Gene Hackman’s Kids: Meet The Oscar Winner’s 3 Grown Children

Gene Hackman has made a few rare appearances after retiring from acting at the age of 74. Meet the legendary star's children, here.

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  • Gene Hackman is an American actor who first gained fame in 1967’s ‘Bonnie & Clyde’
  • He won the Best Actor Oscar for 1971’s ‘French Connection’
  • The California native had three children with his first of two wives

Gene Hackman gave fans a treat when he stepped out recently near his home in New Mexico for a few rare appearances. The The Royal Tenenbaums star hung up his hat on his iconic film career at the age of 74 and has been enjoying retirement ever since in Santa Fe. Gene may have put Tinseltown in his past, but his Hollywood imprint is as fresh as ever.

HACKMAN ARAKAWA Actor Gene Hackman arrives with his wife, Betsy Arakawa, for the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he will receive the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Cecil B deMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainmentGOLDEN GLOBES, BEVERLY HILLS, USA
Gene Hackman arrives with his second wife, Betsy Arakawa, for the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards. (Shutterstock)

The Southern California native, born January 30, 1930, hit it out of the park in one of his first onscreen roles. Playing Buck Barrow in 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, Gene earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He took home the top prize four years later playing Detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in The French Connection. Gene was nominated two more times, once in 1988 for Mississippi Burning and again in 1992 for Unforgiven, which marked his second Oscar win.

In 2008, Gene confirmed his retirement and even revealed what if would take to get him back on set. “I don’t know. If I could do it in my own house, maybe, without them disturbing anything and just one or two people,” he said to GQ. He later told the outlet that he hoped to be remembered “as a decent actor.”

Gene Hackman won an Oscar for his leading role in 1971’s ‘The French Connection.’ (Everett)

With his last movie role almost two decades ago, starring alongside Christine Baranski in the 2004 comedy Welcome to Mooseport, Gene has definitely been focusing on his personal life, including his family. The veteran star was married to his first wife, Faye Maltese, from 1956 until their divorce in 1986. They welcomed three children during their relationship: Christopher, Elizabeth and Leslie Anne. Gene would later marry classical pianist Betsy Arakawa in 1991. Let’s meet his three grown children, below.


Gene and Faye, who died in 2017, welcomed their first child, a son named Christopher Allen, in January 1960. While he didn’t try his hand at acting, Christopher did follow in his father’s footsteps in Hollywood by working behind the scenes. At one time, he had a career as a camera operator and camera assistant, working on movies like 1986’s Hoosiers, alongside Gene who had the starring role, and 1987’s Made in USA (1987). He also made a documentary, Chris & Don: A Love Story (2007).

With Gene as one of the top working actors of his generation, he was often away from home and missed some of his children’s childhoods, something he said he lamented to GQ. “I lost touch with my son in terms of advice early on. Maybe it had to do with being gone so much, doing location films when he was at the age where he needed support and guidance,” he explained, “It was very tough for me to be gone for three months and then come home and start bossing him around.”

Elizabeth & Leslie Anne

Gene Hackman (R) and his daughter Elizabeth. (Maltese)

Elizabeth Jean was welcomed into the world by Gene and Faye in August 1962. Her baby sister, Leslie Anne. arrived four years later in October 1966. Both daughters are very private, and little is known about them publicly.

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