Brad Pitt

 
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Real Name: William Bradley Pitt
Birthday: December 18, 1963
Place of Birth: Shawnee, OK
Education: Kickapoo High School, MO; University of Missouri (journalism, advertising)

 

Biography:

Born on Dec. 18, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Brad Pitt was raised in a devoted Baptist home led by William, a trucking company manager, and Jane, a high school counselor. The family relocated to Missouri, where he attended high school in Kickapoo. After graduating, he attended the University of Missouri, where he studied journalism and joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. But three weeks before getting his degree, he unexpectedly decided to jump into his Toyota with $500 in his wallet and move to Los Angeles, California to become an actor. He started out in small television roles, such as a frequent part on the CBS primetime series "Dallas" in 1987 that seemed to benefit from his strong good looks. He co-starred in "Glory Days" (Fox, 1990), a drama about teenage anxiety. 

Brad received instant celebrity status as the hitchhiking stud, part charmer, part bandit, who seduces Geena Davis while flashing a hairdryer and wearing a cowboy hat in the female playmate movie, "Thelma & Louise" featuring Susan Sarandon (1991). The following year, he reached leading man status while wearing a dreadful hair piece as the fabricated, wannabe teen idol "Johnny Suede” - he kept the hairstyle as a gentle spirited yet hard nosed war veteran slapstick cop in "Cool World” with Kim Basinger, Ralph Bakshi's jagged mix of live action and animation. The actor received some critical attention playing the disturbed younger brother who casts a mean fishing line in Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It" (1992), but did not do as well as a psychotic murderer in "Kalifornia" (1993). 

Pitt also gave a wonderful role as the pot smoking roommate of a besieged actor (Michael Rapaport) who joins his Detroit pal with a Hollywood producer (Saul Rubinek) for a cocaine deal that goes bad in the Quentin Tarantino developed "True Romance" (1993) with Christian Slater, Val Kilmer, Samuel L. Jackson and Patricia Arquette. Regardless of his growing level of celebrity status, there was already sizeable interest in Pitt’s romantic escapades. Around the release of “True Romance,” he broke off a reported engagement to two year girlfriend, actress Juliette Lewis.

He then grabbed his first high profile lead role in a Hollywood smash hit as Louis, the mild mannered reporter of "Interview with the Vampire" (1994). His unhappy vampire seemed all the more lackluster when paired with a sparkling Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater and Val Kilmer. His star traits were better shown as the lunatic, middle sibling of an interesting western family in "Legends of the Fall.” In a switch from romantic roles, and to cunningly slow his being labeled the “Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine, the actor played a scruffy, egotistical cop on the trail a serial killer with Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow in "Se7en" (1995), before receiving a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination as a spastic mental patient and animal rights advocate in Terry Gilliam’s hyper futuristic movie, "12 Monkeys" (1995), with Bruce Willis about a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

After a role as a prosecutor in Barry Levinson's "Sleepers" (1996) with Kevin Bacon and Robert De Niro and Brad Renfro, he converted a poor Irish accent as an IRA gunman seeking sanctuary in the home of a New York City cop (Harrison Ford) in "The Devil's Own" (1997). What had seemed a drawn out and problematic production resulted in a tangled and patchy drama. He created some debate with a Newsweek interview, when he made nasty comments about the film’s script and dialog development. 

With "Seven Years in Tibet" (1997), the actor took on an Austrian accent to play an arrogant man who undergoes a spiritual transformation when he is becomes friends with the childlike Dalai Lama. That film was also the subject of dispute when it was discovered that Heinrich Harrer had been a Nazi Party member, the ensuing damaging publicity and bad reviews hurting the film's box office cash inflow. Brad followed up by again teaming with his "Legends of the Falls" co-star Anthony Hopkins in the relaxed "Meet Joe Black" (1998), a wobbly reconstruction of "Death Takes a Holiday" (1934), with the young actor playing the Grim Reaper in human form.

Brad was next cast as Tyler Durden, the honest but charming architect behind "Fight Club" (1999) with Edward Norton, an underground culture of young men who engage in vicious fights as a way of regaining their manliness. He continued in a similar manner with a role as an Irish gypsy with a aptitude for bare knuckles boxing in "Snatch" (2000). In both of these films, his strong physical body type was on display, but in "Fight Club,” he preferred a untidy look; while in "Snatch,” he was plastered with tattoos. 

Off the big screen, his celebrity standing as a burly Hollywood symbol soared into the stratosphere, after his passionate relationship with the equally beautiful and admired “Friends” (1994-2004) TV star Jennifer Aniston came to a head in 2001 with a storybook wedding, complete with fireworks, in Malibu, CA. The golden couple's every move instantly became national media fodder for entertainment and tabloid outlets the world over.

In "The Mexican" (2001), he played a comfortable, laid back role as a dumb, entry level mob member sent south, over the objections of his romantic interest, played by Julia Roberts, to bring back the a historic pistol that apparently carried a curse. He stayed busy portraying the protégé of a retiring CIA worker (Robert Redford) in "Spy Game” (2001), before joining George Clooney and Matt Damon along with an equally stunning cast cast for Steven Soderbergh’s wildly fun remake of "Ocean's Eleven" (2001). 

