Cheers to Jack’s Birthday!

With memorable appearances in The Shining, Chinatown, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jack Nicholson is largely regarded as one of the greatest film actors of his generation.

But he was just as well known to LA sports fans for having a frequent courtside spot at Lakers games. Basketball fans could always rely on the three-time Oscar winner to be in his normal location, especially during big games.

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Nicholson has faded from public view in recent years, and he hadn’t been spotted at a Laker game in almost a year – but that all changed this weekend, when the actor made a rare public appearance, leaving fans surprised.

Nicholson, who last saw a Los Angeles Lakers game in October 2021, attended game 6 of their first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. With his son, he returned to his usual courtside spot.

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 28: Jack Nicholson attends the basketball game between Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies Round 1 Game 6 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against Los Angeles Lakers at Arena on April 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Fans greeted the legend warmly: after footage from The Shining and Batman played, Nicholson emerged on the jumbotron to thunderous ovation.

Nicholson, who recently turned 86, has been out of the movie business since 2010. He also makes few public appearances these days, which has many admirers worried about his health.

Last month, paparazzi images shot outside his Beverly Hills home provided a rare peek at the actor: some outlets labelled him as “dishevelled” and “unrecognisable,” while many admirers defended him, claiming he looked well for his age.

Seeing him at a Lakers game shows he’s still going strong — a little older, but still the same old Jack.

Nicholson was greeted by NBA great LeBron James before the game.

Perhaps it was the presence of their most renowned superfan, but the Lakers dominated the game, clinching the series.

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 28: Jack Nicholson attends the basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies Round 1 Game 6 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Arena on April 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

For decades, Jack Nicholson has been a die-hard Lakers supporter. According to the Associated Press, Nicholson originally purchased season tickets in 1970 and would even alter his Hollywood shooting schedule to attend key games.

The actor has long been a fixture at Lakers home games, wearing his iconic sunglasses. Fans were no doubt overjoyed to see Jack return to the court after such a long hiatus.

There’s no bigger Lakers fan than Jack Nicholson, and we’re thrilled he was able to attend this historic game in person.

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