Humanist profile.

Position:Biography
 
FREE EXCERPT

"The highest power is the human mind. That's where God came from, and my belief in God is my belief in myself."

--Morgan Freeman

MORGAN FREEMAN was born on June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennessee, the youngest of Mayme Edna and Morgan Porterfield Freeman's four children. His parents struggled in the hostile environment of racial segregation and discrimination in the South, and so moved to Chicago in search of work, leaving Morgan with his maternal grandmother in Charleston, Mississippi. He moved back with his mother after she had separated from his alcoholic father, and eventually the family settled in Greenwood, Mississippi.

Freeman made his acting debut in an elementary school play and from then on was determined to pursue acting. In a 2011 interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Freeman said he was "always ambitious ... I always wanted to be more than I was," and he knew he had to leave Mississippi in order to realize his dream of becoming an actor.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force as a repairman and earning the rank of Airman First Class, Freeman studied acting in Los Angeles and appeared in several New York theater productions. After appearing on the soap opera Another World and the PBS kids show The Electric Company, Freeman started to land supporting roles in major films in the mid-1980s. His first marriage to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw lasted from 1967 to 1979. His second marriage, to Myrna Colley-Lee, with whom he adopted a daughter, lasted twenty-six years (they divorced in 2010).

Freeman has appeared in over eighty films, including Driving Miss Daisy, Seven, The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, The Dark Knight trilogy, and Million Dollar Baby, for which he won an Oscar. Known for his eloquent, distinctive voice, Freeman has voiced characters in a number of animated films and has narrated several documentaries. Interestingly enough, he's played the role of "God" twice, in the films Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty. But when asked about his own beliefs in an interview earlier this year with the Daily Beast, Freeman responded, "The highest power is the human mind...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP