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Film

When Jack Nicholson discovered that his sister was actually his mother

Jack Nicholson is undeniable Hollywood royalty, having worked on wildly different projects over the course of a trailblazing career. He has collaborated with some of the greatest actors as well as filmmakers, including the likes of pioneering artists such as Miloš Forman and Stanley Kubrick who have paved the way for future directors.

Even though Nicholson has now retired, the ageing star remains an important part of contemporary pop culture since many of his greatest works like Chinatown and The Shining are still revered by younger generations. With some of the most prestigious accolades to his name, Nicholson continues to be regarded as one of the greatest living actors of our time.

Parallel to his stellar career, Nicholson’s personal life has been quite the opposite. In addition to being involved in multiple legal issues, another crazy detail about Nicholson’s life is that he believed that his biological mother was actually his sister and he never really found out the truth until after she had passed away.

According to an investigation conducted by Time magazine in 1974, it was uncovered that Nicholson’s mother actually pretended to be his sister in order to maintain her dance career. Born in New Jersey, Nicholson’s mother – June – was only 17-years-old when she gave birth, which is why his grandparents decided to act as his parents.

It was only after the demise of both his mother and grandmother that he found out what the truth was. “Both grandmother and mother were deceased before this particular group of facts came to my attention,” the actor said in an interview. “I was very impressed by their ability to keep the secret if nothing else. It’s done great things for me.”

While describing the psychological impact of the discovery, he added: “I’d say it was a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn’t what I’d call traumatising. After all, by the time I found out who my mother was, I was pretty well psychologically formed. As a matter of fact, it made quite a few things clearer to me. If anything, I felt grateful.”

Multiple sources have also claimed that Nicholson was unsure about his biological father as well, with some reports suggesting that it might have been his mother’s manager. This discovery informed his political views as well since the actor later stated that he was pro-choice but personally against abortion since he was an “illegitimate child”.

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