Jack Nicholson, the Oscar-winning actor behind some of the most memorable roles of 20th century cinema, may have appeared in his final film, according to reports.
The 76-year-old star of The Shining, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Chinatown has quietly retired from acting, Star magazine and Radar Online reported on Wednesday.
“There is a simple reason behind his decision – it’s memory loss,” a source told Radar. “Quite frankly, at 76, Jack has memory issues and can no longer remember the lines being asked of him”.
Nicholson’s agent and lawyer did not return requests from The Daily Telegraph for confirmation or denial of the reports, which would leave 2010’s How Do You Know as his final Hollywood outing.
Over a five-decade career, Nicholson received a dozen nominations for Best Actor at the Academy Awards, winning for As Good As It Gets in 1998 and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1976.
He also picked up the prize for Best Supporting Actor in 1984 for Terms Of Endearment and received three other nominations for the award in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
In 1999, Nicholson was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes. He has five children aged between 21 and 49 from his relationships with Sandra Knight, Susan Anspach, Winnie Hollman and Rebecca Broussard.
In an interview with Esquire magazine earlier this year, Nicholson said that because he was “such a perfectionist” he had never been entirely satisfied with his celebrated career.
“I take responsibility for my successes as well as my failures. But when I look at my professional mistakes, I’m always left with the feeling that maybe I should have done more,” he said.
It is believed that producers for the forthcoming film Nebraska, in which “an ageing, booze-addled father make the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize”, wanted Nicholson to take the lead role of Woody Grant.
However Nicholson is said to have turned down the part, which was ultimately played by Bruce Dern, the Oscar-nominated actor and father of the actress Laura Dern. The film is due to be released later this year. Nicholson’s representatives declined to comment on whether he had been offered the role.
In 2011 Nicholson was said to have been preparing to appear in The Golden Age, a film directed by Matthew Vaughn in which he, Clint Eastwood and Warren Beatty were to play retired superheroes. However, that film never proceeded.
Sources told Star and Radar Nicholson planned to step back from acting “without fanfare” and would continue to be seen in public on the sidelines at his beloved Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.
However one source said to be close to Nicholson was reported to have told NBC News that the reports were not true, and that he would continue considering scripts.