Jack Nicholson attends Lakers playoff game in rare public appearance

Jack Nicholson marked his defiant return to the spotlight when he attended the Los Angeles Lakers playoff game on Friday.

The three-time Academy Award winner flashed a smile while he sat courtside in what was his first public appearance since he attended a Lakers game with his son Ray in October 2021.

Mounting concerns over the father-of-five’s health have been swirling in recent years, with his best pals claiming that he’s “living like a recluse” and that they’re worried about the end game as a result of his solitary lifestyle.

The 86-year-old beamed ear to ear as the Lakers faced the Grizzlies, where he returned to his normal courtside seat and shook hands with execs, and interacted with reporters at the Crypto.com Arena.

“Welcome back,” a reporter said to the actor in a short clip shared on Twitter.

Nicholson was spotted with Larry David, the star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and co-creator of Seinfeld, before the game.

Nicholson shakes hands with Larry David at a game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers during Round 1 Game 6 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Nicholson shakes hands with Larry David prior to Round one Game six of the 2023 NBA Playoffs on April 28, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
NBAE via Getty Images
Nicholson has been a diehard Lakers fan and has owned season tickets since the 1970s.
Nicholson has been a diehard Lakers fan and has owned season tickets since the 1970s.
NBAE via Getty Images

The actor later embraced LeBron James before tipoff, with the two exchanging words before the Lakers superstar continued warmups.

He was welcomed back with a montage of his classic films including “The Shining and “Batman” displayed on the arena’s scoreboard.

Nicholson donned a pair of burgundy pants paired with a black shirt underneath a navy suit jacket.

Nicholson sitting with Ja Morant's father, Tee prior to the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers on April 28, 2023.
Nicholson sitting with Ja Morant’s father, Tee prior to the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers on April 28, 2023.
NBAE via Getty Images

He wore a pair of binoculars around his neck and accessorized with a pair of black sunglasses that he took off once the game started.

While a public outing for the actor is now rare to come by, Nicholson’s decision to mark the end of his absence by attending a Lakers game is very on par.

Nicholson has long been synonymous with the Lakers and has been a proud season ticket holder since 1970.

Jack Nicholson attends game six of the 2023 NBA playoffs between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies
Nicholson’s pals have recently expressed concern for the actor, claiming he’s “living like a recluse.”
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Since then, Nicholson was a regular fan cheering his team on from the sidelines — most notably during the Lakers’ Showtime era in the late ’90s and 2000s.

He also famously adjusted his filming schedules to make sure he was free to watch every big Lakers game.

But the actor’s frequent public appearances became more and more sparse as the years went on.

Nicholson sitting court side.
This was Nicholson’s first time back at a Lakers game since 2021.
NBAE via Getty Images

In January 2023, multiple sources told RadarOnline that he “doesn’t leave his house anymore” and that his “mind is gone,” listing concerns of possible dementia.

Nicholson spends most — if not all — of his time in his plush Beverly Mansion, according to insiders.

Nicholson’s last project was the 2011 rom-com “How Do You Know” in which he starred alongside Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson.

As far as his personal life goes, the actor was married to Sandra Knight for six years, tying the knot in 1962.


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In 2021, sources concerned about Nicholson’s well-being told RadarOnline that his son Ray and sister Lorraine have been “looking after him.”

“The Mulholland Drive community is pretty close-knit, and they are all worried about him,” an insider said at the time, adding that “physically he is fine – but his mind is gone.”

“It’s really sad to see such a super-talented actor, like Jack, go out this way.”

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