Legendary Hollywood actor, Morgan Freeman, who started his career behind the cameras after trying to become a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, is one of the most respected performers of his generation. The Golden Globe Award-winner is also a director, producer, and narrator/voice-over artist, thanks to his deep voice.
Freeman has appeared in more than 50 different movies, including classics such as Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption, and Million Dollar Baby. Facts about Freeman’s professional life are well reported, but what do we know about the family history of this iconic octogenarian?
An Insight Into Morgan Freeman’s Background History
Morgan Freeman was born in Memphis, Tennessee on June 1, 1937, as the fourth child of his parents; father, Morgan Porterfield Freeman (July 6, 1915, to April 27, 1961) and mother, Mayme Freeman (1912 to 2000). Before his death in 1961, Morgan’s father earned a living through the mundane job of a barber; he died of cirrhosis in his mid-fifties. Just like his dad, the actor’s mum was equally involved in a normal job, working as a teacher.
Morgan is not the only child of his parents as it has been established that he grew up alongside three older siblings, though we don’t really know their identities. DNA analysis has shown that many of the entertainer’s ancestors have their roots in Niger. Suggestions from a DNA test carried out in 2008 show that among all Morgan Freeman’s African ancestors, over one-quarter came from the region stretching from present-day Senegal to Liberia and three-quarters are from the Congo-Angola region.
Some Of Freeman’s Ancestors Were Slaves
A 2008 television series called African-American Lives 2 brought some facts about the American entertainer’s lineage to the fore. According to the series, some of his great-great-grandparents were actually slaves who immigrated into Mississippi from North Carolina. Further revelations showed that Freeman’s Caucasian maternal great-great-grandfather never got married to his African-American great-great-grandmother because of the segregated South which didn’t allow them to legally exchange marriage vows. They merely cohabited and were buried side by side upon their demise.
Morgan Freeman was still an infant when he went to Charleston, Mississippi to live with his paternal grandmother. He was frequently moving during his childhood days, residing in Greenwood, Mississippi; Gary, Indiana; and finally Chicago, Illinois. When he was 16, the screen legend almost died from pneumonia.
Morgan Freeman Has Been Married And Divorced Twice
Morgan Freeman’s life has not been devoid of romantic relationships, this iconic octogenarian has dared the turbulent waters of matrimony a couple of times, and the tales that emanated from both unions were not palatable at all. He was even accused of having a sexual relationship with his step-granddaughter whom he helped raise. Perhaps, that explains why he prefers to remain single at his old age.
His Marriage To Jeanette Adair Bradshaw
The screen god’s first attempt at marriage was on the 22nd of October 1967 when he exchanged marriage vows with the wife of his youth Jeanette Adair Bradshaw. He was still a struggling actor when he pledged to love and cherish Jeanette and the two lived together as man and wife for almost 12 years before deciding to call it quits on the 18th of November 1979. Their separation happened just before Morgan Freeman caught his big break.
Myrna Colley-Lee Was His Wife For More Than Two Decades
We may not be completely off the mark to surmise that the famed entertainer decided to take a hiatus from marriage as he waited for over five years before going into a second union with Myrna Colley-Lee. Their nuptials which occurred on the 16th of June 1984 lasted for 23 years before the duo went their separate ways in December 2007 with their divorce becoming official three years later on the 15 of September 2010.
Who Are Morgan Freeman’s Children And Grandchildren?
Morgan Freeman has a few children to show for his over thirty years of marriage. However, not all the American actor’s children were born in wedlock. Before the screen icon even married his first wife in 1967, he was already a father to Alfonso Freeman who was born on the 13th of September 1959, in Los Angeles.
Alfonso’s mum has been identified to be Loletha Adkins (Polk). Though he met his father for the first time in 1984, the first son of Morgan Freeman followed his father’s footstep in the performing arts, working as a stage actor, as well as a gospel singer. Father and son have worked together in the past, sharing the stage on the sets of Bucket List and Seven.
The second son of the actor was also born before his marriage to Jeanette, though not much is known about him, Saifoulaye Freeman was born in 1960. Morgan has only one child from in wedlock, Morgana Freeman, the only biological daughter he had with his first wife in 1971. His other daughter Deena Adair Freeman is Jeanette’s daughter from a previous relationship and he adopted her as his own. Deena gave birth to E’dena Hines who Freeman and Colley-Lee adopted and raised together as his step-granddaughter
Important to note that Morgan Freeman’s first son Alfonso made him a grandfather on the 11th of March 1983 when he welcomed his first child Alfonso Rene. He has gone ahead to have two additional children, Joshua Caleb born on the 27th of February 1984 and Donovan Lee Freeman born on the 18th of August 1987.
E’Dena Hines Was Murdered By Her Boyfriend Lamar Davenport
The 16th of August 2015 was a black day for the family of E’Dena Hines, it was on this fateful day that her drug-induced rapper boyfriend Lamar Davenport decided to carry out an exorcism on the lady in the middle of a New York street. According to an eye witness, Lamar was attacking Hines while casting out the devils in her.
He eventually succeeded in stabbing her for 25 good times outside the lady’s Manhattan building in the full view of neighbours and passersby. Even when the cops arrived on the scene, Lamar was still making a stabbing motion with an empty fist while the knife was already stuck in Hines’ chest, reportedly screaming ‘Jesus Christ is born’. New York Post and Daily News later reported the story to be true.
Morgan Freeman’s step-granddaughter who died from the stabbing wounds was 33 years at the time of her demise. Lamar was taken into custody and later moved into a health facility for mental assessment, following which he was charged to court for second-degree murder. According to the stories that came to light during the trial, the duo had a volatile relationship, always accusing each other of unfaithfulness.
Morgan Freeman Faced Sexual Allegations Concerning His Relationship With Step-granddaughter E’Dena Hines
According to a defence lawyer for the murder case, Hines told her lover-turned-killer that Morgan has been sleeping with her secretly – unearthing years-old claims about this illicit affair which has swirled since 2009 when it was first reported by The National Enquirer. Later claims by gossip sites suggest that the relationship was quite serious and the duo even had secret plans of getting married.
Though Morgan Freeman is not a blood relative to Hines, the actor has known the lady from her childhood and played a major role in raising her with his second wife Myrna Colley-Lee. Both Freeman and Hines tried to refute the claims of their having a sexual relationship with each other; they tagged the rumours to be completely false. According to Morgan, the claims were only pedalled by tabloids that were out to sell their paper. Hines on her own part said that the stories were not only false, they were also hurtful to her and her family.