Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman (born January 30, 1930) is a retired American actor and novelist.
Hackman has made 80 films. He came to fame in 1967 when his performance as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde earned him his first Oscar nomination. His major roles include police detective Popeye Doyle in The French Connection, surveillance expert Harry Caul in The Conversation, basketball coach Norman Dale in Hoosiers, the heroic Reverend Scott in The Poseidon Adventure, federal agent Rupert Anderson in Mississippi Burning, sadistic sheriff Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, arch-villain Lex Luthor in Superman (plus two of its sequels), Edward "Brill" Lyle in Enemy of the State, patriarch Royal Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums, submarine captain Frank Ramsey in Crimson Tide, professional thief Joe Moore in Heist and Admiral Leslie McMahon Reigart in Behind Enemy Lines.
Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Lyda (née Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman. He has a brother, Richard. Hackman's family moved frequently, until finally settling in Danville, Illinois, where they lived in the house of his English-born maternal grandmother Beatrice, and where Hackman's father operated the printing press for the Commercial-News, a local paper. Hackman's parents divorced in 1943, and his father subsequently left the family. At 16, Hackman left home to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served four-and-a-half years as a field radio operator. Having finished his service, he moved to New York, working in several minor jobs. His mother died in 1962 as a result of a fire she accidentally set while smoking.