Gene Hackman. We think you are awesome.

Such a body of work from this legendary thesp and such a knack for either choosing the right films or being handpicked for them. Either way, directors knew what they were getting – commitment, gravitas, an actor incapable of giving a bad performance. He excelled at both unperturbed man of action and a lad who blew his top when his buried frailties and superstructure of masculinity were exposed.

He actually got even better as he got older, and in the ’90s he was pulling out a masterclass a year. Personal highlight: Gene and Denzel Washington screaming at one another on a nuclear submarine.

I hear he’s retired from acting now and works as a novelist. He is missed. And that chuckle of his.

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