Morgan Freeman Defies Labels

At 68, He's A Dynamic Presence From Hollywood To Clarksdale

In the movies, he often personifies the calm in the eye of the storm. But Mike Wallace finds that the off-screen man is, at 68, a dynamic presence from Hollywood to Clarksdale, Mississippi.

From one riveting movie role to another, Morgan Freeman somehow makes us believe that no one else can possibly play it as well he does. So often onscreen, he is the calm in the eye of a storm, the quiet, forceful voice of reason, but correspondent Mike Wallace found a more personal and candid Morgan Freeman of varying moods.

At age 68, Freeman shows no sign of slowing down, off-screen or on. This year, we saw him in four films and heard him narrate two others. He'll appear in four more films next year.

When it is sailing season in the Caribbean, that is where you'll find Morgan Freeman, alone.

60 Minutes met him first in The Virgin Islands, aboard his boat.

"This boat is a Shannon 43. It's one of the 12 best-built boats in the entire world," explains Freeman.

Freeman goes out sailing by himself, saying he enjoys the challenge.

"If you live a life of make-believe, your life isn't worth anything until you do something that does challenge your reality. And to me, sailing the open ocean is a real challenge, because it's life or death. There's no quarter," says Freeman.

But he spends most of his time in that make-believe world of acting.

"I like the character roles. Somewhere back there I really came to the conclusion in my mind that the difference between acting and stardom was major. And that if you become a star, people are going to go to see you. If you remain an actor, they're going to go and see the story you're in," says Freeman.

Some of the stories he has played in are among the most memorable in film history, including "The Shawshank Redemption," alongside Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven," and opposite Jessica Tandy in "Driving Miss Daisy."

All those roles seem to be made for him.