Gene Hackman, 93, Is Enjoying Retired Life With Wife Of 31 Years Who He Protected When Stranger Yelled At Her

Feb 01, 2023 by apost team

Eugene Allen Hackman, better known as Gene Hackman, is an American retired actor and novelist born on Jan. 30, 1930, in San Bernardino, California. He started his career as a radio operator in the United States Marine Corps before transitioning to acting in the 1960s. Over the years, Hackman has become one of the most acclaimed and versatile actors of his generation, known for his powerful performances in a wide range of genres.

Hackman's acting career began with small roles in TV shows and films, but his big break came with his portrayal of Buck Barrow in the 1967 film "Bonnie and Clyde." This performance garnered critical acclaim and earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. From there, Hackman went on to star in some of the most iconic films of the 1970s and 80s, including "The French Connection" in 1971 – for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Detective Popeye Doyle – "The Poseidon Adventure" in 1972 and "The Conversation" in 1974. 

Throughout his career, Hackman continued to demonstrate his versatility as an actor, taking on challenging roles in films such as "Unforgiven" in 1992, "Crimson Tide" in 1995 and "The Royal Tenenbaums" in 2001. He has also appeared in many popular and successful action films, including "Superman: The Movie" and "Enemy of the State." In total, Hackman has appeared in more than 100 films and has received five Academy Award nominations, two Golden Globe Awards, and a British Academy Film Award.

Aside from acting, Hackman is also a talented writer. He has published several novels, including 2004’s "Justice for None" and "Payback at Morning Peak" in 2011. 

Today, Hackman is retired from acting and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, Betsy Arakawa. 

Gene Hackman (1970), (Herbert Dorfman/Corbis via Getty Images)

On Jan. 30, 2023, Hackman turned 93. Although his acting days have long since been over, his legacy remains, and he is still a welcome addition to local events in Santa Fe.

In 2008, he confirmed he was stepping back from acting. He told Reuters:

“I haven’t held a press conference to announce retirement, but yes, I’m not going to act any longer. I’ve been told not to say that over the last few years, in case some real wonderful part comes up, but I really don’t want to do it any longer.”

As for whether he misses it, he said: “Yes, I do. I miss the actual acting part of it, as it’s what I did for almost 60 years, and I really loved that. But the business for me is very stressful. The compromises that you have to make in films are just part of the beast, and it had gotten to a point where I just didn’t feel like I wanted to do it anymore.”

Instead, Hackman said he had turned his focus to writing, something he loved as “it’s more private and I feel like I have more control over what I’m trying to say and do.”

As for Hackman’s personal life, the “Hoosiers” star’s first marriage was to Faye Maltese in 1956. They divorced in 1986 but had two daughters and one son. Hackman told GQ in 2011 he had been an absent father. “I lost touch with my son in terms of advice early on. Maybe it had to do with being gone so much, doing location films when he was at an age where he needed support and guidance,” Hackman said. “It was very tough for me to be gone for three months and then come home and start bossing him around.”

Betsy Hackman, Gene Hackman (1994), (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

However, in 1991, Hackman married classical pianist Betsy Arakawa. Although the couple has no children, they remain happily married to this day, making it more than 30 long years together. They are said to be living a quiet life as retirees in Santa Fe, with Hackman writing and being spotted at events, such as at a musical show in May 2022. 

However, in 2012, Hackman made headlines when it was reported he had been involved in a scuffle with a man over insults thrown at his wife. According to TMZ, the actor, who was 82 years old at the time, was outside a restaurant in Santa Fe with Arakawa when they were approached by a homeless man. The homeless man then proceeded to taunt Arakawa, calling her profanities. Unable to take this sitting down, Hackman then slapped the man across the face.

TMZ reported that the homeless man, named Bruce Becker, went to the police to file a report against the cinema icon. However, TMZ was told that, after the police interviewed both Hackman and his wife, it was determined no charges would be filed as the slap was in self-defense.

Hackman was last seen on the big screen in 2004’s “Welcome To Mooseport.” While his absence from cinema is missed, it is also something the legend deserves after giving his fans years of amazing work playing unforgettable roles in some of Hollywood’s most enduring classics. 

In the 2011 GQ interview, Hackman was asked how he wanted to be remembered. He replied:

“As a decent actor. As someone who tried to portray what was given to them in an honest fashion. I don't know, beyond that. I don't think about that often, to be honest. I'm at an age where I should think about it.”

Gene Hackman (2001), (J. Vespa/WireImage)

What do you think of Gene Hackman’s incredible career? Did you know he had been married for over 30 years and was living a quiet life in Santa Fe? Let us know, and don’t forget to pass this on to family and friends.

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