In a bid to know more about him, the media ended up uncovering a deep secret about his origins that even he wasn't aware of
Academy Award winner Jack Nicholson, known for his roles in films such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Shining, The Departed, Batman, and As Good as It Gets, is one of Hollywood's most prolific actors. It is only expected that his personal life was of great interest to the media but in a bid to know more about him, they ended up uncovering a deep secret about his origins that even he wasn't aware of.
In 1974, Nicholson was to be interviewed for a Time Magazine cover story. While digging into some of his family history as a part of their research prior to the interview, they ended up discovering that his supposed parents Ethel May and John Nicholson were actually his grandparents, and his “sister” June was his biological mother. Biography.com writes that June had passed away in 1963 before the secret was revealed to Jack. Patrick McGilligan, who penned Nicholson's biography, wrote that June, a budding stage performer at the time, began dating a man named Don Furcillo-Rose with whom she got pregnant. Furcillo-Rose was still married to someone else at the time and was in the process of getting a divorce. Ethel May did not consent to him marrying her teenage daughter and 'chased' him out of their lives, 'much to her daughter's disappointment'.
Ethel May decided to raise the baby as her own. She, June, and June's sister Lorraine swore for this to be kept a secret. Furcillo-Rose lost contact with the family and the Nicholsons relocated to New York. Relatives were informed from the very start that Ethel May was the pregnant one so no questions were raised after that. “Ethel May told everybody she was Jack’s mother. She filed a birth certificate in 1954, when Jack was of driving age and needed identification papers before heading to California," McGilligan wrote.
When the Time reporter told Nicholson this, he was surprisingly calm and took the revelation in stride, writes Biography.com. Nicholson apparently spoke about the 'revelation' and said, “It was a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn’t what I’d call traumatizing. After all, by the time I found out who my mother was, I was pretty well psychologically formed. As a matter of fact, it made quite a few things clearer to me. If anything, I felt grateful," reported Cheat Sheet.