Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman (born January 30, 1930) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. He came to fame during the 1970s, after his role as Popeye Doyle in The French Connection, and continued to appear in Hollywood films playing major roles, including Harry Caul in The Conversation, Norman Dale in Hoosiers, Agent Rupert Anderson in Mississippi Burning, Little Bill Daggett in Unforgiven, Lex Luthor in Superman (plus two of its sequels), Captain Frank Ramsey in Crimson Tide, Joe Moore in Heist and Admiral Leslie McMahon Reigart in Behind Enemy Lines.
Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Lyda (née Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman. He has a brother, Richard. Hackman's family moved from one place to another until finally settling in Danville, Illinois, where they lived in the house of his maternal grandmother, Beatrice, and where Hackman's father operated the printing press for the Commercial-News, a local paper. Hackman's parents divorced in 1943. His mother died in 1962, as a result of a fire she accidentally set while smoking. At sixteen, Hackman left home to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served four-and-a-half years as a field radio operator.