This really sucks.
Radar Online reports that memory issues have forced Jack Nicholson to retire from acting at the age of 76. The living legend last appeared as Paul Rudd's father in the (pretty terrible) 2010 film How Do You Know, and he was asked to appear in this fall's Nebraska, before declining the role.
“Jack has — without fanfare — retired,” a well-placed Hollywood film insider confirmed to Radar.
“There is a simple reason behind his decision — it’s memory loss. Quite frankly, at 76, Jack has memory issues and can no longer remember the lines being asked of him.
“His memory isn’t what it used to be.”
The three-time Academy Award winner has not worked since How Do You Know in 2010 starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson.
Tellingly, producers for the forthcoming film Nebraska had wanted him to play the key role of an aging, booze-addled father who makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.
The role ultimately went to Bruce Dern, after Nicholson advised the filmmakers that he was not interested, the source said.
For my money, it's tough to think of a better, more iconic actor than Jack throughout the last half of the 20th century. He's responsible for two of the most memorable movie villains ever—the Joker and The Shining's Jack Torrance—he nailed the role of the badass noir detective (in Chinatown, which is on Netflix stream), and his work in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is unquestionably one of the greatest acting performances of all time.
Jack's also, of course, absolutely lived the life since becoming a star in the '60s: Single for the last four decades, he bedded roughly half of the state of California in the 70s and 80s, befriended next-door neighbors Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando, shot guns with drinking buddy Hunter S. Thompson, and showed up courtside to every Lakers game in that same famous seat. (He'd even schedule movie filmings around home games, something no one else would be able to get away with.)
Hopefully retirement doesn't mean he has to leave the public eye. No one wants to see this bro legend go anytime soon.