At 82 years old, Gene Hackman looks like he could rip your arms from the sockets if you put a hand on his beautiful wife. This week he proved it by roughing up a belligerent homeless guy who made the mistake of picking on a Marine. Kudos, Mr. Hackman. Kudos.

Gene Hackman is 82 years old. He also happens to be a Marine. Not a lot of people know that — including the crazy homeless dude who threatened the actor and his wife shortly before getting rightfully slapped around.

Gene Hackman proved he can act tough in real life as well as on screen on Tuesday, slapping a homeless man who threatened his wife.

The 82-year-old Oscar-winning actor was with his wife Betsy Arakawa in downtown Santa Fe, N.M. around 1:30p.m. on Tuesday afternoon when a homeless man approached them menacingly, according to police.

The man, identified by the Santa Fe New Mexican as 63-year-old Bruce Becker, approached the couple as they were leaving a restaurant and called Hackman’s wife a “c–t.” …

[The homeless man, Bruce Becker] has a history of guilty pleas for charges including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and abandonment or abuse of a child in 2008, as well as battery on a peace officer in 2009. … He also pleaded guilty to arson back in 1980.

As someone who was once assaulted by a crazy, drug-addled and shirtless homeless man outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles (I was fortunate enough to have the LAPD right there when it happened), Hackman gets three cheers from me. While most homeless people in the United States have some sort of psychological problem that prevents them from getting their life in order — and we should be sympathetic to their plight — that doesn’t mean that self-defense should ever be off the table when dealing with them. It brings a smile to my face to know that the old saying is true: “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Look at Hackman at 82. Look at his shoulders! The guy could probably dead lift a duffel bag filled with bricks and not break a sweat. Like Sylvester Stallone (a young one at 65), it’s always inspiring to see Hollywood’s leading men stay manly well into the years when society says our quality of life should be in decline. We’re all going to die, but these guys prove that we can lead a life filled with vigor much longer than conventional wisdom would have us believe.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some push-ups and pull-ups to knock out.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

13 comments

  1. Although Romney has said he’d like Hackman to portray him in a movie, good ol’ Gene describes himself as a Democrat and was in 1972 on Richard Nixon’s “Enemies List” .

    “…In contrast with his on-screen image of tough guy and reactionary, in real life Hackman is said to be an extremely gentle, shy person who holds very progressive political views….” —
    imdb.com

    He’s described by his biographers as being very against violence and regrets the movies that he made such as “Unforgiven” and “The French Connection”.

    Of course, pacifism and non-violent beliefs are not relevant when some toothless bum calls your wife the ‘c’ word, or when you’re about make a zillion smackers in a violent film.

    Hypocrites in Hollywood? I’m SHOCKED, I tell you. Simply shocked.

    1. That’s interesting stuff, Jim. I didn’t look too into Hackman’s politics because I’ve never really seen him out there as any sort of activist.

      If that’s true, it is rather disappointing that he’d make his millions, retire to Arizona, and then say, “Oh, I regret those roles. I wish I never took those jobs … that secured my financial well being into my golden years.”

    2. Leave it to you to politicize this post with an attempt to smear and devalue Hackman because he dares to hold “progressive” views in private.

      I think his 82 years on this earth, his accomplishments, his skill, and his incredible success give him the right to regret whatever the hell he wants to. Considering his past road rage issue and his recent bitch-slapping of that menacing bum, he probably would be more apt to shove his Academy Awards right up your narrow-minded bunghole if you said that to his face.

      Being finished with violent movie roles doesn’t mean you won’t resort to violence when threatened. They may not have taught this in your poetry classes, but being a non-violent person does not always equal “pacifism.” Regret and changing your mind and action doesn’t make one a hypocrite.

      You know what, that’s why I don’t come here much anymore and your dumbass post reinforces my opinion. Arguing with you and your ilk is absolutely pointless. You been spewing garbage for so long Jim, you don’t even smell it anymore. Obama, Democrats, Progressives, Liberals, Communists, Socialists, Statists, there are just so many people to hate. Republicanism, conservatism, and Christianity are the way and light and anybody who doesn’t walk lockstep with your beliefs is a loser and must be “defeated.”

      I pity you. I have other choice words, but respect Doug’s desire to keep it clean. Good day, sir.

  2. Your whining is again music to my ears.

    As usual in any debate, when your opponent slings personal attacks, they concede the debate and admit they’ve run out of reasoned rebuttals.

    Checkmate.

    1. To borrow a quote from St. Reagan, “there you go again.” You can use your schoolyard “I’m rubber; you’re glue…” defense all you want, but it isn’t going to work with me. You can also make up whatever narrative reaffirms your worldview and boosts your self-esteem, but let me clue you into something: just ‘cuz you say it, doesn’t make it so.

      By you own definition, by calling Hackman a hypocrite, your personal attacks against him concede your debate and admit you’ve run out of reasoned rebuttals.

      I can be civil with Doug, since he is a reasonable fellow. I see no reason not to mock your caveman stupidity for what it is. “He not agree with me, he bad.”

    2. Hi MeAgain,

      Thanks for stopping in. Like I said, I never saw Hackman as an activist. He seems like a dude who (given what little I know of him) just wanted to retire peacefully with his wife somewhere and be left alone. That’s all I want to do … and so, I wasn’t going to look into his politics with this piece. I was more interested in highlighting his military service, his ability to protect his wife even into old age, and the outward appearance of physical strength that defies conventional wisdom. Regardless of his politics, that makes him an inspiration to me.

  3. I just watched him slap Willem Dafoe in “Mississippi Burning”. He also slapped Denzel Washington in “Crimson Tide”. It’s good to know his tough guy persona isn’t an act.

    1. The driver did not perform a Hadouken (wave motion fist), but a Shoryuken (rising dragon punch). Common mistake. Either way, it’s okay to be a fan of a fictional move–nobody, Cleveland bus drivers included, shoots chi from twin thrusted palms in real life.

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