By Mike LarkinLast updated at 6:58 AM on 14th January 2012 Badly injured: Gene Hackman suffered serious head and body injuries while cycling in Florida todayLegendary actor Gene Hackman suffered injuries to his body and leg after being hit by a car today.The Oscar-winning star was struck while riding his bicycle in Florida Keys at around 3pm local time.He was airlifted to hospital and was later released after suffering ‘bumps and bruises.’The Florida Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash. Sgt Tom Pikul said: ‘Today at 3pm Eastern Standard Time there was an accident involving the actor Gene Hackman.’He was riding his bicycle in Florida Keys on what is known as the Old Highway.’He suffered body and leg injuries and he was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Centre at Jackson Memorial Hospital.’Early reports the 81-year-old had suffered serious head injuries were dismissed by his spokeswoman.She said: ‘Gene Hackman was taken to a hospital for routine tests after being bumped from behind while riding his bike today in the Keys. ‘He’s suffered minor bumps and bruises and is already on his way home.’No doubt the stars legion of fans will be relieved he did not suffer a more serious accident.Gene is one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors, and has won two Oscars and received a further three nominations.He first rose to fame in 1967 with his performance as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde.However perhaps his most celebrated performances were as the tough detective Jimmy ‘Popeye’ Doyle in the French Connection films in 1971, for which he won a best actor Oscar, and 1975.Gene made many more hard hitting dramatic appearances, such as best actor nominated turn in 1988′s Mississippi Burning.He was also famous for his ability to play lighter roles, such as his performance as camp evil genius Lex Luthor in the blockbuster Superman movies.He began his acting career n 1956 when he joined the Pasadena Playhouse in California.There he met another aspiring actor, Dustin Hoffman, and the pair forged a lifelong friendship as they both became major stars of the silver screen.He has been married twice, first to Faye Maltese in 1956. They had three children, Christopher, Elizabeth and Leslie Anne, before divorcing in 1986 after 30 years of marriage. Blockbuster turn: Gene could effortlessly switch between comedy and drama and gave a lighter performance as Lex Luthor in 1987′s Superman IVIn 1991, he married Betsy Arakawa and they live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.In 2004 he gave a rare interview to Larry King and announced he had no future film projects lined up and believed his acting career is over. In 2008 he confirmed that he had retired from acting while promoting his third novel.