genehackman.jpgGene Hackman was born this day in 1930. In his teen years the would-be-actor worked as a field radio operator for the Marines and studied television production under the G.I. Bill. But after turning 30, unsatisfied with his work, Hackman moved to New York in search of acting gigs. His first film role was opposite Warren Beatty in 1964’s Lilith. He paired with Beatty twice more in Bonnie and Clyde (for which he earned an Oscar nomination) and 1981’s Reds. Since then his respected career has involved a delicate balance of earnest work and films with mass appeal. From Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection to Lex Luthor in the Superman franchise, Hackman is the actor you hire to get the job done well.

Filmstar Factoid: At the start of his career, Hackman would share a one-bedroom apartment with fellow Pasadena Playhouse dropout Dustin Hoffman. 2003’s Runaway Jury marked the only time the former roommates have ever appeared on-screen together.