Home People Amerique Us: This Is The Surprising Reason Why Morgan Freeman Destroyed His 124-Acre Ranch
Amerique - Trajectoire - Une - 16 janvier 2021

Us: This Is The Surprising Reason Why Morgan Freeman Destroyed His 124-Acre Ranch

From the early 1990s, Oscar winner Morgan Freeman has owned a stunning 124-acre Mississippi ranch. The much-loved actor actually built the property on land that he purchased from his mother and father, and undoubtedly he’s made many happy memories there since. So, it may come as a surprise to hear that, more recently, Freeman tore some of his place down – even if he had a very good reason for doing so.

Freeman has long had ties to the state of Mississippi, as in his infancy he was sent to live with his paternal grandmother in the city of Charleston. The actor also called Greenwood his home during his high school years before he ultimately left for Hollywood. But while forging a glittering career in Tinseltown, he realized that he missed a simpler life.

So, back in 1991, Freeman bought land from his parents, with the plot having also previously been owned by his grandparents. Then the star assisted in building a spectacular hacienda-inspired property on the site near Charleston. As a keen horseman, Freeman ensured that the ranch featured several mounts.

And in a 2012 interview with Garden and Gun magazine, Freeman was asked why he had returned to the area in which he had spent his formative years. To this, the Academy Award winner simply replied, “I realized it’s where I was happiest. It’s where I belong.” Yet, just two years later, Freeman decided to make a drastic change to the property that had brought him so much joy.

Way before Freeman ever became a household name, though, he was born in the Tennessee city of Memphis in 1937 as the son of a teacher mother and barber father. And the future actor lived a relatively nomadic childhood, spending time in Indiana and Chicago as well as Mississippi. But even during this constant state of upheaval, Freeman managed to develop the talents that would later launch him to worldwide fame.

Freeman first took to the stage as a nine-year-old, in fact, as part of a school production. Then, after winning a drama contest held statewide, he showcased his acting skills on a Nashville radio program. In his late teens, however, Freeman put his ambitions on hold to join the U.S. military. He subsequently spent four years in the Air Force, where he rose to the rank of Airman 1st Class.

Freeman first took to the stage as a nine-year-old, in fact, as part of a school production. Then, after winning a drama contest held statewide, he showcased his acting skills on a Nashville radio program. In his late teens, however, Freeman put his ambitions on hold to join the U.S. military. He subsequently spent four years in the Air Force, where he rose to the rank of Airman 1st Class.

Then after gracing the big screen for the first time in 1971 family drama Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow!, Freeman joined the cast of The Electric Company. He actually spent six years on PBS’ hugely popular kids’ TV show, playing characters such as Vincent the Vegetable Vampire and Mel Mounds the DJ. Yet it was on the stage where Freeman’s career truly flourished.

In 1980, for instance, Freeman picked up a prestigious Obie Award for his performance as the eponymous lead in a production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. He went on to repeat this feat for his turns as a preacher in The Gospel at Colonus and as a chauffeur in Driving Miss Daisy. And, of course, it was the big-screen adaptation of the latter play that cemented Freeman as a bona fide Hollywood star.

Freeman had already received an Oscar nomination by the time Driving Miss Daisy hit movie theaters, having earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for his turn in the little-seen drama Street Smart. But his reprisal of the role of chauffeur Hoke in Daisy was enjoyed by a much larger audience – and led to him making the first of three Best Actor Academy Award shortlists.

And after impressing in American Civil War drama Glory as Sergeant Major Rawlins, Freeman hit something of a purple patch. He enjoyed box-office success in medieval epic Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Western Unforgiven, serial killer thriller Se7en and disaster movie Deep Impact. He received further awards attention, too, for portraying prisoner Red in The Shawshank Redemption.

Then, in 1997, Freeman turned his attention behind the scenes by co-founding Revelations Entertainment with producer Lori McCreary. Yet the star continued to rack up the film credits, and in 2005 he finally got the chance to make an acceptance speech at the Academy Awards. Yes, as fans will know, Freeman was crowned Best Supporting Actor for his turn in Clint Eastwood’s boxing drama Million Dollar Baby.

