Gene Hackman, 82, slaps homeless man who threatened, insulted wife - police
Gene Hackman, an 82-year-old Oscar winner known for films such as "The Royal Tenenbaums," "Unforgiven," and "Superman," recently slapped a homeless man in Sante Fe after the person assaulted him and his wife and also insulted her to her face, police say.
No one was injured during the altercation, which took place on Tuesday afternoon, and no charges were filed. Hackman's spokesperson had no immediate comment about the incident.
A police officer told the Santa Fe New Mexican that Hackman said that he and his wife were walking on a street in the city. The homeless man, Bruce Becker, 63, then approached them in an aggressive manner, threatened them, "assaulted him and his wife and called her a foul word."
The actor told authorities that he "was afraid that he and his wife were going to be attacked" and slapped Becker across the face," the officer told the newspaper, adding that based on statements from both sides, police believe Hackman acted in self-defense. The homeless man was the one who reported the incident to the police, the outlet added.
According to court records, Becker spent almost two years in jail, starting in 2009, for battery upon a peace officer, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and child abuse.
Hackman and wife Betsy Arakawa, 43, wed in 1991 and live in Santa Fe. The actor is retired and has taken up painting as a hobby. His last film role was in the 2004 movie "Welcome to Mooseport." He also appeared in a 2008 episode of Guy Fieri's Food Network series "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," in which he sampled food from Harry's Roadhouse in Santa Fe.
(Pictured above: Gene Hackman arrives with his wife, Betsy Arakawa, for the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California on Jan. 19, 2003. / Bruce Becker is pictured in a booking photo taken after he was arrested for battery in Santa Fe on July 25, 2009. Credit: AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill / Santa Fe Police Department)