Gene Hackman is a legend in Hollywood because of his versatility as an actor. He has starred in everything from comedies to dramas and has become a household name because of his talents in the field.

Now, he is celebrating another significant milestone. He turns 93 today! The charismatic actor is enjoying his ninth decade on earth and has built a beautiful, albeit relatively quiet, life for himself and his family.

You may know Hackman’s name from his roles in “Hoosier,” “The French Connection,” or “Unforgiven.” He has been in many famous titles and has only recently slowed his acting career down.

Hackman grew up in Illinois, born to a waitress and a pressman for the local newspaper. His father abandoned the family when he was thirteen, but one day Hackman saw his father on the street, and his father waved at him. Talking about the incident, Hackman recalled:

“I hadn’t realized how much one small gesture can mean. Maybe that’s why I became an actor.”

Gene Hackman during "Runaway Jury" Press Conference with Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, John Cusack and Rachel Weisz at the Wyndham Hotel in New Orleans, LA | Source: Getty Images

He began his career after studying at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. There he met Dusty Hoffman, and the pair was voted “least likely to succeed” by their classmates. This came after Hackman entered the Marines at 16, where he lied about his age to get in.

After Hoffman and Hackman were voted “least likely to succeed,” they decided to try and make it anyway. They went to New York, where they met up with a mutual friend of theirs named Robert Duvall.

The trio tried their luck at many roles, and finally, Hackman got his big break in 1967 when he starred in “Bonnie and Clyde.” His career grew exponentially after he starred in the film, and he became a huge success.

Sadly, his mother passed away before she could see her son on the big screen. She died in 1962. Reports said that she had been drinking and passed out with a lit cigarette in her hand, which resulted in a fire that killed her.

By 2004, Hackman had starred in his last movie, “Welcome to Mooseport,” and said he preferred to split his time between painting and writing. He retired after that film and has never looked back.

How Did Hackman Meet His Current Wife and Do They Have Kids?
Hackman and his wife, Betsy Arakawa, have a 31-year age difference, yet they are still madly in love and have a wonderful life together. Arakawa, a classical pianist, is Hackman’s second wife, who he met in the 1980s.

Gene Hackman and Betsy Arakawa in Germany in 1989 | Source: Getty Images

Arakawa and Hackman met while working out in Los Angeles. Arakawa was working at the fitness center part-time. The pair had a flirtatious relationship for a while but only began officially dating in 1984.

Arakawa moved in with Hackman into his Santa Fe apartment soon after the couple began dating. Hackman’s divorce from his first wife, Faye Maltese, which lasted from 1956 to 1986, had yet to be finalized, but the couple didn’t care.

Hackman’s first marriage produced three children, Leslie Anne, Elizabeth Jean, and Christopher Allen. Hackman and Arakawa do not share any children; however, she has a good relationship with her stepchildren.

A source close to the couple once talked about how Hackman felt about having three children from a previous marriage and revealed:

“He wishes he’d been around more for his children, but now he’s close with them and their kids.”

Gene Hackman and his family at Sun Valley in 1974 | Source: Getty Images

Hackman admitted that his career caused him to spend much of his time away from his children. He said he and his son weren’t close at a critical time in his son’s life because he was on location shooting movies.

How Did Hackman Defend His Wife?
Although Hackman is an ordinarily quiet and private actor, he has no problems defending his loved ones when the need arises. He showed a willingness to protect his wife in 2012 when he defended her against a homeless man.

Hackman and his wife were leaving a Santa Fe restaurant one day when a homeless man approached the couple. Reports said that the incident quickly escalated as the man threatened the couple.

The man, Bruce Becker, swore at Hackman’s wife, and Hackman slapped him for it. Becker then reported the incident to the police, but after talking to Hackman and Arakawa, it was deemed Hackman acted in self-defense.

Gene Hackman & wife Betsy Arakawa during The 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States | Source: Getty Images

Many publications tried to reach Hackman and Arakawa after the incident for comment, but they could not be contacted. The headlines were up for a while, but nothing further happened about the incident.

How Do Hackman and Arakawa Live Today?
In 2008, Hackman mentioned that he had retired from acting for good. Talking about how he retired and his feelings on retirement, he said:

“I haven’t held a press conference to announce my retirement, but yes, I’m not going to act any longer. I miss the actual acting part of it, as it’s what I did for almost 60 years, and I really loved that. But the business for me is very stressful.”

Now he and his wife live a much quieter life away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. A source close to Hackman said he was in good health and still enjoyed hobbies like handiwork, riding his bicycle, and gardening.

Hackman is also a writer and began releasing books after he married his wife. He said he wouldn’t have been able to write and release his books without his wife and added a dedication to her in one of them. The dedication read:

“To my wife, Betsy. Without her work and patience, this book would be but a passing thought.”

Fans have often been concerned about Hackman’s well-being as he has not been seen in public very much since his retirement, but in May last year, he put fans’ concerns to rest when he appeared in a photo.

Seth Rudestky took to Twitter last year to share a photo of himself, Ana Gatseyer, and Hackman. Rudetsky admitted that Hackman was his favorite and seemed excited that he had seen him. He looked healthy and happy in the snap.

By admin