LIFE PATH 9An Itinerant actor from Mississippi. With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Born in June 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, the young Freeman attended Los Angeles Community 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 and he appeared in an off-Broadway production of "The Nigger Lovers" and also in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly! (1969). Freeman first appeared on TV as a series of characters on the Children’s Television Workshop classic, The Electric Company. After several years Freeman made the jump to the big screen with memorable performances in Coriolanus (1979), Attica (1980), Brubaker (1980), Eyewitness (1981), and Death of a Prophet (1981).
However, it would be Freeman’s powerful turn as pimp Fast Black in Street Smart (1987) opposite Christopher Reeve that made Hollywood take notice and landed him his first of four Academy Award nominations. Two years later he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor again in the Best Picture winner, Driving Miss Daisy (1989). The same year, Freeman teamed up with Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington in the epic Civil War drama Glory (1989) about freed slaves being recruited to form the first all African American fighting brigade.
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) opposite Eastwood and Gene Hackman. Mr. Freeman received his third Academy Award nominated role for his turn in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) opposite Tim Robbins. Box office hits Se7en (1995) with Brad Pitt and Kiss the Girls (1997) with Ashley Judd followed.