Born: July 1, 1937 in Memphis, TN
Morgan Freeman acted on stage for decades, doing everything from regional Shakespeare to appearing off-Broadway in "The Niggerlovers" with Stacy Keach. He made his movie debut in the 1966 drama "A Man Called Adam," starring VIPs Sammy Davis, Jr. and Louis Armstrong, and directed by Leo Penn (father of Chris, Michael, and Sean Penn). In 1968, Freeman made his Broadway debut in an all-black engagement of "Hello Dolly."
Freeman was 50 before landing his first substantial film role, as a pimp
in Street Smart. His performance was Oscar-nominated
and he had two other nominations (for Driving Miss Daily and The Shawshank Redemption) before winning the Oscar for Best Supporting
Actor in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby.
Freeman found his Electric Company stint so mind-numbing he turned to cocaine, which he quit, and did penance playing Michael Keaton's rehab counselor in 1988's Clean and Sober. But in April 2003 Morgan told an interviewer from UK's The Guardian,"Never give up the ganja. It's God's own weed."
Freeman has played God (above, in Bruce Almighty), Nelson Mandela (twice) and the U.S. President (in Deep Impact). In a scene in The Sum of All Fears (2002) starring Freeman and Ben Affleck, the President states at a White House Correspondents' dinner that he smoked marijuana back in Vietnam and then jokes that means he'll get the California vote.
Changing the Face of Cannabis