Jack Nicholson has been an icon of American film for more than four decades. This month, he will celebrate his 75th birthday, and the Belfast Free Library’s film series Friday Night Flicks will honor him by showcasing three of his most fascinating performances. The films are free and are shown at 7 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

The series will begin April 6 with “The Last Detail” from 1973, directed by Hal Ashby. Nicholson rose to stardom in the ’70s with a long string of exceptional roles, including this portrayal of a sailor assigned to shore patrol and tasked with escorting a young sailor to prison. Along the way, he and his fellow guard decide to show the unfortunate prisoner a good time before he begins his sentence. Randy Quaid, in his first major role, plays the young sailor.

On April 20, the series will screen “Prizzi’s Honor” from 1985, directed by John Huston. Nicholson plays a hit man and Kathleen Turner a hit woman in John Huston’s black comedy, based on a novel by Richard Condon. They are each assigned to kill the other and, naturally, they fall in love. Anjelica Huston also stars in a role that won her an Academy Award.

On April 27, the series will screen “About Schmidt” from 2002, directed by Alexander Payne. When Warren Schmidt retires after a long, dull career as an insurance man, he finds himself lost and forlorn until he embarks on a journey to find some meaning in his life. Many critics thought Nicholson’s performance in this film was the best of his career thus far.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@villagesoup.com.