Among the films starring Gene Hackman are The French Connection, Bonnie and Clyde, Unforgiven, and The Royal Tenenbaums. However, the actor hasn’t released a new film in nearly two decades. The formerly successful actor ceased acting, but not because he had lost interest in entertainment; he was suffering from health problems.

Hackman decided to retire from acting at the age of 74. He has avoided the Hollywood lifestyle and given few interviews since then. However, the 92-year-old has recently spoken up about his decision to stop performing and his life in general.

Furthermore, when some extremely rare photographs of him appeared a few years ago, fans were taken surprised. Read on to find out more about Hackman’s second career and what happened to him.

Hackman’s 2009 interview with Empire revealed his choice to retire from acting. A stress test he took in New York, he claimed, was “the straw that broke the camel’s back.  The doctor advised me not to put any strain on my heart because it was not in good enough condition.”

Hackman also made it clear when he would be retiring. “The agents don’t want me to tell them if something fantastic happens,” he explained. “However, I am formally retired. With no doubt.” “I haven’t talked to Hollywood much recently, so I don’t really know if Hollywood got the message,” he remarked. ” However, I believe they have moved on.”

Hackman’s most recent feature was the 2004 comedy Welcome to Mooseport, in which he co-starred with Ray Romano. His other last productions include Runaway Jury from 2003 and various films from 2001, including The Royal Tenenbaums, Behind Enemy Lines, and The Mexican.

In addition to acting, Hackman has a literary career. He has co-authored three books with novelist Daniel Lenihan, in addition to two works written by himself. Wake of the Perdido Star, Hackman and Lenihan’s first book, was published in 1999. Hackman’s most recent work, Pursuit, was released in 2013.

“Writing is quite relaxing for me,” Hackman told Empire. “Even though I don’t consider myself a particularly strong writer, I enjoy the writing process, especially with this book [2008’s Escape From Andersonville: A Novel of the Civil War]. It’s difficult, but it’s a different kind of stress, and we had to do a lot of research to confirm some of the facts. It’s a situation you can sort of handle since you’re sitting alone instead of 90 people waiting for you to entertain them!”

According to the Empire interview, Hackman spent his acting retirement fishing and painting. The Academy Award winner also stated that he and his wife, Betsy Arakawa, like watching movies at home. “We like the clear stories that some of the little, low-budget films can give,” the man said. Hackman and Arakawa live in New Mexico. He has three children with his first wife, Faye Maltese.

In 2021, the New York Post interviewed Hackman for a piece marking the 50th anniversary of The French Connection. Filmmaking has always been dangerous—both physically and emotionally—but he sees that film as a watershed moment in a stormy career of achievements and tragedies.

Furthermore, Hackman stated that he hadn’t seen the film since it was released. “I saw the film for the first time 50 years ago in a small, dingy screening room at a post-production company’s facility. The picture definitely helped me in my career, and I am grateful for that,” he added.

Fans received a rare update on Hackman two years ago. He doesn’t appear in the media very much these days, but in 2019, Official Pix published photos of him signing autographs.