That year, he also made two noteworthy television guest appearances, first, on his wife's sitcom, "Friends," playing a now skinny high school friend of Monica's (Courteney Cox-Arquette) who has long held an loathing toward Rachel (Aniston); secondly, in a much talked about slot on MTV's stunt and practical joke series "Jackass," where the actor was brutally "kidnapped" from L.A.'s Pink's hot dog stand, as several speechless bystanders watched. 

In 2002, Brad made small guest appearances in Soderbergh's experimental film "Full Frontal" with David Duchovny and Julia Roberts, and George Clooney's directorial debut, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” with Drew Barrymore and Matt Damon. In 2003, he made the leap to animated movies, lending his talented voice to the main character in the not-so-hot production "Sinbad" with Michelle Pfieffer about the sailor of legend who  is framed by the goddess Eris for the theft of the Book of Peace, and must travel to her realm at the end of the world to retrieve it and save the life of his childhood friend Prince Proteus..

After years of downplaying his gorgeous, gallant looks by appearing in grubby beards and long hair, he finally took a role that cast him as the stud that he was, playing renowned Greek hero Achilles in director Wolfgang Petersen's epic, "Troy" (2004), a role that stirred excitement amid his male and female fans alike. The actor also arranged to rejoin Clooney, Soderbergh,  for the sequel film "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), this time playing a Rusty with his own love interest (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Unfortunately, the male companionship was wearing thin and the film was missing much of the appeal of the first go-round.

In early 2005, the celebrities film work took a back seat, when Pitt found himself at the center of an extreme media hurricane when he announced he was splitting from Aniston. One of the reasons for the divorce centered on rumors of an on-set relationship with Angelina Jolie during his next film, the Doug Liman produced action adventure flick "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" (2005). Though both actors initially denied rumors of their affair, and after often being photographed together in their personal lives, took a less covert appearance later, with the actor petitioning to adopt Aniston’s two children, the extreme media and public interest in their probable romantic relationship shot the film to enormous box office receipts, thanks in large part to their warm onscreen chemistry. 

The new couple fascinated star gazers and was the most media covered celebrity story of 2005, prompting the creation of the term "Brangelina." As their relationship slowly emerged into public view, Pitt joined Jolie on her missions of kindness to third world countries to adopt more children. The couple eventually announced that they were expecting their own biological child together, daughter, Shiloh Nouvel.

Pitt then returned with a solid performance in “Babel” (2006) with Cate Blanchett, a intense and upsetting look at uncertainty, horror and the depths of love. Set on different continents, Asia, Africa and North America, “Babel” told three distinct stories glued together by a single random act of brutality. He played an American tourist traveling to Morocco, when a stray bullet from a rifle slams through a bus window and critically wounds his wife (Cate Blachett), setting off a series of events, including the couple’s Mexican maid (Adriana Barraza) attempting to cross the border, a discarded Japanese girl (Rinko Kikuchi) searching Japan for romance in all the wrong places, and two Moroccan teen boys (Said Tarchani and Boubker Ait El Caid) coping with their responsibility for the shooting. 

Now the father of three adopted children and one biological with Angelina Jolie, he rejoined with Soderbergh, George Clooney, Matt Damon and the other ensemble for “Oceans 13” (2007), the third installment to the white collar gangster series that saw the team exacting retribution on a callous Las Vegas casino owner (Al Pacino) after becoming the victims of a con. In 2008, he teamed up with Clooney again for the comedy film "Burn After Reading" (2008), about a computer disk containing the memoirs of a CIA agent ends up in the hands of two unscrupulous gym employees who attempt to sell it.

Next in 2008, Brad was cast and hired for the leading role in the comedy "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008), with Cate Blanchett which tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences. Filming for 2009 is the fantasy adventure "Tree Of Life" (2009), set in a mystical world of folklore, several individuals embrace in a race to find the Tree of Life, said to give immortality, fertility, and other supernatural powers. He then starred with his wife in the drama "Atlas Shrugged" (2008), where a powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her. Based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand.

He then teamed with Mark Wahlberg for the dramatic thriller "The Fighter" (2009), A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid '80s. In "Dallas Buyers Club: (2009) Brads character is told to "go home and die" after developing full-blown AIDS in 1986, electrician Ron Woodroof delves into the world of underground pharmacies that supply HIV drugs not approved for use in the U.S. in an attempt to prolong his life, and, ultimately, the lives of thousands of other people. 

The actor and father of many will appear in another comedy-drama titled "Chad Schmidt" (2010), about a talented amateur actor Chad Schmidt who relocates to 1980s Los Angeles in hopes of being discovered. Problem is, he bares an uncanny resemblance to the actor, whose star is ascending -- turning Schmidt into a punchline and not a star. Next is the historic drama "Dirty Tricks" (2010), with Sharon Stone about the wife of Richard Nixon's attorney general who comes to her husband's defense in the aftermath of Watergate.

Next was the fantasy drama "The Tree Of Life" (2009), with Sean Penn, with a story that centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s, where the oldest son witnesses the loss of innocence. Also that year, Brad lent his voice as Metro Man in the animated film "Oobermind" (2010), a satirical take on superhero movies, in which a notorious villain loses his oomph after he accidentally kills his nemesis.

 

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