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Jack Nicholson, Star?

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Jack Nicholson can clearly be defined as a 'real' star, he has been an actor for decades and throughout his storied career, he has become an undisputed screen icon. Perhaps the best way to view Nicholson is as a bridge between old Hollywood glamour and modern-day grit. When examining his placement within the 'star system' it is clear that the public first made Nicholson 'shine' more brightly than the rest in his role in 'Easy Rider'.

Nicholson's iconic status surely cannot be questioned. The development of cult status began with 'Easy Rider' catapulting him into the public eye and was confirmed in 'The Shining'.

If we are mindful of the saying that stars reach their audience through their bodies and image Nicholson began as the 'bad boy' and has retained the tag even in his older years. Although it can be said that he is declining in his cosmetic appearance his ability to hold on to his 'bad boy' image keeps his pictures in the press and thus his celebrity alive, securing his place in the system.

Nicholson's off-screen persona parallels that of his off-beat, innovative movie characters. However despite several high profile incidents, Nicholson has always managed remain unfazed by the media due to his intelligent sense of humour and refreshing frankness.

It wasn't until the late 1960's when Jack Nicholson began starring in genre-defining movies like 'easy rider', 'Chinatown' and the film which gained him his first Oscar 'one flew over the cuckoo's nest' While his acting in films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Terms of Endearment and About Schmidt display the range of Nicholson's talent, he has a particular knack for playing angry and/or crazed characters. While this has been the source of some caricature, legendary director Stanley



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