Gene Hackman Is Unrecognizable In First Public Sighting In Years

Hollywood legend Gene Hackman is seen in a rare sighting looking unrecognizable at 93 years old.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

gene hackman french connection
The French Connection

Call Superman because Lex Luthor has been found! Hollywood legend Gene Hackman was recently photographed out and about, a rarity since the reclusive actor retired almost 20 years ago. Daily Loud posted photos of the 93-year-old Superman: The Movie star yesterday on Twitter.

Gene Hackman quit Hollywood in 2004 to live out the rest of his days in peace on his ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, pianist Betsy Arakawa. One picture shows the actor holding a cup of coffee and a snack of some sort, while the other picture shows Hackman in his truck. The nonagenarian looks good for his age and is apparently still sharp enough to operate a motor vehicle.

Unlike fellow aging thespians Jack Nicholson and Bruce Willis, Gene Hackman didn’t quit acting because of any sort of cognitive decline. The French Connection star simply felt it was the right time to retire. And with his resume, who could blame him?

A quick look at Gene’s IMDb page reveals that the actor has a whopping 102 acting credits to his name. For context, Hackman’s Unforgiven costar Clint Eastwood, no slouch in the acting department, only has 72 acting credits. Tom Cruise, who worked with Gene Hackman on The Firm, has less than half the acting credits of his older costar.

If anyone has earned a break, it’s Gene Hackman. The California native had his first role in 1961 and continued acting steadily for the next 43 years. Over four decades, Hackman starred in a variety of projects, many considered classics by any standard.

Along with the movies mentioned above, Gene Hackman starred in quintessential Hollywood fares like Get Shorty, Crimson Tide, and The Conversation. He was also in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, one of the worst superhero movies of all time, but when you make 102 movies, not all of them are going to be gems.

Gene Hackman has become a lot like his hermit character in Young Frankenstein since his retirement. Seeing the legendary actor in the wild is almost as rare as running into Bigfoot. Hackman did give a rare interview with the New York Post in 2021, where he talked about his past film career.

The actor credited The French Connection for helping his career but admitted that he hadn’t seen the 1972 Oscar winner since it first came out. “I haven’t seen the film since the first screening in a dark, tiny viewing room 50 years ago,” Hackman told the paper.

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Bonnie and Clyde

Despite being retired, Gene Hackman still keeps plenty busy. Between cycling and writing novels, it’s hard to tell if the actor knows what “retirement” actually means. In 2012, Hackman was struck by a motorist while vacationing in Florida but made a full recovery, proving the actor is a tough guy on screen and off.

With so few genuine Hollywood legends left, it’s nice to see Gene Hackman healthy and doing well. The actor will easily make it to 100 if these pictures are any indication. Whether or not clearing a century will make Hackman more of a hermit or less remains to be seen.