Dustin Hoffman asked for the part of Rankin Fitch in Runaway Jury (2003), which had gone to Hackman. Hoffman admits to asking, "Can't you get rid of Gene and give me the part?".
Dustin Hoffman came to New York after finishing his training at the Pasadena Playhouse. The two of them roomed together in New York at Hackman's one-bedroom apartment on 2nd Ave. & 26th St. Hoffman slept on the kitchen floor. Originally, Hackman had offered to let him stay a few nights, but Hoffman would not leave. Hackman had to take him out to look for his own apartment.
Runaway Jury (2003) was the first time he and former roommate Dustin Hoffman performed on the screen together.
1990: Underwent successful angioplasty surgery after nearly suffering a severe heart attack.
2001: Was involved in a road-rage incident when two young men attacked him for hitting their car in Hollywood.
7/7/04: Appeared on "Larry King Live" (1985). Larry King was surprised to find out that Hackman had no movies lined up, and Hackman replied by saying that he thinks it is the end of his career.
After flunking out of the Pasadena Playhouse and moving to New York City with fellow drop-out Dustin Hoffman, Hackman worked at the Howard Johnson's restaurant in Times Square as a doorman. One day, a Pasadena Playhouse acting teacher whom Hackman hated walked by him, stopped, and told him that he had been right, that Hackman would never amount to anything.
After he played Little Bill in Unforgiven (1992), Hackman vowed not to appear in any more violent films. After he had been in violent films dating back to Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and The French Connection (1971) (in a role refused by Peter Boyle for the same reasons), he said he was fed up with them.
Along with Margot Kidder, Hackman was appalled at the way Alexander Salkind and Ilya Salkind, the producers of the first three Superman films and 1984's Supergirl (1984) film, had treated director Richard Donner, who had directed the first Superman (1978) and most of the second Superman film back-to-back before he was fired by the Salkinds over creative differences. Hackman, who said he only did the first two movies because of Donner's persuasion, was so angry with the Salkinds that he vehemently refused to reprise the role of Lex Luthor in Superman III (1983), while Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane, only appeared in a cameo role. Hackman was later persuaded to reprise the Luthor role in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).
Appeared on Richard Nixon's infamous "List of Enemies" during the 1972 presidential election, the only time Hackman was publicly involved in politics. During an interview on "Larry King Live" (1985) in July 2004, Hackman stated that although he is a Democrat, he liked President Ronald Reagan, who had died the previous year.
As a young man, Hackman attended a showing of the movie A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and was impressed by the performance of Marlon Brando due to his naturalism and the fact that he didn't look like what a movie star typically looked like in the 1950s. After exiting the theater, he told his father that he wanted to be an actor.
As roommates, Dustin Hoffman and Hackman would often go to the apartment rooftop and play the drums. Hoffman played the bongo drums while Hackman played the conga drums. They did it out of their love for Marlon Brando, who they had heard played music in clubs. They wanted to be like Brando and were big fans of his.
Based his role in The Conversation (1974) on one of his uncles and a fellow Marine he had known well. He characterized the Marine as someone "who probably became a serial killer.".
Before he decided to become an actor, he worked numerous jobs including announcing at small radio and TV stations.
Both Hackman and his former roommate, Dustin Hoffman, had their big breaks in 1967, Hackman in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Hoffman in The Graduate (1967).
Brother of Richard Hackman.
Distantly related to Jenni Blong.
Enjoys painting and writing fiction.
Even though he is no longer a cigarette smoker, Hackman played the role of a chain-smoker in Heartbreakers (2001). He was using a special kind of cigarette that only produces heavy smoke without requiring any inhaling. Ironically and tragically, in 1962, Hackman's mother Lydia died of injuries incurred from a fire caused by her own smoking.
Father of Christopher Hackman. He also has 2 daughters named Leslie Hackman and Elizabeth Hackman.