Morgan Freeman (born June 1, 1937) is an American actor, director and narrator. He is particularly known for his distinctive deep voice, and has appeared in a range of film genres portraying character roles. Freeman is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Freeman was raised in Mississippi where he began acting in school plays. He studied theatre arts in Los Angeles and appeared in stage productions in his early career. He 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. His breakout role was in Street Smart (1987), playing a hustler, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He achieved further stardom in the comedy-drama Driving Miss Daisy (1989), which garnered Freeman a second Academy Award nomination, for Best Actor. His other critical successes of 1989 were the war film Glory, and the biographical drama Lean on Me.
Freeman made his directorial debut in 1993 with the drama Bopha!, and a year later, appeared in the acclaimed prison drama The Shawshank Redemption. David Fincher's crime thriller Seven (1995), in which Freeman was cast as a detective, also received praise for his performance. Later, he appeared in Steven Spielberg's historical epic Amistad (1997), and the science fiction Deep Impact (1998). In the mid-2000s, he played a former boxer in Million Dollar Baby, joined The Dark Knight Trilogy, and narrated the documentary March of the Penguins. For his portrayal of South African President Nelson Mandela in Invictus (2009), he earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Freeman joined two film franchises in 2013; the Fallen film series, and the Now You See Me series. Freeman also hosted and narrated National Geographic's The Story of God with Morgan Freeman and The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman.
Freeman is the co-founder of Revelations Entertainment, a production company that has produced some of his films and documentaries. He has been an advocate of environmental causes, and has narrated short films for global organizations such as the United Nations. He is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor, the AFI Life Achievement Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. For his performances on stage, he has won three Obie Awards, one of the most prestigious honors for recognizing excellence in theatre.