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Real Name: Jared Leto
Birthday: December 26

 

Biography And Filmography:

Actor and musician Jared Leto got his start in the admired television series “My So-Called Life” (1994-95), but along with his co-star quickly migrated to feature films and movies. He won a solid acting name with supporting roles in sometimes peculiar films and developed into a lead actor known for his brave choices. For several years he switched between the life of an actor and the life of a rock star, touring with his successful emo band, "30 Seconds to Mars". Likewise fascinating, was his famous romantic love life, which, to the delight of tabloid readers, included an assortment of Hollywood sexy celebrities, including Lindsay Lohan and Scarlett Johansson.

Jared was born on Dec. 26, 1971, in Bossier City, Louisiana. His mother was a photographer who raised him and his older brother, Shannon, on the road in Alaska, Virginia, Haiti and Brazil, among other locations. After graduating from High School in Massachusetts, he attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and studied painting before moving to the filmmaking program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He then relocated to Los Angeles in 1992, this time with his hopes firmly set on acting. He made his television introduction on the cult teen hit “My So-Called Life” as Angela’s (Claire Danes) love interest.  The show was cancelled after only two seasons, but public objection by its radical fan base led MTV to air continual re-runs. He had all the things necessary to become a sexy celebrity for the MTV teen radical set, including an unoccupied stare, easy going manner, tattered hairstyle, and a rock band.

The musician was able to discard his teen slacker image quickly by taking on challenging roles in big-budget films. His first movie roles of note were in “How to Make an American Quilt” (1995) and as an Irish teenager in the film "The Last of the High Kings" (1996), but it was “Prefontaine”, a 1997 story about Olympic athlete Steve Prefontaine, that put him on the public's radar screen. For this role, the actor absorbed himself in the athlete's life, meeting with members of the family and training for six weeks with one of the runner's college roommates. With his light-colored hair and handsome body, he had a resemblance to the real Prefontaine, but Jared went above the call, taking Prefontaine's voice and distinctive, upright running style. 

He next gave another rousing role as the hitchhiking college student suspected of being a serial killer in "SwitchBack" (1997) before being cast in the lead role as an upper-class Britain in the drama, "Basil" (1998) starring with Christian Slater. In 1998, he appeared in Terrence Malick's notorious, star-studded World War II movie, “The Thin Red Line,” alongside Nick Nolte, George Clooney, and Sean Penn.

Next was “Fight Club” (1999), where a bleached blond young looking was was beaten beyond recognition, but the experience gave him the opportunity to work with power players Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. In “American Psycho” (2000), his character was killed with an axe in this story about a wealthy New York investment banking executive who hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies. 

For his role as a isolated young drug addict in “Requiem for Dream” (2000), he and Jennifer Connelly lost nearly 30 pounds. And for his role in “Chapter 27” (2007), he gained nearly 60 pounds to play the man who killed John Lennon, Mark David Chapman.

On the music front, the now famous celebrity was able to shift gears from the movie business. Corresponding with this shift, was the increasing fame of the band he and his brother, Shannon, had started in 1998 called "30 Seconds to Mars". Their first album did well but it was their second album "A Beautiful Lie" that spun off a successful video for “The Kill,” a world tour, and achieved sales of over three million copies. His appearance had gone from 1990's suburban kid to retro-gothic, punk emo, and he was photographed sulking under coal-black hair and wearing dark eyeliner and other makeup. In 2006, he purportedly attacked fellow actor Elijah Wood at an awards show for Wood’s comment during an interview that he didn’t like Leto’s band.

On the romance front, he made headlines as well, dating actress Cameron Diaz for several years, which resulted in an engagement that was later broken off. he was also involved with Scarlett Johansson and Ashley Olson. But his most famous romance was with his “Chapter 27” co-star, fellow troubled child, Lindsay Lohan. A few months after the Elijah Wood incident, Leto was in the news again for lashing out at a photographer at the Sundance Film Festival, after he had ended the relationship with the unstable actress, saying that he was uneasy being the object of paparazzi.

After a one year vacation from the big-screen, he roared back to theaters in the epic adventure "Alexander" (2004), where Alexander, the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest military leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world. He next starred alongside Nicolas Cage in the crime drama "Lord Of War" (2005), about an arms dealer who confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol agent played by Ethan Hawke. 

The following year, he teamed with John Travolta in the crime thriller "Lonely Hearts" (2006), based on the true story of two homicide detectives who track Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez, a murderous pair known as the "Lonely Hearts Killers" who lured their victims through the personals. After a notable two year absence from movie making, the musician turned actor returned in 2009 with romantic thefantasy "Mr. Nobody" (2009), a tale that spans different time zones of the 20th and 21st centuries.

 

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