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Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Jr. (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor, film director, and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice.

Freeman received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, and The Shawshank Redemption before winning in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby. He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Freeman has appeared in many other box office hits, including Unforgiven, Seven, Deep Impact, The Sum of All Fears, Bruce Almighty, Batman Begins, The Bucket List, Evan Almighty, Wanted, and The Dark Knight.

Freeman was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Mayme Edna (née Revere), and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, Sr., who died in 1961 from liver cirrhosis. He was sent as an infant to his paternal grandmother in Charleston, Mississippi. He has three older siblings. Freeman's family moved frequently during his childhood, living in Greenwood, Mississippi; Gary, Indiana; and finally Chicago, Illinois. Freeman made his acting debut at age nine, playing the lead role in a school play. He then attended Broad Street High School (Mississippi) currently Threadgill Elementary School in Mississippi. At age 12, he won a statewide drama competition, and while still at Broad Street High School (Threadgill Elementary School), he performed in a radio show based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1955, he graduated from Broad Street High School (Threadgill Elementary School), but turned down a partial drama scholarship from Jackson State University, opting instead to work as a mechanic in the United States Air Force.

Freeman moved to Los Angeles in the early 1960s and worked as a transcript clerk at Los Angeles Community College. During this period, he also lived in New York City, working as a dancer at the 1964 World's Fair, and in San Francisco, where he was a member of the Opera Ring music group. Freeman acted in a touring company version of The Royal Hunt of the Sun, and also appeared as an extra in the 1965 film The Pawnbroker. He made his off-Broadway debut in 1967, opposite Viveca Lindfors in The Nigger Lovers (about the civil rights era "Freedom Riders"), before debuting on Broadway in 1968's all-black version of Hello, Dolly!, which also starred Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway.

Although his first credited film appearance was in 1971's Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?, Freeman first became known in the American media through roles on the soap opera Another World and the PBS kids' show The Electric Company, (notably as Easy Reader and Vincent the Vegetable Vampire) which he later said he should have left earlier than he did.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Freeman began playing prominent supporting roles in many feature films, earning him a reputation for depicting wise and fatherly characters. As he gained fame, he went on to bigger roles in films such as the chauffeur Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy, and Sergeant Major Rawlins in Glory (both in 1989). In 1994 he portrayed Red, the redeemed convict in the acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption. He also starred in films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Unforgiven, Seven, and Deep Impact. In 1997, Freeman, together with Lori McCreary, founded the movie production company Revelations Entertainment, and the two co-head its sister online movie distribution company ClickStar. Freeman also hosts the channel Our Space on ClickStar, with specially crafted film clips in which he shares his love for the sciences, especially space exploration and aeronautics.

After three previous nominations—a supporting actor nomination for Street Smart, and leading actor nominations for Driving Miss Daisy, and The Shawshank Redemption—he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Million Dollar Baby at the 77th Academy Awards. Freeman is recognized for his distinctive voice, making him a frequent choice for narration. In 2005 alone, he provided narration for two films, War of the Worlds and the Academy Award-winning documentary film March of the Penguins.

In 1991, Freeman was offered a lead role in Jurassic Park. Unsure that dinosaurs could make for interesting co-stars, Freeman traveled to the Museum of Natural History to see the "damn beasts". In a 2007 interview with Atlanta Radio Correspondent Veronica Waters, Freeman revealed that he was stunned when he learned that birds descended from dinosaurs. While he turned down the role, Freeman spent the next summer reading books on ornithology. This would later lead to his desire to narrate the documentary March of the Penguins.

Freeman appeared as God in the hit movie Bruce Almighty and its sequel, Evan Almighty, as well as Lucius Fox in the critical and commercial success Batman Begins and its 2008 sequel, The Dark Knight. He starred in Rob Reiner's 2007 film The Bucket List, opposite Jack Nicholson. He teamed with Christopher Walken and William H. Macy for the comedy The Maiden Heist, which was released direct to video due to financial problems of the distribution company. In 2008, Freeman returned to Broadway to co-star with Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher for a limited engagement of Clifford Odets's play, The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols.

He has wanted to do a film based on Nelson Mandela for some time. At first he tried to get Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, adapted into a finished script, but it could never be finalized. In 2007 he purchased the film rights to a pre-published 2008 book by John Carlin, Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation. Clint Eastwood will direct the Nelson Mandela bio-pic titled Invictus, a film based on a The Human Factor, starring Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as rugby team captain Francois Pienaar.
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