June and Lorraine had two sisters, and Jack grew up as the much-younger brother of those two. John and Ethel May, whom Jack called Mud, were his parents, but John was rarely around because he moved away shortly after Jack was born.
Jack’s father was a bad father figure to him because he came and went during Jack’s life. But Jack’s mother was devoted to them and made sure they were brought up right.
Ethel, Jack’s mother, started a beauty parlor to make money so she could support her kids. She was also well-known in the area for serving as a sort of Agony Aunt to whom locals would go to vent their frustrations and seek guidance.
Jack once remarked that he felt fortunate to have grown up the way he did due to the freedom he experienced and the responsibility he acquired. He stated:
‘I consider myself quite lucky to have grown up in such an odd atmosphere. There is a lot of responsibility, not because it is placed on you, but rather because of the circumstances.’
Jack was a strong student who placed in the top 2 percent of students nationwide on his college entrance exams, but Jack detested going to school and could not stomach the prospect of attending college and earning a degree.
After some time, Jack discovered that he loved Los Angeles so much that he would stay with his sister and pursue acting careers in Hollywood. After that, he began to work odd jobs on sets.
He was, however, eventually placed in low-budget horror movies after an MGM manager caught his attention. Jack continued doing this for a few years with the help of his sister June before he at last received his big break in 1959’s ‘Easy Rider.’
Unfortunately for June, she was never cast in anything that would give her a major break, and she eventually passed away in 1963 when Jack was only 26 and she was in her mid-40s. As a result, Jack was left alone in Hollywood.
Years after the death of Jack’s sister and despite his continued success in Hollywood, Nicholson received some very surprising news. The knowledge would alter how he perceived his childhood.
When Jack was 37 years old, a Time News reporter got in touch with him and shared some intriguing news with him.
After doing some investigation on Nicholson’s family, the reporter discovered a closely held family secret.
The reporter told Jack that his grandma was his mother, Ethel. The reporter also informed Jack that June, his sister, was his biological mother and that he had never met his birth father. Jack was completely unprepared for the news.
Then Jack explained that only June and Ethel knew the identity of his birth father, thus he was never given the chance to do so. According to Jack, neither his mother nor grandma have ever revealed who his father is.
Jack was pleased of his mother and grandmother for being able to keep the secret till their passing rather than being disappointed with his family’s decision to keep it a secret. He handled everything with composure.
Jack even said that despite his life being challenging, he was content with it. He said that he was not at all upset by what had occurred. He stated: ‘My sole feeling, literally, is appreciation for my life.’
The celebrity has learned who his father is and is appreciative of the life he had with his ‘sisters’ and ‘mother’ before June and Ethel passed away and he gained notoriety.
Jack felt that he should know the full story of what transpired during his youth after learning that his sister was his mother and his mother was his grandma. Lorraine, his ‘sister,’ gave him all the information he required.
At age 17, June, Jack’s mother, became pregnant while working as a showgirl. She was carrying a child for a man by the name of Donald Furcillo. Donald could not turn June into an honorable woman because she was already married, so their relationship did not succeed.
Of course, the family’s neighbors and acquaintances started to notice that June was expecting, but she quietly gave birth to Jack before leaving to pursue her acting career. She never raised Jack; instead, she delegated that responsibility to his grandma, Ethel.
Although Jack’s biological father, Donald, initially had no interest in him as a child, he has subsequently made ferocious claims to be Jack’s father and is happy that Jack is his son.
Jack perceived his grandparents as his mother and father during his early years and his biological mother and aunt as his sisters.
He didn’t find out the truth until 1974. He hasn’t allowed it to affect how he feels about his family or upbringing, though.