By the time he was famous, it seemed as though actor Morgan Freeman already had a long and venerable career. While he worked hard for years in small basement productions in New York City and on public television's early morning kid's show "The Electric Company" (PBS, 1971-77) - which, to his chagrin, was his most widely-recognized role for many years - Freeman would not gain widespread exposure until he landed the Oscar-nominated role of the volatile pimp Fast Black in "Street Smart" (1987). Because of that performance, Freeman catapulted into national prominence, quickly becoming a household name and one of Hollywood's most distinguished performers. He was nominated again just two years later for his portrayal of Hoke Coleburn in "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989), a role reprised from a previous off-Broadway stint. A third nomination for "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) further cemented Freeman's already esteemed image as a quality actor. Though it took another decade to actually win an Academy Award - his performance in Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) finally earned him the golden statue - Freeman had by then firmly established himself as one of the finest and most revered performers of his generation.