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Brad Pitt

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William Bradley "Brad" Pitt (born December 18, 1963) is an American actor, film producer, and social activist. He became famous during the mid 1990s after having starring roles in several major Hollywood films, including Interview with the Vampire in 1994 and the thriller Se7en in 1995. Pitt was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe Award, both of which were for his role in Twelve Monkeys (1996).

Pitt is consistently cited as one of the most attractive men alive by celebrity magazines and is regarded one of the top Hollywood A-listers. His former marriage to Jennifer Aniston and current relationship with Angelina Jolie have been widely covered in the world media. He is the father of four children, one biological, all of whom have also received fevered media coverage. Since his connection with Jolie, he has become increasingly involved in social issues, both domestically (in Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans) [1] and abroad (in the poverty-stricken third world).

Early life

Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the son of Jane Etta (née Hillhouse), a high school counselor, and William Alvin Pitt, a truck company owner.[2] Along with his brother Doug and sister Julie Neal, he grew up in Springfield, Missouri, where the family moved soon after his birth. He was raised a Baptist.[3][4] He attended Kickapoo High School, where he was involved in sports, debating, student government, and acting. He attended the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri - Columbia where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.

Career

Early career

In 1987, Pitt arrived in Beverly Hills, California. He studied under coach Roy London for six years. He first appeared in the sitcom Head Of The Class, for a while dating the show's star Robin Givens. He also guest starred in two episodes of Growing Pains. Pitt appeared as Chris in the long-running soap Another World. While auditioning for the show Our House, he was asked to read for another part, and found himself playing Shalane McCall's boyfriend Charles on the daytime soap Dallas. He also had a number of roles in prime-time series, such as thirtysomething, 21 Jump Street, and Freddy's Nightmares. Pitt appeared uncredited in both Less Than Zero and Charlie Sheen's No Man's Land before appearing in Cutting Class, about a maniac stalking cheerleaders. He began dating co-star Jill Schoelen.

Moderate success

In 1988, Pitt had his first starring role, in Dark Side Of The Sun, where he played a young American taken by his family to the Adriatic to find a remedy for a skin condition. The movie was shot in Yugoslavia in the summer of '88 with Pitt being paid $1,523 a week for seven weeks. However, with editing nearly complete, war broke out and much of the film was lost. The film was released years later. Pitt won a part in the TV movie Too Young to Die?, about an abused teenager given the death penalty for murder. Pitt played the part of a drug addict, Silly Canton, who took advantage of runaway Juliette Lewis, who Pitt began dating in real life. The pair would be together for three years.

In 1991, Pitt starred as Joe Maloney in Across the Tracks in which he portrayed a high school runner with a difficult criminal brother played by Ricky Schroder. Pitt attracted broader public attention from a supporting role in Thelma & Louise where he played a small time criminal drifter in a love scene with Geena Davis.

After Thelma and Louise, Pitt starred in the low budget 1991 film Johnny Suede as an awkward dreamer who aspired to be a big-haired rock star alongside Catherine Keener and Nick Cave, directed by Tom DiCillo. Pitt had agreed to play the part before Thelma & Louise was released. After appearing in Cool World, Pitt starred in Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It in 1992, for which Pitt learned fly fishing by casting off of Hollywood buildings. Then came Kalifornia in 1993, a road movie in which he played a scruffy serial killer alongside his then girlfriend Juliette Lewis and X-Files actor David Duchovny.

1994-2000: Mainstream success and acclaim

In 1994, Pitt played vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac in the movie adaptation of Anne Rice's novel Interview With The Vampire. Pitt played the eighteenth century vampire which required several hours work in make-up on set to achieve the white skin of the character and he had to wear a pair of luminous green eyes, vampire fangs and a shoulder-length hairpiece to complete the appearance. Pitt worked with the eleven-year-old Kirsten Dunst, as well as Tom Cruise, Christian Slater and Antonio Banderas. He then starred in Legends of the Fall and Se7en. In Se7en Pitt starred as the police detective David Mills alongside Morgan Freeman in the hunt for a serial killer played by Kevin Spacey.

Pitt was then nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Jeffrey Goines in the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys in which he acted alongside Bruce Willis. In 1997 Pitt played the IRA terrorist Rory Devany in The Devil's Own alongside Harrison Ford, the first of several films where he has acted using an Irish accent.

That same year he played the main role of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer in the Jean Jacques Annaud film Seven Years in Tibet. Pitt trained for months for the role which demanded a great deal of trekking and mountain climbing, working out with co-star English actor David Thewlis by rock climbing in California and the Alps. Due to the themes of Tibetan nationalism in the film, the Chinese government banned Pitt and Thewlis from China for life.[5][6] In 1998, Pitt starred as the main character in the film Meet Joe Black. Pitt starred as a personification of Death inhabiting the body of a young man in order to learn what it is like to be human while informing a billionaire tycoon that his life on Earth is nearly over. The film gave Pitt another chance to work alongside Welsh actor Sir Anthony Hopkins whom he had previously worked with in Legends of the Fall.

In 1999, Pitt starred in Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. Working with his previous director whom he had worked with on Se7en Pitt portrayed the character of Tyler Durden, a highly colorful and complex character.

In 2000 Pitt played the role of Mickey, a gypsy Irish boxer in the gangster movie Snatch alongside Vinnie Jones and Benicio del Toro. The film was a wild caper involving a diamond heist, Russian and American mafia and the shady underground world , that saw Pitt brought in as a ringer by two failing promoters. The movie saw him moving on from his attempt at the conventional Devil's Own Northern Irish accent, and perhaps inspired by his co-star Benicio del Toro's recent performance in The Usual Suspects, Pitt created a just-barely-intelligible accent suggesting the Irish Gypsies, referred to as Pikeys in the movie. Pitt continued to train for the role, and honed his boxing skills at Ricky English's gym in Watford.

