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Jack Nicholson Feared Dying Alone despite Having 5 Kids & Feeling like His Only Marriage Was 'Hot Stove'

Oyin Balogun
Apr 27, 2022
09:30 P.M.
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Famous actor Jack Nicholson, who has enjoyed the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and has had his fair share of women, confesses that he would like to fall in love again and is scared to die alone.


American actor and filmmaker Jack Nicholson is famous for his romantic and action leads and has spanned over 50 years in the industry.

He is just as renowned with women as he is in Hollywood, has been intimate with many stunning women, and was married only once.

Jack Nicholson with his award at the 60th Annual Golden Globes in 2003 | Source: Getty Images


Nicholson was married at the height of his career in 1962 to Sandra Knight. When she was only 14 years old, Knight met the actor and was a messenger on an MGM production where her father worked.

She was fascinated by Nicholson and his friends and thought they were excellent, but that was as far as it would get. Knight met the actor in Martin Landau's acting class five years later, and they started their romance. 


A young Jack Nicholson in a publicity still for the movie The Cry Baby Killer | Source: Getty Images


Knight's ambition as a kid was to become a screen goddess in the musical and acting scene. Born in 1939, young Knight was exposed to Hollywood as her father worked for MGM.

She worked her way up from being a messenger to starring in movies like "Frankenstein's daughter." She shared the same stage with Nicholson when they met five years later and rehearsed a scene from Tennessee Williams's play "summer and smoke," and the flame of romance was fanned.

American actor Jack Nicholson on the set of 1971 movie Carnal Knowledge | Source: Getty Images


Getting married in 1962 was the icing on the cake for the couple, and barely a year after, they welcomed their first child Jennifer and all was looking good.

Unfortunately, this happiness was short-lived when in 1968, they split. However, Knight revealed and gave deep insight into who Nicholson truly is in a recent interview.

Jack Nicholson pictured in "Five Easy Pieces" in 1970 | Source: Getty Images


Despite a short-lived marriage and insinuations concerning the state of the union, which led to a divorce, Knight makes it clear that Nicholson was an affectionate and dutiful lover. She poured accolades on him and praised him. She said:

"The real Jack is loving, caring and giving person."

Although the split between the actor and Knight dealt a terrible blow to him, which he does not seem to have recovered from, the perspective from which he views love and marriage became distorted. Nicholson licked his wounds after the divorce and decided not to wear his heart on his sleeves again.

Jack Nicholson at the press conference for 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', February 9, 1976 | Source: Getty Images


The famous actor, who has always been dandy and is an enigma wherever he is, especially amongst women, has been averse to commitment even though he has dated many beautiful women. Marc Eliot, author of "Nicholson: A Biography," describes the actor's reaction to marriage in these words:

"Marriage was a hot stove, he touched it, got horned and never did it again."


Jack Nicholson with Rebecca Broussard and their daughter Lorraine in Paris in July 1994, in France | Source: Getty Images


Women have always been drawn to Nicholson like metal is drawn to a magnet without much ado, yet it lacks the longevity he seeks.

He has but one regret - a lasting relationship with a woman. Although he is not optimistic about finding that in the nearest future, he still is hopeful for all that life has in store regarding a committed relationship.

He laments that he has been unlucky with matters of the heart and would not mind one last jump on the horse of romance. However, he does not see that happening soon but longs for it.

Jack Nicholson with Anjelica Huston, circa 1970 in New York | Source: Getty Images


Nicholson says: "I've been in love in my life, but it always starts with an obsession that lasts exactly 18 months, and then it changes. If I'd known and been prepared for that, I may have been able to orchestrate the whole relationship…."

He revealed that he has a reputation as "Jack the Jumper," and prospective lovers never take him seriously, which he thinks poses a threat to future romances. Nicholson has had a lot of transient relationships to last a lifetime, but one prominent feature in his love life was Anjelica Huston.

Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston circa 1985 | Source: Getty Images


They had a relationship that spanned 16 years and abruptly ended when Huston found out actress Rebecca Broussard had a child for Nicholson during the period they dated.

The separation took a toll on Nicholson, which emotionally damaged him until he was stabilized. He describes that period of his life as the toughest and could not get over it.


Jack Nicholson and his friend Winnie Hollman on February 16, 1976 in Paris for the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" | Source: Getty Images


Living in the moment has its upside, but famous actor Nicholson has a deep-seated fear of dying alone. As a result, he has been off the radar for a while, and he said he did not want to draw attention to himself. So it was a beautiful surprise when he was spotted at a picture exhibition in L.A.

He stays behind closed doors in his Mulholland Drive mansion, and his children have tried to dissuade him from selling the villa and get an apartment that will be suitable for his present station.

However, Nicholson has refused and did not heed their advice as he is in love with his Hollywood Hills homeland and would not trade it.


Jack Nicholson, Rebecca Broussard and family attend Jack Nicholson Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star Ceremony on December 4, 1996 in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images

Change is the only constant thing that has recently visited the actor, and things are not as they used to be. The father of five has been relegated to a solitary lifestyle away from partying and womanizing. He affirms that:


"My life has changed, and I do not enjoy the things I used to anymore. I don't go out to nightclubs, I don't like clubs anymore. I don't go out raging, looking for women, now it's just a game that isn't worth the candle."

Jack Nicholson during 4th Annual Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic on October 21, 2002 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California | Source: Getty Images


It is now a regular occurrence to go filming in a location, and Nicholson would not leave the confines of his hotel room. His friends advise him to go out more, but he enjoys his solitary moments and still fancies himself social.

Apart from his first child, Jennifer, from his only marriage, he has fathered five other children from different stunning women. But unfortunately, Nicholson was more often than not an absent father and was nowhere to be found during milestones in the life of his children.

Jack Nicholson pictured at the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center, Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images


He regrets that he was not there to watch his children grow. However, he tries to make up for his absence by being there for them in recent times. He reevaluated his priorities and made family topmost on the list.

Nicholson, who is also a grandfather, is excited about his new role and tries to make things right, learning from his past mistakes and being a better father and grandfather.



The super star's first child Jennifer has followed in her father's steps as she is also an actress and has starred in numerous movies, including "Johnny Christ," "Wolf," and "Hoffa."

She got married to Mark Norfelt in 1997 and welcomed two children. They split in 2003. The second child, Caleb Goddard, is also an actor and has some movies to his credit. 

Jack Nicholson, Lorraine Nicholson, and Raymond Nicholson at The 78th Annual Academy Awards on March 05, 2006 | Source: Getty Images


He has also worked as a location assistant on the "Guilty as Charged" set in 1991. The fling between Nicholson and Winnie Hoffmann birthed Honey Nicholson.

She is described as the most private of all the Nicholson children as she is not towing the celebrity limelight like her father and siblings and has been off the grid for a while.

Jack Nicholson and Jennifer Nicholson at her fashion show for LA Fashion Week in 2003 | Sources: Getty Images


Lorraine Broussard Nicholson is also an actor and made her debut appearance on the Hollywood scene in 2003 with roles in "Something's gotta give." Since then, she has been gracing the screen with her appearances.

Ray is the youngest child and has followed suit in showbiz, just like his older siblings. He appeared in "Benchwarmer," "Where are you?" and has been credited as assistant director for "A Reunion" and "Boots."

Jennifer Nicholson during 2006 US Weekly Hot Hollywood Awards - Arrivals at Republic Restaurant & Lounge in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Despite the exclusion of a long-term love life, it is undeniable that Nicholson enjoys the love and warmth of his family, and we can only hope that he fills the void in his heart, and sooner than later, he finds that missing piece.