Harry Dean Stanton, now 88, lived with Nicholson for nearly three years in Laurel Canyon before either was famous, and he admits they had some wild times together. As ex-girlfriends have attested, Nicholson may be well-read, artistic and fiercely intelligent, but he is a man of simple tastes.
(A neighbour of Stanton’s current home recalled one night finding him naked and stoned halfway up a tree and feeding raw chicken to coyotes.)Nicholson doesn’t even need to leave his home to play golf. Even when he was linked with the world’s most glamorous women — who have included Candice Bergen, Rebecca Broussard, Christina Onassis and Marie Helvin — he liked nothing better than to lounge around with his pals over beers and a plate of hotdogs, and watch sport on TV. Insiders say he remains close to two of his oldest friends and fellow diehard Lakers fans: the actor Danny De Vito, who Nicholson has known since they grew up together in working-class New Jersey, and Lou Adler, a music industry veteran who produced the original Rocky Horror Show.
With fellow bad boys Marlon Brando next door and Warren Beatty just down the road, this was ground zero for the hell-raising trio — led by Nicholson, a shameless womaniser who claims to have bedded 2,000 women.
‘Men want someone who is fertile but who doesn’t want children just yet,’ she continued.
‘So they want women in their late 20s or early 30s.
They describe a bizarre, chaotic and scruffy household that smacks of a down-at-heel retirement home rather than a bachelor love pad.
One woman visitor recalled a procession of unidentified old men wandering around in bathrobes as if they lived there, each pulling food out of the ancient avocado-coloured fridge and making lunch as dirty dishes lay piled up in the sink.
Nicholson usually has an afternoon nap to steel him for the night’s entertainment — staying in with a few friends to watch a feature film.