INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 26, 2010 – Three-time Academy Award-winning actor Jack Nicholson has been named honorary starter of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on Sunday, May 30, and will wave the green flag at the 2010 edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
Legendary film icon Nicholson won the Academy Award for Best Actor for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975 and “As Good As It Gets” in 1997, and Best Supporting Actor for “Terms of Endearment” in 1983.
“Few actors draw the level of respect and admiration that Jack Nicholson so deserves,” said Jeff Belskus, president and CEO, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. “He has a sense of style, humor and attitude that is a perfect fit for the Indianapolis 500 and IZOD IndyCar Series. We look forward to welcoming him to Indianapolis and watching him wave the green flag to start the greatest race in the world.”
Nicholson, a New Jersey native who headed to Southern California at age 17, appeared in and wrote several films in the 1960s but became an instant superstar with the 1969 counterculture classic “Easy Rider,” in which he starred with Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda and earned his first of 12 Academy Award nominations.
Other critically-acclaimed motion pictures in which Nicholson starred include “The Shining” (1980), “A Few Good Men” (1992), “The Departed” (2006), “About Schmidt” (2002) and “Batman” (1989), featuring Nicholson’s memorable portrayal of The Joker.
Nicholson’s newest film, “How Do You Know,” will be released this fall. The movie is written and directed by James L. Brooks, who also wrote and directed “Terms of Endearment” and “Good As It Gets.”
By waving the green flag to start the 2010 edition of the Indianapolis 500, Nicholson will send the elite 33-car starting field, including IZOD IndyCar Series stars Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti and Dario Franchitti, on their 200-lap chase for racing immortality and a spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy.