The Truth About Jack Nicholson's Children

You don't become one of the world's most famous Lothario figures without fathering a few kids along the way. Jack Nicholson is probably the best known of Hollywood's eternal bachelors, and for good reason — the New Jersey native is said to have slept with over a thousand women in his time, many of whom were big stars in their own right. From A-list movie stars and iconic singers to the top fashion models of the day, Jack has a who's-who list of former flames, though he's only actually been married once.

As The Hollywood Reporter recounted, he fell for co-star Sandra Knight on the set of Roger Corman horror flick "The Terror" and their short-lived union produced a daughter, fashion designer Jennifer Nicholson. And his firstborn got some new half-siblings over the next three decades. While Jennifer's dad has been more than willing to discuss the kids that bear his famous name during interviews, the 12-time Oscar nominee doesn't tend to talk about his supposed love children, despite repeated requests for him to recognize them publicly.

Those calls have gone unanswered in the past, but the rumors have never gone away, and the kids in question are all grown up now. What was it like being the child of a Hollywood icon, and what are they up to today? Here's what we know about Jack Nicholson's kids.

Jack Nicholson took his preteen daughter to wild Hollywood parties

When Jack Nicholson and Sandra Knight decided to call it quits, their daughter, Jennifer Nicholson, went to live with her mother in Hawaii. "I didn't see enough of my eldest daughter because I was trying to make a career," the actor said years later, according to The Sun. Jennifer would occasionally return to Los Angeles to stay with her father during her preteen days, but the actor apparently made little effort to change his plans when hosting her, even if they weren't at all suitable for kids. According to the Los Angeles Times, he would take Jennifer to "the Bel-Air Hotel, the Playboy Mansion, producer Robert Evans' house, or wherever pals Warren Beatty and Marlon Brando were partying."

Jack Nicholson's own drug-fueled house parties were quickly becoming the stuff of legend in Tinseltown, and Sandra Knight (who took a prolonged break from Hollywood when her marriage to Nicholson came to an end, falling off the film radar for decades) was very much aware of that fact. She could do nothing but hope that her little girl didn't see anything too disturbing while hanging out with her father and his famous friends. "My mother used to say that she prayed a lot, and I guess it worked because nothing bad ever happened," Jennifer told The Times.

Being Jack Nicholson's daughter hasn't always been easy for Jennifer Nicholson

Jennifer Nicholson has forged her own path since coming of age, though stepping out of her father's considerable shadow was a challenge for her. "I like being Jack Nicholson's daughter and I'm proud of him, but people don't understand the pressures that come along with that," she told the Los Angeles Times. After earning a degree in Art History, she landed a gig as a set designer on one of her dad's movies and even gave acting a go herself. Funded by her father, she starred in a film called "Blue Champagne," but it didn't get picked up for distribution.

She went on to have a spell as an interior designer, during which she revamped Courtney Love's pad, according to New York Magazine. She then pivoted to fashion and opened a boutique and founded her own label. And then, a little set visit played a big role in her aesthetic. She told The Times that she fell in love with the punk style when she visited her father while he was in the U.K. working on "The Shining," resulting in "all things slashed, safety pinned and studded" being worked into her collection. "I was shocked, but I was totally into it," she recalled.

Jennifer is also a proud mom. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, her son Duke Nicholson is an "in-demand actor" with some exciting credits. In addition to landing a role in Jordan Peele's "Us," Jack Nicholson's grandchild appeared on the cover of Lana Del Rey's "Norman F***ing Rockwell."

Caleb Goddard says Jack Nicholson privately recognized him as his son

Late actor Susan Anspach said she gave birth to Jack Nicholson's child after they clicked on 1970's "Five Easy Pieces." Anspach married another actor ("Lost in Space" star Mark Goddard) while pregnant, and her son was given the name Caleb Goddard. When Rolling Stone (via Los Angeles Times) asked Nicholson if Caleb was his kid in 1984, he replied, "[Anspach] says that all the time. But because of the way she's been toward me, I've never been allowed a real avenue to find out about it." In "Five Easy Decades," Dennis McDougal wrote Nicholson "couldn't bring himself to call Caleb 'son'" even after he "acknowledged the actress's child as his." However, Nicholson "shared his courtside seats with the boy" and "footed the bill" for his education.

After Anspach took issue with a 1994 Vanity Fair interview with Nicholson that failed to mention Caleb, Caleb told People he and Nicholson spoke over the phone. "Jack told me that... he never liked my mom," he said. "He further said that my mom had tried to use the press against him, that the press didn't matter once you got to court." Caleb said Nicholson finally referred to him as his son during the call, but he's never done so publicly.

"Jack would say, 'I didn't have a father and I'm a superstar, it didn't hurt me,'" Anspach told the Times. "And I would say, 'But you didn't have to see your father on every corner... You are too famous to do this. It's unkind.'"

Jack Nicholson is said to have fathered more than one lovechild

According to various reports over the years, Caleb Goddard isn't the only lovechild Jack Nicholson fathered during his womanizing days, which are now behind him (he no longer feels "oddly irresistible to women," he told the Daily Mail in 2011). The actor is known to have had a fling with Danish model Winnie Hollman, which, as the Daily Mail noted, is said to have resulted in the birth of Honey Hollman. As Dennis McDougal wrote in "Five Easy Decades: How Jack Nicholson Became the Biggest Movie Star in Modern Times," after Honey was "introduced as his daughter," the press didn't "pursue the obvious question as to who the girl's mother might be." Page Six has claimed that Nicholson has another daughter that he hasn't acknowledged publicly, this one by a real estate broker named Jennine Gourin. The tabloid's sources say that Jennine "had an affair with Nicholson when she was a 20-year-old waitress" and that Tessa Gourin came along soon after. According to McDougal, Jennine and Tessa "lived in a New York brownstone that Jack subsidized along with the girl's education."

The acting bug bit Caleb Goddard, Honey Hollman, and Tessa Gourin, with varying degrees of success. Goddard appeared in the comedy series "The Slap Maxwell Story" in the late '80s but hasn't been seen onscreen since; Hollman was in the award-winning Danish film "Empire North"; and Gourin co-starred in the Long Island-set "Stranger's Arms," a movie about three friends trying to solve a cold case.

Jack Nicholson's affair with his daughter's friend led to two pregnancies

Jennifer Nicholson's clothing lines have been worn by numerous famous women, including Anjelica Huston, who many believe to be the true love of Jack Nicholson's life. The two actors were involved in an on-and-off relationship that spanned the best part of two decades, but their fiery love affair came to an emphatic end when Nicholson got one of his daughter's friends pregnant, the Los Angeles Times reports. "That was really difficult," Jennifer Nicholson admitted. The friend in question is the actor Rebecca Broussard, mother of not one, but two of Jack Nicholson's kids.

And what do you know, Lorraine and Ray Nicholson were drawn to the family business. Lorraine had minor appearances in films like "Click," "The Princess Diaries 2" and "Something's Gotta Give" as a child and went on to star in the film "Soul Surfer," playing real-life surfer (and absolute doppelgänger) Alana Blanchard. She hasn't appeared onscreen since 2016, but her little brother is killing it nowadays.

Ray Nicholson made his debut with a cameo role in "The Benchwarmers" in 2006 and has since been seen in the likes of FX biker show "Mayans MC," Oscar-winning comedy thriller "Promising Young Woman," and "Panic," a YA drama in which teens compete in a life-or-death competition for a cash prize. As Deadline reported in July 2021, his performance in the Amazon show earned him a deal with UTA, which reps everyone from Harrison Ford to Mariah Carey.

Lorraine and Ray Nicholson brought 'joy' into their dad's life

When Jack Nicholson sat down for an interview with The Sun in 2012, he revealed that he carries some regrets about the way he had put his career before his kids in the past. "[I] wish I had known how much joy that having children can bring," he told the British tabloid, adding that he was "able to spend much more time" with Lorraine and Ray Nicholson, his two kids by Rebecca Broussard. The actor openly admits that he's not exactly the perfect role model ("Anger has always been a problem," he conceded), but he still tries to keep his younger children on the straight and narrow.

"I give out advice all the time," the three-time Oscar winner said. "I say: 'Do not lie, do not steal and do not be afraid.' Especially, the last one. Fear stops us doing things. I also say it's the things that you do NOT do in life that cause regret." He's got pearls of wisdom aplenty, but Nicholson has always been wary about trying to exert too much influence over his kids. When he spoke to AARP, he revealed that he's always walked a fine line between enlightening his kids and lecturing them. "I want to be inspirational, or some kind of good influence on them without overburdening them," he said.

Jack Nicholson loves taking his kids to Lakers games

He's had rocky relationships with some of his baby mamas over the years, but Jack Nicholson and Rebecca Broussard are apparently on good terms, and have been for some time. The A-lister described the arrangement as "divided parenthood" during his candid AARP interview, in which he was full of praise for his ex. Jack called Broussard a "wonderful mother" and revealed that they had "always gotten along," despite going their separate ways. As a result, Lorraine and Ray Nicholson had a far more conventional upbringing than Jack's older progeny. 

"I always read to them, from childhood on; I think that's a father's responsibility," the Hollywood veteran said. "I took them to things I knew they might not love — opera, ballet. They like going to the ball games with me." He's been spotted at plenty of baseball games, but, according to Lorraine, basketball is often the first thing that comes up when she gets recognized as Jack Nicholson's daughter. "People usually ask me what it's like sitting at the Laker games," she told Zimbio. "Obviously ah-may-zing." The A-lister has had courtside seats at the Los Angeles Lakers for years (he's been known to get a little irate when things aren't going L.A.'s way), and he still takes his kids with him on occasion. He and his son Ray watched their team beat the Minnesota Timberwolves during a "rare outing" in 2018, People reported.

Lorraine and Ray Nicholson were 'good set rats'

Lorraine and Ray Nicholson have always been "very comfortable around showbusiness," their dad revealed during his chat with AARP. Jack Nicholson called them "good set rats," though he admitted that they sometimes snuck into places they weren't supposed to be. Both were hanging around the set when Jack was acting in Martin Scorsese's hit gangster flick "The Departed," and they apparently saw something that must have been pretty traumatizing. "They walked in on my death scene," the actor recalled. Instead of telling them off, however, he used their presence as motivation. "I said, 'If I can get these two kids really worried, I'm doing my job!'"

The experience didn't put Jack Nicholson's kids off the acting business — far from it, in fact. According to Lorraine, getting the chance to grow up on her dad's movie sets ignited a passion in her. "I watched him work my entire life, and that's obviously a lot of the reason why I wanted to go into acting," she told Zimbio. "Just seeing his artistic process and watching him on set, and what you're capable of creating as an actor has really inspired me. It's pretty cool having a family business like that."

Lorraine went on to work on the other side of the camera, creating a number of short films. She enlisted the help of family friend Stephen Dorff for 2017's "Life Boat," which impressed at the Tribeca Film Festival that year.

Ray was almost named Landslide Nicholson

The rich and famous have always been fond of giving their kids wild names, and Jack Nicholson is apparently no different. Luckily for Ray Nicholson, his mom put her foot down when Jack suggested calling him Landslide Nicholson. The "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" star revealed this fascinating tidbit during a 1994 interview with Vanity Fair, conducted not long after his break-up from Ray's mother, Rebecca Broussard. According to the mag, the A-lister lit up when asked about his son. "Ray may have a problem with being a little too good-looking," he said, "Looks exactly like Rebecca. When he was born, he looked like one of the farmers in 'The Magnificent Seven.'"

While he attributes Ray's handsome features to his mother's genes, Jack Nicholson also sees a lot of himself in his son, for better and for worse. "He does move like me," he said. "There's a lot of body language on him. You don't miss them Nicholson legs. Somebody's got to get them, poor thing. They're useful but short." He also got that strong Nicholson jawline, however, something his dad was over the moon about. "Most infants pretty much don't have chins, but Ray always had a jaw," his dad confirmed. "You can't wait to get him into a collar or a shaving commercial."

Ray also happens to look a lot like nephew Duke Nicholson, who is seven years his junior. 

Jack Nicholson did 'the college tour' with daughter Lorraine

Lorraine Nicholson decided to check out a couple of different campuses when she reached college age, and she took her dad with her. "I took the college tour with the fabulous Lorraine," Jack Nicholson shared with AARP, revealing that the trip gave him a chance to spend some quality time with his daughter. "With families, you don't always get to be one-on-one," he said. Of course, Lorraine was a young woman at this point, and getting conversation out of her wasn't exactly easy. "There's this wall of 'What happened today, darling? Anything interesting?'" Jack said, and he's had the same problem with Lorraine's younger brother, Ray. He added: "I've asked more unanswered questions to these two particular children."

Jack Nicholson told AARP he was frustrated by this lack of communication at first, but he quickly realized that it was totally normal behavior. In fact, he was exactly the same at that age. "You think, 'Hey, I did not want to hang out with my parents when I was a teenager,'" he continued. "You have to get over that as a parent. What I don't want to pass along is my irrational fears." The actor was forced to concede that he was ultimately "in the lap of the gods" when it came to Lorraine and Ray, who were well on their way to becoming adults. "This is the eternal vulnerability that you have with your children."

Ray Nicholson is just as 'mysterious' as his dad

Lorraine Nicholson described her dad as "a pretty mysterious character" during an interview with Zimbio, and her brother is apparently exactly the same. Speaking to AARP, Jack Nicholson confirmed that his son is also the elusive type. "Ray might not tell you exactly what he's up to, but once he's got his mind set on something, he's gonna stick to it and take care of business, no matter what me or anybody else says," he told the magazine.

Ray Nicholson is also taking after his dad in terms of his career path. Jack shot to prominence playing corrupt lawyer George Hanson in counterculture classic "Easy Rider" and went on to play a number of bad boy roles on the big screen; while his son's breakout was in a TV show, it's a role that Jack could well have played when he was Ray's age. The celebrity scion demanded attention with his turn as tearaway Ray Hall in Amazon's "Panic," adapted by Lauren Oliver from her 2014 novel of the same name.

The creator expanded the part of Nicholson's namesake character after casting him, he told "Lauren Oliver made a joke that Ray was originally the character that didn't have an arc, he was just the d*** through and through all the way," he said. "She gave me an opportunity to do something different with that, which was really fun." Sounds about as good as it gets.