Jack Nicholson's House Burns

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AFP/Getty Images
    Jack Nicholson's former Hollywood Hills home, which he still owns, was badly damaged in a fire late Friday night.

    A house that Jack Nicholson owns in Hollywood Hills, Calif., caught fire Friday night — and the tough-to-battle blaze caused quite a lot of damage.

    The aging actor, known for his inimitable cool and his habit of playing himself in movies, doesn't live in the house. He rents it to his friend and former co-star Bill Tynan.

    Tynan wasn't injured in the blaze, luckily — and it didn't spread to brush in the yard to trigger a wildfire. NBC Los Angeles reported that Tynan told firefighters he'd woken in the middle of the night to the smell of smoke and fled.

    Firefighters said the house's precarious perch on the side of a hill made it hard for them to put it out, NBC Los Angeles said.

    "Access is tough because of small, windy roads in that area," Matt Spence of the Los Angeles Fire Department added.

    Nicholson bought the house in 1973 but only lived in it until 1975. That year saw the release of two major Nicholson movies: "The Passenger," a Michelangelo Antonioni movie in which he starred opposite Maria Schneider, and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," the adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel about a mental hospital.

    The Friday night fire isn't the first tragic incident to take place at one of Jack Nicholson's houses.

    In 1977, director Roman Polanski allegedly drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl in another home belonging to Nicholson, who had starred in Polanski's "Chinatown."

    Selected Reading: NBC Los Angeles, Daily Mail (UK)