This is the actual reason Morgan Freeman wears his iconic gold hoop earrings

Mildred Europa Taylor June 02, 2023
Photo via @morganfreeman on Instagram

Veteran Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman has carved a niche for himself as one of the most talented actors to ever grace the screen. Now 86 and still going strong, The Shawshank Redemption actor recently hit global headlines when he headlined the opening ceremony of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. With a huge fan base, the octogenarian’s deep, unique voice is one of the main attributes that make him stand out. And then there are his iconic gold hoop earrings which the actor is often seen in.

Thanks to his humble beginnings, the actor has come to appreciate the need to be financially secure almost every time, and that may largely be the reason he doesn’t leave behind his classic earrings. In an Instagram post recently, he told fans the true meaning behind the gold jewelry.

“These earrings. I get asked all the time about them. The truth is, these are worth just enough for someone to buy me a coffin if I die in a strange place. That’s why sailors used to wear them and that’s why I do,” he wrote.

Being a lover of films at a young age, Freeman was also inspired to wear the hoops after watching the 1952 pirate movie, The Crimson Pirate, which starred Burt Lancaster wearing similar golden earrings.

“When I was a kid, I saw a pirate movie with Burt Lancaster, who wore an earring,” he told Fox News in 2016. “I thought that was sexy. Then I learned that sailors wore gold earrings to pay for funerals if they died in foreign lands. I’m a sailor, so that nailed it.”

Indeed, Freeman has always felt an attachment to the sea. “I always wanted an earring. It has to do with my attachment to the sea,” the film star told The Guardian. “When I was around 35 I was separated from my wife and she said, ‘I’m going to pierce your ear.’ I’m an avid sailor, a dyed-in-the-wool blue-water man.”

History shows that pirates or sailors wore different types of earrings for various reasons. Besides a set of gold or silver earrings being enough money to bury them should they die in a foreign country, sailors also gave out these earrings to young sailors to celebrate their first crossing, according to LiveScience. What’s more, pirates, especially those who fired the ships’ cannons during close combat with the enemy, dangled wads of wax from their earrings to use as earplugs, Doug Lennox wrote in “Now You Know Big Book of Answers.”

Aside from the story behind his recognizable gold hoop earrings, here are other facts you should know about Freeman.

Born on June 1, 1937, in Memphis, Tennesee, the actor and narrator enlisted into the United States Air Force before starting acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse after his time in the military. His acting career started in the mid-1960s when he appeared in an off-Broadway production of a play titled The Niggerlovers and Pearl Bailey in an all-African-American Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!

His debut film appearance was in Who Says I Can’t Ride a Rainbow! in 1971. Since then, he has been featured in a number of high-profile movies, including Street Smart, Seven, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Deep Impact, and Unforgiven. However, it was his role in The Shawshank Redemption that made him very famous.

His acting career has seen him win several awards. In 1980, he received the Obie Award for his starring role in Coriolanus. He also won an award for his lead role in Driving Miss Daisy. He got an Oscar Nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the movie the 1987 film Street Smart as Fast Black. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby at the 77th Academy Awards.

Freeman now has four children from his past marriages and his net worth could have been more than $250 million had Freeman not been forced to pay his ex-wife a $100 – $200 million divorce settlement in 2010, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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