Hunting Party
1971 – The French Connection (Oscar winner for Best Actor)
1972 – The Poseidon Adventure
1972 – Cisco Pike
1972 – Prime Cut
1973 – Scarecrow (with Al Pacino)
1974 – Young Frankenstein
1974 – Zandy’s Bride
1974 – The Conversation (directed by Francis Ford Coppola)
1975 – French Connection II
1975 – Lucky Lady
1975 – Bite the Bullet
1975 – Night Moves
1977 – The Domingo Killings
1977 – A Bridge Too Far
1977 – March or Die
1978 – Superman
1978 – Speed Fever
1980 – Superman II
1981 – Reds
1981 – All Night Long
1982 – Eureka
1983 – Under Fire
1983 – Uncommon Valor
1984 – Misunderstood
1986 – Hoosiers
1986 –Power
1987 – Twice in a Lifetime
1987 – Target
1987 – Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
1987 – No Way Out
1988 – Full Moon in Blue Water
1988 – Split Decisions
1988 – Another Woman
1988 – Mississippi Burning (another best supporting actor nomination)
1988 – Bat*21
1989 – The Package
1990 – Narrow Margin
1991 – Company Business
1991 – Class Action
1991 – Loose Cannons
1992 – Unforgiven (Oscar winner, Best Supporting Actor)
1993 – Geronimo: An American legend
1993 - The Firm
1994 – Wyatt Earp
1995 - The Quick and the Dead
1995 – Get Shorty
1995 – Crimson Tide
1996 – Extreme Measures
1996 – The Chamber
1996 – The Birdcage
1997 – Absolute Power
1998 – Antz –(voice)
1998 – Enemy of the State
1998 – Twilight
2000 – The Replacements
2000 – Third Degree
2001 – Behind Enemy Lines
2001 – Heist (David Mamet)
2001 – The Royal Tenenbaums (Golden Globe nomination for best actor)

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