Happy 75th, Jack.
In September 1969, not long after Nicholson had charmed moviegoers and critics alike with his deceptively easygoing performance as a sweet-natured, booze-sodden, small-town lawyer in Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider, LIFE sent Arthur Schatz to photograph the 32-year-old actor at his new home on Mulholland Drive, overlooking Franklin Canyon in Los Angeles. Here, in celebration of Nicholson’s 75th birthday (he was born in New York City on April 22, 1937), LIFE.com offers a series of Schatz’s photographs from that shoot that were never published in LIFE.
See more photos here.
P.S. Tumblr, you won’t see this photo by Michael Rougier in the gallery on LIFE.com— the photo above is exclusive to you. We like you that much.