Jack Nicholson’s Warriors appearance marks a rare return to public life
Jack Nicholson’s limitless charisma and mischievous smile have been sorely missed in movies over the past 13 years, as well as in the front row at the Academy Awards and courtside at games for his beloved Los Angeles Lakers.
So, Nicholson’s fans were absolutely delighted to see the 86-year-old back at two recent Lakers games, including Monday night’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Nicholson occupied his usual courtside spot as the Lakers pulled off a 104-101 win over the Warriors, taking a 3-1 lead over the defending champs in the Western Conference semifinal playoffs.
Nicholson’s appearances at Lakers games on Monday and on April 28 come after the U.K. tabloid The Daily Mail published photos of the legendary actor two weeks earlier, looking disheveled as he stood on the balcony of his notorious Mulholland Drive compound in Beverly Hills. As the three-time Oscar winner has receded from the spotlight in the past decade, he has been the subject of reports that speculate on him becoming a “recluse,” as he perhaps deals with declining health or even the possibility of dementia. People close to Nicholson have denied such speculation.
Prior to the April 14 publication of the Daily Mail photos, Nicholson was last seen in public in October 2021 — at a Lakers game. The star of “Chinatown,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Shining” has owned season tickets for the team since the 1970s.
Nicholson attended Monday night’s game with son Ray Nicholson, one of this six children by five different women. Ray Nicholson, 31, is one of two children Nicholson had with actress/waitress Rebecca Broussard, following Nicholson’s breakup with longtime girlfriend Angelica Huston.
When Jack and Ray Nicholson arrived at Crypto.com Arena, they were greeted by “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David, another Daily Mail report said.
During the game, Nicholson sat between his son and longtime friend, producer Lou Adler or next to sports agent Jim Gray. The star at one point was seen having an animated conversation with a stadium employee who briefly kneeled before him, the Daily Mail said. For the most part, though, he sat back in his chair, watched the game and didn’t speak too much to anyone, a photographer for this news organization said.
With the Warriors rebounding Wednesday night with a 121-106 win over the Lakers in Game 5, the series continues in Los Angeles Friday night. It will be interesting to see if Nicholson makes yet another appearance in his hometown stadium.
Nicholson, who began acting in Hollywood in 1955, enjoyed a busy decade in the 2000s, winning acclaim for starring in the Oscar-nominated “About Schmidt,” playing Diane Keaton’s aging-playboy love interest in “Something’s Gotta Give” and chewing the scenery as a gangster boss in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed.” He last appeared in a movie in 2010, playing a supporting role in “How Do You Know,” a romantic comedy by James L. Brooks, who had directed him to Oscars in “Terms of Endearment” and “As Good as it Gets.” Co-starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd, “How Do You Know” received mostly negative reviews.
Nicholson was quoted in The Sun in 2013 as saying he didn’t consider himself to be retired from acting, but that he didn’t feel as much drive to be “out there anymore.” Then 76, he also denied he was having problems with his memory, insisting has “a mathematician’s brain.”