Jack Nicholson

Warner Bros.

Lots of iconic actors keep plugging into their 80s and even 90s, but Nicholson chose not to be one of them: The 86-year-old walked away in 2010, after appearing in longtime collaborator James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know.

He left to enjoy life and the Lakers with nothing to prove, having won three Oscars and earned an additional nine nominations. One of his last major public appearances was co-presented the Oscar for Best Picture with first lady Michelle Obama in 2013, though he’s also known to turn up courtside from time to time. One of the greatest movie actors to quit on a high — and one of the greatest movie stars, period.

We loved seeing him with Matt Damon in The Departed, above.

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