Gene Hackman turned 91 last Friday and now leads a quiet but jovial life in New Mexico.

The star of such movie classics as 'The French Connection', 'The Conversation', 'Bonnie and Clyde', 'The Poseidon Adventure', 'Superman: The Movie', 'Unforgiven' and 'The Royal Tenenbaums' retired in 2004 and has led a career as a novelist in the years since.

James L Neibaur took to Twitter to celebrate the man, writing: "Gene Hackman retired from acting 17 years ago, but had this recent pic taken to show he is alive and well at 91, and living in New Mexico. He goes bike riding every day and remains active and engaged with hobbies, and friends."

The picture of the actor attached, as it emerged, was actually from a couple of years ago.

But fans were still happy to sing his praises, celebrating Gene Hackman by sharing stories about the actor and listing their favourite movies of his.

There was of course plenty of praise for Gene Hackman's turn as Lex Luthor in 'Superman'.

And no, you weren't the only one to get a fright when you saw "Gene Hackman" trrending...

What's your favourite movie starring the actor?