With 12 Acadamy Award nominations and a career spanning over sixty years, Jack Nicholson is one of Hollywood’s best actors. Nicholson has acted in a diverse range of roles in acclaimed movies, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), The Shining (1980) and Batman (1989). When he’s not acting or directing, Nicholson likes to relax with a good cigar. Well-deserving of being called a Cigar Smoking Icon, we take a look at Jack Nicholson’s life and career, as well as his love of cigars!
Nicholson was born in New Jersey in 1937 to June Nicholson, an unmarried showgirl. June was only 17 years old, so Jack was raised by her parents, with his mother acting as his sister. Nicholson himself was unaware of the truth of his parentage until 1974, by which point June had already passed away.
Known as the ‘Class Clown’ at school, Nicholson was reportedly in detention every day for a whole school year during High School. After leaving school, he began work at MGM cartoon studio for Hanna-Barbera as an office worker, although decided to leave to pursue acting.
After a decade of smaller bit parts on stage and screen, and a turn to screenplay writing, Nicholson finally got his big break after landing a role in Easy Rider (1969). Not only was this his big acting break, but the role also landed him his first Oscar nomination. Nicholson has gone on to play a huge number of complex and celebrated roles, including The Joker in Batman (1989) and Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s take on Stephen King’s novel The Shining (1980). Over the course of his career, Nicholson has won three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Awards and six Golden Globe Awards, as well as earning 40 other major award nominations!
While not officially retired, Nicholson has now taken a step back from acting, and was last seen in the 2010 film How Do You Know.
Jack Nicholson and Cigars
A smoker for most of his life, Nicholson discovered his love for Cuban cigars while filming The Last Detail (1973) in Canada, where they could be legally imported. He had decided his character in the film would smoke cigars, despite having quit smoking for ten years at that time. Nicholson took up cigar smoking on a more regular basis in the 1990s, as a replacement for cigarette smoking. He considered cigar smoking to be a better habit. Nicholson states that Montecristo, Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta cigars are the best brands.
Here at Havana House, we stock all of these brands, as well as many more Cuban cigars and smokes from around the world. If you want to learn more about famous cigar smokers, check out the other instalments in our Cigar Smoking Icons series, including JFK and Clint Eastwood.