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Gene Hackman — I love this man. Total baked potato. When he was 13, out on the street playing ball with a friend, his dad drove by, gave a casual wave, and thus left the family for good. He saw his father again but still gets choked up, recalling that wave. "It's only been 65 years," he joked. "Makes you a better actor."

Eugene Allen "Gene" Hackman (born January is a retired American actor and novelist. In a career that spanned five decades, Hackman has been nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two, including best actor in The French Connection.