Jack the lad still has an irresistible fortune

Jack Nicholson may have swapped the LSD for milk, but he still has his money.


Jack Nicholson's house in Hollywood has eight bedrooms and spectacular views, says Tom Leonard in the Daily Mail. It's also seen some spectacular goings-on. With "fellow bad boys" Marlon Brando next door and Warren Beatty just down the road, this was "ground zero" for a hell-raising trio led by Nicholson, whose parties "were long associated with copious drug use and the easy availability of young women".

But though Nicholson a shameless Lothario "who claims to have bedded 2,000 women" still lives behind the spiked steel gates, the house these days is quiet, its owner rarely venturing out. He's even lost his enthusiasm for watching his favourite basketball team, the LA Lakers.

What he now yearns for, he told a US magazine, is to be with someone significant. "I have had everything a man could ask for, but no one could say I'm successful with affairs of the heart People are necessarily complex and confused beings We don't always do the right thing, say the right thing."

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There's no arguing with that, says Carol Midgley in The Times. When Angelica Huston, his partner of 17 years, had the "temerity" to suggest marriage, he supposedly replied: "Marry you? Are you kidding?" But what a mesmeric actor he was, says Midgley. No wonder women have been throwing themselves at him since Easy Rider in 1969.

Now, though, at 77, "Jack the lad's lifestyle doesn't seem so hot".He gets up at 1pm and has a glass of milk to soothe his stomach. He plays golf, takes naps and spends the evenings watching films with friends. He can't go out and "hit" on women as he used to and prefers to dine at home.

"I sympathise, really," says Midgley, "but let's be absolutely honest doesn't this put a spring in the step of everyone who is now waiting at a rainy bus stop to go to a job they don't like? Whose highlight of the week was Downton Abbey?" Anyone who envies the way Nicholson lived should be permitted a "smug moment" of schadenfreude.

"Being a sexual roadrunner must be great at the time, but kind of useless if in the autumn of your life there is no one to help rub in the Ralgex." And Nicholson's longing for someone with whom to share his declining years"highlights the value of the ordinary, everyday, shared domestic existence".

Let's not draw the wrong lessons from this, says Helen Croydon in The Independent. Yes, Nicholson, "a man who once said he woke up in a tree after taking LSD and smoking more than a hundred joints while on a film shoot, now fears dying alone". But he shouldn't.

The idea that families are "wholesome" and singletons are "deviant or hopeless" is ridiculous: better to grow old alone than in a relationship of convenience. Besides, Nicholson "is not full of regret at what he's missed, but at what he can no longer do". I think Croydon is right. And, as Amanda Platell notes in the Daily Mail, even if Jack's wolfish good looks have faded, lots of women will find his $400m fortune "utterly irresistible".

Tabloid money: "Waddle forward, John. Your nation needs you"

Under the new legislation, three-quarters of the strikes that have taken place during the coalition government would have been illegal. "Under European law, the Tories can't actually ban unions which is what they would dearly like to do so they seek to tie them down with a thousand Lilliputian knots to make them ineffective."

According to the National Obesity Forum, weight-related health issues cost Britain £47bn a year in medical expenses and lost productivity. If the bill continues to rise unchecked, it will eventually bankrupt the NHS. "What can be done?" asksTony Parsons in The Sun.

"Health experts claim the nation desperately needs an obesity tsar' to raise awareness and suggests Labour heavyweight John Prescott for the role. Says a spokesman for the National Obesity Forum: Lord Prescott would be a good candidate. He knows Whitehall and has diabetes so has some insight into the effects of being overweight.' Some insight? Prezza has a PhD in being a porker! Waddle forward, John. Your nation needs you once more."

"The Scottish economy is rocked as the oil price plummets and BP cuts 300 jobs with fear of more to come," says Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail. "Around 130,000 Aberdeen residents are reliant on the rigs for their livelihoods. And guess who's being asked to bail them out? The rest of the UK. Of course, with Chancellor George Osborne promising tax breaks to ease their pain. I suppose it's too much to hope that the Independence mob feel very foolish."