(Actor, born in Memphis, Tennessee, June 1, 1937)For decades, the name Morgan Freeman has been synonymous with distinguished screen acting. He is one of the most respected performers currently making movies. His critically acclaimed work is universally regarded as authoritative yet serene; commanding, powerful, and dignified yet warm, graceful, and discreet. Even back in the late 1980s, when Freeman was just entering his period of artistic maturity and stardom with two Oscar nominations in three years for Street Smart (1987, best supporting actor) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989, best actor), the film authority Pauline Kael was already asking: “Is Morgan Freeman the greatest actor in America today?” An astonishing critical milestone in his career considering that most of his brilliant performances were still to come in movies such as Lean on Me (1989), Glory (1989), Unforgiven (1992, his first collaboration with Clint Eastwood), The Shawshank Redemption (1994 and another best actor Oscar nomination), Seven (1995), Amistad (1997), Deep Impact (1998, as the president of the United States), Nurse Betty (2000), The Sum of All Fear (2002), Long Walk to Freedom (2004, as Nelson Mandela), Batman Begins (2005), Gone Baby Gone (2007), and Million Dollar Baby (2004), in which, once again directed by Eastwood, Freeman gave a stunning, deeply moving performance that brought him the 2005 best supporting actor Academy Award. In a blaze of dazzling versatility proclaiming an artist at the top of his game, the year 2008 signaled Freeman’s eagerly anticipated return to the Broadway stage in the Mike Nichols production of The Country Girl as well as his resonant contributions to Hollywood summer blockbusters Batman: The Dark Knight and Wanted.