Morgan Freeman and His Iconic Voice Turn 86 Today

DRIVING MISS DAISY, Morgan Freeman, 1989
Warner Brothers/Everett Collection

Even if you’re not sure who Morgan Freeman is, you likely recognize his iconic voice. He’s been in some huge films over the years and I was surprised to see him make a fun cameo in the new Disney+ show The Muppets Mayhem. This led me to think about some of his top cameos and best roles over the years since he’s been in Hollywood since the ’60s. From an early age, Freeman knew that he wanted to act and studied theater arts in Los Angeles after acting in school plays all of his life. He appeared in stage productions and got his big break in the children’s show The Electric Company in the ’70s.

Some of his most impressive performances happened in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s (He even played God in Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty!). Let’s start with my personal favorite and what many consider his best role as Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding in The Shawshank Redemption. Not only is he the narrator of the film with his deep, calming voice, but he plays a prisoner who struggles with life on the outside but eventually redeems himself and gets a happy ending with his buddy Andy Dufresne.

THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, 1994

Columbia/Everett Collection

In 2009, Freeman portrayed Nelson Mandela in Invictus after Mandela personally handpicked Freeman to play him. With that much pressure, it would be easy to see someone fail but Freeman does an impeccable job and even earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal. About a decade prior, he played a very different role as a cowboy in the 1992 western Unforgiven with Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, and Richard Harris and proved that he could hold his own among some of the greats.

INVICTUS, Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, 2009

Warner Bros./Everett Collection

Freeman used his incredible voice again as the narrator and former fighter in Million Dollar Baby. He plays a confidante for other characters but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t shine in the role, which earned him his very first Oscar award. Freeman is truly perfect in a supporting role in many films including the Batman trilogy. He played Lucius Fox, Bruce Wayne’s righthand man that provides him with all of the gadgets he needs to save Gotham City. He proves he can play the badass role and the sweet, wise friend. He did just the latter in Driving Miss Daisy, where he played Miss Daisy’s patient chauffeur and earned him an Oscar nomination.

MILLION DOLLAR BABY, Morgan Freeman, 2004

Warner Brothers/Everett Collection

There are so many others, so tell us, what is your favorite Morgan Freeman role? We can’t forget to mention that he has narrated a record number of documentaries too including, Cosmic Voyage, The Long Way Home, Born to Be Wild, and Our Universe. Happy birthday!

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Where Are They Now - The Seventies

June 2022

Who can forget all the great TV shows, movies and music of the ‘70s?

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