Morgan Freeman facts: Actor's age, wife, children, movies and career explained

30 April 2024, 16:44

Morgan Freeman in 2011
Morgan Freeman in 2011. Picture: Getty

By Tom Owen

Morgan Freeman, a titan of the American film industry, embodies versatility and gravitas.

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Morgan Freeman's career spans over five decades, marked by an impressive array of roles that showcase his profound ability to bring depth and authenticity to his characters.

From his early days in theatre to his breakthrough in the 1987 film Street Smart, and his iconic performances in Shawshank Redemption and Million Dollar Baby, Freeman has earned respect and admiration worldwide.

He is a man whose voice and demeanour have become synonymous with wisdom and integrity in Hollywood.

  1. How old is Morgan Freeman and where was he born?

    Elliot Gould, Morgan Freeman, Cookie Monster Appearing On 'Out To Lunch' in 1974
    Elliot Gould, Morgan Freeman, Cookie Monster Appearing On 'Out To Lunch' in 1974. Picture: Getty

    Morgan Freeman is 86 years old as of 2024, having been born on June 1, 1937.

    He was born in Memphis, Tennessee.

    Morgan Freeman's parents were Mayme Edna, a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. He had three older siblings.

  2. How did he get his start in acting?

    Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood / Unforgiven 1992 directed by Clint Eastwood
    Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood / Unforgiven 1992 directed by Clint Eastwood. Picture: Alamy

    Morgan Freeman's acting career began with a diverse set of experiences in the performing arts.

    His interest in acting was kindled during his time in high school after he was forced to participate in a drama competition as a punishment for pulling a chair out from under a classmate. He performed exceptionally well, sparking his interest in drama.

    After high school, Freeman turned down a partial drama scholarship and enlisted in the United States Air Force. Following his military service, he moved to Los Angeles in the late 1950s to study acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and take dance lessons at the Los Angeles City College.

    He started his acting career in the theatre, appearing in an all-African American production of the musical Hello, Dolly! and continued to build his career on the stage, eventually transitioning to film and television roles in the 1970s and 1980s.

    His early work in television, especially on the children's television show The Electric Company, helped him gain wider recognition, setting the stage for his illustrious film career.

  3. What are his most famous movies?

    The Shawshank Redemption (1994) OFFICIAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]

    Morgan Freeman has an extensive filmography filled with critically acclaimed and widely popular movies. Here are some of his most famous films:

    1. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
    2. Glory (1989)
    3. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
    4. Unforgiven (1992)
    5. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    6. Seven (1995)
    7. Kiss the Girls (1997)
    8. Amistad (1997)
    9. Deep Impact (1998)
    10. The Sum of All Fears (2002)
    11. Bruce Almighty (2003)
    12. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
    13. Batman Begins (2005)
    14. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
    15. The Bucket List (2007)
    16. The Dark Knight (2008)
    17. Wanted (2008)
    18. Invictus (2009)
    19. RED (2010)
    20. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    21. Olympus Has Fallen (2013)
    22. Now You See Me (2013)
    23. Lucy (2014)
    24. Going in Style (2017)
  4. Is he married and does he have kids?

    Morgan Freeman and his ex-wife, Myrna Colley-Lee, in 2007
    Morgan Freeman and his ex-wife, Myrna Colley-Lee, in 2007. Picture: Getty

    Morgan Freeman has been married and divorced twice.

    His first marriage was to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from 1967 to 1979. He then married Myrna Colley-Lee in 1984, and their marriage lasted until 2010.

    Morgan Freeman has four children. He adopted his first wife's daughter, Deena, and has a son, Alfonso, from a previous relationship.

    He also has two children, Saifoulaye and Morgana, from other relationships.

    Morgan Freeman with son Alfonso in 2012
    Morgan Freeman with son Alfonso in 2012. Picture: Getty
    Morgan Freeman and daughter Morgana
    Morgan Freeman and daughter Morgana. Picture: Getty
  5. What other facts should we know about Morgan Freeman?

    Morgan Freeman with Michael Caine in 2012
    Morgan Freeman with Michael Caine in 2012. Picture: Getty

    Morgan Freeman is not only an acclaimed actor but also a man of diverse talents and interests. Here are some additional facts about him:

    1. Voice Work: Freeman's deep, authoritative voice is easily recognizable and has made him a popular choice for narration. He has narrated numerous documentaries and programs, including the award-winning series "Through the Wormhole" and the movie March of the Penguins.
    2. Aviation: Freeman is an avid aviation enthusiast and earned his private pilot license at the age of 65. He owns multiple aircraft, including a Cessna Citation 501 jet and an Emivest SJ30.
    3. Philanthropy: Freeman dedicates significant effort to charitable works. He founded the Grenada Relief Fund to aid people affected by Hurricane Ivan in the Caribbean. The fund was later expanded and renamed Plan!t Now, an organization that provides preparedness resources for natural disasters.
    4. Business Ventures: Beyond acting, Freeman has invested in various business ventures. He co-owns a blues club in Clarksdale, Mississippi, called Ground Zero Blues Club, and has invested in environmentally friendly initiatives, including a company that converts cars to electric power.
    5. Political and Social Activism: Freeman is known for his outspoken views on racism and social issues. He has made headlines for his perspectives on how to address racism by ceasing to talk about it, arguing that societal change can be fostered by no longer categorizing people by race.
    6. Honorary Degrees: Freeman has received several honorary degrees for his contributions to the arts and humanitarian efforts, including from Boston University and Delta State University.