Jack Nicholson is often regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time, with classic films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Few Good Men, The Departed, and even with his iconic role as the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman.
Jack has also held the reputation as a womanizer, especially after his split with Anjelica Huston in 1990 after allegedly having an affair with the much younger Rebecca Broussard. However, that same year, Broussard became pregnant with Jack’s daughter, Lorraine, and he decided to stay loyal and become a present father in his child’s and new partner’s life.
They went on to welcome a second child, Ray, in 1992. But by 1994, they, too, had split up, and Rebecca found another partner who was much closer to her age at the time.
With Jack not finding out this information until it was littered all over the tabloids, he admitted to Vanity Fair in 1994 that he was struggling to get over their break up.
“I don’t know about him and I never asked,” he confessed. “You shouldn’t ask me. If I’m weak in any area, it’s ‘I don’t want to know.’”
Although she moved on rather quickly, Rebecca insisted that her new partner was not the reason for their split.
“After I had my kids, I changed,” she explained at the time, admitting to having met someone new, a 31-year-old partner. “He is a very important person in my life. [But] he has nothing to do with Jack and my reality.”
Jack expressed how hard it was for them to break up, considering they had just started building a family together.
“It’s the hardest lesson,” he said. “You’re left. You’re abandoned. And you’re not going to be over it for another year—whatever the f–k you do. . . they do. . . she do. If it takes that long, I’m willing. I don’t think I got the time, but I’m willing to do the time. I’m going to give my need the time.”
Despite their messy split (which was almost as messy as their initial union), they managed to properly co-parent their children, with Jack even buying a house close by to where Rebecca lived, a mere ten minutes away.
“Well, it’s a divided parenthood, with their wonderful mother and myself,” he later told People, more than a decade after their break up. “We’ve always gotten along. I want to be inspirational, or some kind of good influence on them without overburdening them.”
As for the childrens’ mother, she felt mutual in wanting to keep their relationship healthy for the sake of the kids, which included partially sheltering them from the spotlight that both their parents had often been in.
“The only time living in a goldfish bowl starts to bother me is when it affects our kids,” she told the Sunday Mirror, per Nicki Swift. “It is frightening when you go out and there are 40 photographers coming at you. At home, I hide papers and magazines when there’s stuff about Jack. What matters is that the kids love their father and he loves them.”
Jack was very present in his kids’ lives, noting that they enjoyed going on set with him for his films, as well as him being involved in their personal lives which consisted of Lorraine’s college experience and Ray’s interest in sports.
Now full grown adults, both Ray and Lorraine have followed in their parents’ footsteps, getting involved in Hollywood as both actors and behind-the-scenes workers.