Jack Nicholson Makes Rare Public Appearance for the First Time In Almost 2 Years

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Here’s Johnny! Er, Jack.

Jack Nicholson attended the Los Angeles Lakers’ season opener against the Golden State Warriors at the Staples Center in L.A. on Oct. 19. The 84-year-old actor sat courtside with his son Ray, 29, as they cheered on the home team.

“Jack seemed so happy to be back!” a source told E! News. “He’s such a fixture courtside for the Lakers! He looked great and was so into the game and intensely watched each play!”

Nicholson wasn’t the only star in attendance. Adele, Usher, Justin Bieber, Kevin Hart, James Corden, Kid Cudi, Saweetie, Lil Wayne and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were among the other celebrities who watched the Warriors beat the Lakers with a final score of 121 to 114.

It’s been a minute since fans have seen Nicholson. The last time the Oscar winner was photographed out in public was in January 2020, when he attended another Lakers game (that time against the New York Knicks). His most recent film was the 2010 rom-com How Do You Know, which also starred Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson.

While he’s been spotted a few times over the years—such as at award shows and a 2015 episode of Saturday Night Live—he lives a relatively private life.

Stars Playing Basketball

However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Nicholson would resurface for a Lakers game. After all, The Shining alum is a huge fan.

Jack Nicholson

NBA

“In the beginning, when I used to start hanging with him, he would always say, ‘Come over. Let yourself like the Lakers. It’s good for you,'” New York native Adam Sandler, who’s attended Lakers games with Nicholson, recalled on a 2018 episode of the Dan Patrick Show. “And I’d be like, ‘I can’t do it…I’m not allowed to do that.’ And he’d always be like, ‘I had that too and then I just let it go.'”

In January 2020, after Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash, Nicholson gave a rare interview in which he mourned the late athlete.

“My reaction is the same as almost all of L.A,” he told CBS Los Angeles. “You just suddenly—where everything was solid, there’s a big hole in the wall. I was so used to seeing and talking to Kobe that, you know, I mean, it kills you. It’s just a terrible event.”

Nicholson also shared a few of his memories of Bryant. “I remember him in totality, just how great a player he was. But, you know, I teased him the first time we met. It was in the [Madison Square] Garden in New York, and I offered him a basketball and asked him, did he want me to autograph it for him? He looked at me like I was crazy,” he said, adding that Bryant had a great sense of humor and “got all the jokes.”

“We’ll think of him all the time,” Nicholson noted, “and we miss him.”

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