That same year, Freeman lent his trademark booming baritone to both War of the Worlds and the hugely successful documentary March of the Penguins. In front of the cameras, meanwhile, the actor played God in comedy Bruce Almighty and Lucius Fox in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. And in 2007 Freeman starred alongside another Hollywood veteran, Jack Nicholson, in The Bucket List.

But following a return to the Broadway stage in The Country Girl, Freeman landed the role he was perhaps born to play. After years of trying to get a Nelson Mandela project off the ground, the actor finally had the chance to portray the South African icon in biopic Invictus. For his efforts, he was rewarded with a fifth Oscar nomination.

After that, Freeman joined an all-star cast, including Bruce Willis, in the adaptation of comic book Red. And after adding to his Broadway credits with Dustin Lance Black’s 8, the star subsequently showed up in action movie Olympus Has Fallen, Tom Cruise sci-fi epic Oblivion and golden years comedy Last Vegas. Freeman also made a surprise return to television with a three-episode stint in Madam Secretary.

Freeman not only appeared as the Chief Justice of the United States in the legal drama, but he also directed its second season premiere. And this wasn’t the first time that the star had taken up such a role. Previously, he had also helmed Bopha! – a 1993 movie adaptation of the stage play set in apartheid-era South Africa.

And Freeman shows no signs of slowing down in his 80s, either. More recently, he has appeared in front of the cameras in Going in StyleJust Getting Started and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The star also lent his familiar tones to historical adventure Alpha and hosted documentary series The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman.

During his early years in showbiz, meanwhile, Freeman was supported by his first wife, Jeannette Adair Bradshaw. Sadly, though, the couple split in 1979 after 12 years of marriage. Then, in 1984, the actor tied the knot for a second time to Myrna Colley-Lee. But, yet again, the union ultimately fell apart, and in 2010 Freeman was left heading for the divorce courts.

Then there are Freeman’s children, with his firstborn, Alfonso, arriving as a result of the star’s affair with a woman named Loletha Polk-Adkins. And while Alfonso didn’t actually forge a relationship with his father until his mid-20s, he still ended up following in his acting footsteps, with dad and son sharing the screen in The Shawshank RedemptionSe7en and The Bucket List.

Freeman’s second son, flight instructor Saifoulaye, was then born in the early 1960s following the star’s relationship with an anonymous woman. Saifoulaye was followed in 1971 by daughter Morgana – the only child of the actor and his first wife, Jeannette. And in time, Freeman and his second wife, Myrna, even ended up adopting his step-granddaughter. Tragically, though, E’dena Hines was found murdered in 2015 at the age of just 33.

It should be known, too, that Freeman isn’t afraid to speak up on the issues he cares about. In recent years, for example, he’s backed both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s respective presidential campaigns. And during a 2017 video made by the Committee to Investigate Russia, Freeman had strong words to share, claiming that the U.S. is “at war” with the Vladimir Putin-led nation.

Yet the star has put his considerable fame to good use in other areas. For instance, in 2004 he co-founded a relief fund designed to help Grenadians whose lives had been impacted by Hurricane Ivan. This charitable endeavor has since evolved into an organization called PLANIT NOW, which aids those living in areas vulnerable to natural disasters.

The environment is a general concern of Freeman’s, in fact, and he has used his signature calming voice to narrate several clips for awareness-raising organizations such as One Earth. In 2014 he similarly joined forces with Louie Schwartzberg for What’s Possible – a documentary short about the dangers of global warming that was shown at the United Nations Climate Summit.

And in 2007 Freeman told online green magazine Grist,

“I don’t need any more press. I get enough when I work, but environmental causes [are] one place where you can get me to open my mouth – and put my foot in it if necessary. I think the only thing I do that gives me any bragging rights in terms of energy conservation is sailing just using wind power.”

Freeman also explained to the website that he’d been an environmentalist for quite some time. He said, “I don’t remember what year it was, but it was back in the ’80s, and I was in New York. A bus came up and then took off, and I had to hold my breath. And I thought, you know, that’s what it is.”

“Then you start looking at places like Santiago, Los Angeles, Beijing, Singapore – all of these places where people are literally dying from the air,” Freeman continued. “Wherever there are densities of people, we have environmental problems, and now it’s pretty much global. So, what are we talking here – about 25 years of concern?”

