For as long as we can all remember, there’s been a running joke that Morgan Freeman was born old. While we know that it’s obviously not true, there aren’t many photos of him as a young legend-in-the-making, so what are we to believe? To celebrate his 86th birthday today (June 1), we scoured the Internet to find some pictures of a young-er Freeman.
Morgan Freeman was born in Memphis, Tennessee. While being raised in Mississippi, he began acting in school plays. In his early career, he studied theater arts in Los Angeles and appeared in stage productions. Freeman rose to fame in the 1970s for his role in the children’s television series The Electric Company. Freeman then appeared in the Shakespearean plays Coriolanus and Julius Caesar, the former of which earned him an Obie Award. In 1978, he received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his role as Zeke in the Richard Wesley play The Mighty Gents.
If his theater arts run wasn’t already impressive enough, he transitioned into filmography and catapulted himself to a legendary level. He’s been nominated for an Oscar for his roles in Clint Eastwood’s sports drama Million Dollar Baby (2004), Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Invictus (2009). Other notable roles include Glory (1989), Lean on Me (1989), Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), Unforgiven (1992), Se7en (1995), Amistad (1997), Gone Baby Gone (2007), and The Bucket List (2007). Freeman also portrayed Lucius Fox in Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005–2012), action films Wanted (2008), Red (2010), Oblivion (2013), Now You See Me (2013), and Lucy (2014).
Over the course of his illustrious five decade plus career, Freeman has become one of the most prominent and respected figures in Hollywood. His accolades include an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Award. He is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor in 2008, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2011, the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2012, and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2018. He is known for distinctive deep voice and various roles in a wide variety of film genres. Over the last few years, Freeman has even dipped into lending his voice to mixtapes (21 Savage’s Savage Mode 1 & 2). If that isn’t him showing that you can be old in age and young at heart, there won’t be anything that will. To celebrate the legend and his prestigious career, enjoy a gallery of him in a space we’ve rarely got to see him IN…as a young adult. HAPPY 86TH MORGAN FREEMAN!