After co-starring with Al Pacino in 1973's Scarecrow, Hackman delivered his strongest performance to date as a haunted surveillance expert in Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 classic The Conversation and went on to tap his under-utilized comedic skills in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Arthur Penn's grim 1975 thriller Night Moves and the Western Bite the Bullet followed before the actor agreed to The French Connection 2. I had to pay for all the time I was there, so it was financially very draining.
But in 1993 everything changed when, first, she adopted a baby daughter, Claudia, then married TV producer David E Kelley, who created . Having kids suddenly made her career seem far less important.
She recalled, "I was pretty careful about where I shot, how long I was away, whether or not it worked out with the kids' schedule." Though she did occasional movie roles, such as . My vocal cords were so rusted." But if there is one thing that will make any actor try their best, it is being in the same film as Judi Dench.
While remaining the subject of great critical acclaim, Hackman's box-office prowess was beginning to slip: 1975's Lucky Lady, 1977's The Domino, and March or Die were all costly flops, and although 1978's Superman -- in which he appeared as the villainous Lex Luthor -- was a smash, his career continued to suffer greatly.
Apart from the inevitable Superman 2, Hackman was absent from the screen for several years, and with the exception of a fleeting appearance in Beatty's 1981 epic Reds, most of his early-'80s work -- specifically, the features All Night Long and Eureka -- passed through theaters virtually unnoticed.
She was also one of its most famous beauties - to her surprise.
Pfeiffer, who grew up in Southern California, explained, "When I was very young I never thought I was attractive, because I was a tomboy and I was always the biggest girl in the class." The surfer girl, who "used to do drugs" at high school was nicknamed "Michelle Mudturtle" for having big lips, and teased for walking "like Howard the Duck". The actress admitted, "In my 20s I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day.
Finally, a thankless role as an ill-fated war correspondent in Roger Spottiswoode's acclaimed 1983 drama Under Fire brought Hackman's career back to life.
The follow-up, the action film Uncommon Valor, was also a hit, and while 1984's Misunderstood stalled, the next year's Twice in a Lifetime was a critical success. And he doctored it all up with the brandy, fresh milk, and he gave it to his Mom. So next day, he brought it in again and she drank a little more, you know.
After making a pair of films with Jim Brown, (1968's The Split and 1969's Riot), Hackman supported Robert Redford in The Downhill Racer, Burt Lancaster in The Gypsy Moths, and Gregory Peck in Marooned. A man who will keep his head and not get rattled under fire, like as not, he'll kill ya.
For 1970's I Never Sang for My Father, he garnered another Academy Award nomination. It ain't so easy to shoot a man anyhow, especially if the son-of-a-bitch is shootin' back at you.
By the middle of the decade, Hackman was again as prolific as ever, headlining a pair of 1986 pictures -- the little-seen Power and the sleeper hit Hoosiers -- before returning to the Man of Steel franchise for 1987's Superman 4: The Quest for Peace. "She wouldn't touch a drop." "Well, I'll tell ya whatcha do, uh," - the doc - "I'll tell ya whatcha do, you bring in a fresh quart of milk every day and you put some brandy in it, see. And so they went on that way for the third day and just a little more, and the fourth day, she was, you know, took a little bit more - and then finally, one week later, he gave her the milk and she just drank it down.