In 2019, however, Freeman proved how dedicated he is to environmental issues by setting his sights on the worrying decrease in the bee population. And he went above and beyond to do his bit by essentially converting his beloved Mississippi home into a bee sanctuary.

In fact, Freeman decided to import no fewer than 26 beehives to his 124-acre ranch in Charleston from Arkansas. The actor then fed the insects water and sugar as he got to work building a suitable habitat. This included planting fruit and magnolia trees as well as lavender and clover – all of which would aid the pollinators.

Freeman had first talked publicly about his passion for beekeeping when he’d appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2014. There, the actor told the host that while he’d only recently discovered an interest in the insects, he already felt comfortable in their company. And because of this, he didn’t feel the need to wear a protective suit when around his swarms.

Fallon seemingly felt slightly skeptical about his guest’s confidence in his bees, as he explained to Freeman that such outfits are designed for a very specific reason. Yet the star insisted that he had nothing to worry about, adding, “I’m never going to get stung. They have the outfits for people who can’t resonate [with the bees].”

And Freeman had a theory as to why the bees have so far steered clear of him. He told Fallon, “They haven’t [stung me] yet, because right now I’m not trying to harvest honey or anything, I’m just feeding them… I think they understand, ‘Hey, don’t bother this guy, he’s got sugar water here.’”

Freeman went on to tell the host why he had taken up beekeeping, saying, “There’s a concerted effort to bring bees back onto the planet. We do not realize that they are the foundation, I think, of the growth of the planet, the vegetation. I have so many flowering things, and I have a gardener too.”

And it appears that Freeman’s gardener has been vital to the actor’s conservation efforts. He went on, “Because [my gardener] takes care of the bees, too, all she does is figure out, ‘Okay, what would they like to have?’ So we’ve got acres and acres of clover, [and] we’re planting stuff like lavender. I’ve got, like, maybe 140 magnolia trees – big blossoms.”

Yet while this beekeeping chat with Fallon was fairly jovial, things got a little more serious when Freeman discussed the issue with Larry King two years later. During that appearance, the actor called out both the U.S. government and farming conglomerate Monsanto, claiming that they were responsible for a “frightening loss of bee colonies.”

And it’s true that the increased use of pesticides – not to mention man-made changes to various species of plants – has seriously threatened the natural environment of bees. In the first couple of decades of the 21st century, beekeepers across America discovered that ‘colony collapse disorder’ had destroyed many of their hives, with the result being the disappearance of millions of the insects.

This could all have disastrous effects on the world’s food supply, as the bee population pollinates various plants. And as the number of bees dwindles across the world, agricultural and ecological problems have arisen – and are continuing to increase – as a result.

The efforts to preserve the bee population also took a blow in 2018, when Donald Trump’s administration rescinded a ban put in place by his predecessor. Barack Obama had previously implemented a restriction on the use of pesticides connected with the decreasing population of wild bees. And environmentalists believe that lifting the ban has significantly increased the dangers posed to pollinators.

But while beekeeping may seem an unlikely hobby for a major Hollywood star to pursue, Freeman isn’t the only A-list actor to show a keen interest in the insects. Scarlett Johansson, who appeared alongside Freeman in Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller Lucy, is supposedly also a fan.

Johansson apparently took up the hobby after being gifted a beehive by Samuel L. Jackson for her wedding to fellow superhero star Ryan Reynolds. The glamorous pair reportedly tended to the insects themselves, too, with Johansson even using the honey they harvested in her daily skincare routine.

Coincidentally, Freeman will soon be seen sharing the screen with both Reynolds and Jackson in the 2020 action-comedy sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard. Also among the actor’s upcoming movies is a remake of 1982 comedy The Comeback Trail, in which he will appear alongside Robert De Niro and Tommy Lee Jones.

However, one former co-star of Freeman’s appears to have vanished completely from Hollywood. And given that Jack Nicholson hasn’t formally announced his retirement, fans may be wondering just what prompted the movie legend to take a step back – or whether we’ll watch him perform once more.

Affluent times

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Check Also

Sénégal > Nouveaux heurts après l’arrestation d’Ousmane Sonko: un manifestant décédé en Casamance

Au Sénégal, de nouvelles tensions ont eu lieu ce jeudi, suite à l’arrestation d’Ousmane So…