Morgan Freeman was first seen standing on the stage when he was just 8 years old, portraying the playing Little Boy Blue in a pageant. It was at this point in time when he decided he wants to be an actor.
Now, more than 70 years after that, Morgan Freeman who is now 80 years old accepted a lifetime achievement award on Sunday from the Screen Actors Guild. He received this award for the much larger roles he’s played in his career after that young role at age of 8. His great roles include his Oscar-winning performance in “Million Dollar Baby.”
He won the Oscar in the category of Best supporting actor. Freeman was nominated for Oscars four other times. His Oscar-nominated roles include for his fascinating work in “Shawshank Redemption” and “Driving Miss Daisy”.
Rita Moreno, the actress who presented Freeman with the award, reminded everyone about another role which is not widely talked about. She talked about how generous he was while acting with her in 1971 on the children’s show “The Electric Company.” She had the spectators in giggles about a role that would surprise some for the smooth-as-silk, dulcet-voiced Freeman.
“Morgan Freeman, Mr. Elegant. Morgan Freeman, Mr. Debonair, Morgan Freeman playing Dracula. With fangs coming out of his mouth,” Moreno said to laughs before impersonating the creepy voice Freeman would use. “And he talked like this: ’Hello, little girl. I come all the way from Transylvania to scare the daylights out of you.”
On a more serious note, Moreno said Freeman was more than just an actor, narrator, producer and humanitarian. “This man is a national treasure,” she said.
Freeman while accepting the honor delivered a short speech. He was a black baseball cap, Freeman said he wouldn’t try to thank everyone he should because he couldn’t remember all their names.
“This is beyond honor,” Freeman said. “This is a place in history.”
Backstage, Freeman recalled a tough time in his career, in the early 1980s.
“I thought my 15 minutes were up … I needed to get a job,” he said. “By the time I got down to the moment when you make that decision — give it up — something happened. Paul Newman came along.”
Freeman was in Newman’s 1984 film “Harry & Son”. This was the role which changed his career forever.
It was almost too late.
Earlier on Sunday, Freeman said that if acting hadn’t worked out for him, he once thought of a career in driving.
“I used to imagine myself being a chauffeur because there came a time I thought it was all over,” Freeman said in a Facebook video taken from inside his car ride to the show. “I thought my career had reached its pinnacle, its peak.”
It was seven years later that he did become a chauffeur of sorts — driver Hoke Colburn in “Driving Miss Daisy.”
About his award for lifetime achievement, Freeman wondered backstage if there was a hidden message in it.
“The inference might be, ’Get off the stage, you’re done,’” he said as reporters laughed. “It might, you don’t know. My hope is that’s not the case, that they’re saying, ‘Congratulations so far.’”