2000s: Ascension to the A-list

After his wedding to Friends actress Jennifer Aniston on July 29, 2000, he immediately began filming for Spy Game, a Cold War thriller in which he starred alongside veteran actor and look-alike Robert Redford playing the role of his mentor. In 2001 Pitt worked with long-term friend and actress Julia Roberts in the comical road movie The Mexican. At the end of the year, Pitt finished filming Ocean's Eleven with George Clooney and Matt Damon, a remake of the 1960s version which starred Frank Sinatra.

Since then, he has starred in numerous films, including Ocean's Twelve and the epic Troy, based on the Iliad, in which he portrayed the legendary hero Achilles. Ironically, during the production of Troy, Pitt tore his Achilles tendon, delaying production for several weeks.[7]

In 2005, Pitt starred in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in which he and Angelina Jolie played husband and wife assassins.

In March 2006, it was announced that Paramount had purchased the rights to The Sparrow for Pitt's production company, Plan B, and that Pitt would be playing the lead role of Sandoz.[8] In June 2006 it was announced that Paramount and Plan B will be working on a new zombie film called World War Z, based on the book of the same name by Max Brooks.[9]

Pitt made his return to Hollywood in late 2006, with Alejandro González Iñárritu's critically acclaimed Babel, starring alongside Cate Blanchett. The movie garnered a total of seven Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, one of which was a Golden Globe nomination for Pitt as Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. The movie has since become Pitt's highest grossing drama. That same year, he also produced the eventual Best Picture winner, The Departed.

In 2007, Pitt was listed among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. He was listed among artists and entertainers, and was credited with using "his star power to get people to look at places and stories that cameras don't usually catch."[10]

Other projects

Pitt has appeared in television commercials in Asia, such as for Edwin Jeans, the Toyota Altis, and Japanese canned coffee, ROOTS. He also appeared in a Heineken commercial which aired during the 2005 Super Bowl. It was directed by David Fincher, who directed Pitt in the feature films Se7en and Fight Club. Together with Aniston and Paramount Pictures head Brad Grey, Pitt is the co-founder of the production company 'Plan B'. Aniston is no longer a partner in the company, although she is still attached to many projects that were set up before her divorce with Pitt. The company produced the blockbuster Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp.

He has also had a cameo appearance in an eighth-season episode of Friends, lent his voice on an episode of King of the Hill where he played Boomhauer's brother, Patch Boomhauer, and on an episode of MTV's Jackass, in which he took part in a staged abduction of himself. In a later episode, he and some cast-members run wild through the streets of Los Angeles in gorilla suits.

Pitt has been an active supporter of research into diseases such as AIDS. He is a knowledgeable fan of architecture, particularly that of Frank Lloyd Wright, and has helped the National Trust for Historic Preservation raise money.[11]

Brad Pitt is the narrator of the acclaimed Public Television series Rx for survival[1]. The series discusses current important global health issues. Pitt is behind Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities such as in Darfur, along with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub.[12]

Personal life

Pitt dated actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Thandie Newton, Robin Givens, Juliette Lewis and Sinitta during the 1990s.

Marriage to Jennifer Aniston

In 1998, Pitt met Friends actress Jennifer Aniston and married her at an enclosed wedding ceremony in Malibu on July 29, 2000. The couple were adamant that the ceremony would be a private affair and hired hundreds of guards to block out any attempts of invasion by the paparazzi. Only one media picture was ever released of the wedding. Not long after the wedding, Pitt sued Damiani International, the company which made the wedding ring he gave Jennifer Aniston, for selling replica "Brad and Jennifer" rings. According to Pitt, the ring was his design and was to be exclusive. Under the settlement reached in January 2002, Pitt would design jewelry for Damiani that Aniston would model in ads, and the company would stop selling the copies.

Though their marriage was, for years, considered the rare Hollywood success, rumors of trouble began circulating, and the Pitts announced their separation on January 7, 2005. As Pitt's marriage to Jennifer Aniston drew to a close, he and Angelina Jolie were involved in a well-publicized Hollywood scandal in which Jolie was often painted as the "other woman," largely due to their chemistry during the filming of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. While Jolie and Pitt both denied any claims of adultery, speculations continued to mount throughout 2004 and early 2005. In an interview with Ann Curry in June 2005, Jolie explained, "To be intimate with a married man, when my own father cheated on my mother, is not something I could forgive. I could not look at myself in the morning if I did that. I wouldn't be attracted to a man who would cheat on his wife."[13]

The concept of a "troubled marriage" (and arguably his own) inspired Pitt to cooperate with Steven Klein for a photoshoot in early 2005 entitled "Domestic Bliss" for W magazine. The spread showed Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a 1963 married couple with children. Pitt expressed the desire to tell a darker, truer tale, one that explored the "unidentifiable malaise" that often haunts a seemingly happy couple. "You don't know what's wrong," he remarked, "because the marriage is everything you signed up for."[14] For her part, Aniston later cited the shoot as evidence that Pitt has "a sensitivity chip that's missing."[15]

Aniston filed for a divorce on March 25 the same year. The divorce was finalized on October 2, 2005.

Relationship with Angelina Jolie

Speculation of a relationship between the two began to be confirmed with the first private paparazzi photos of Jolie and Pitt emerged April 9, 2005 (and were reportedly bought for $500,000). They showed Pitt, Jolie and her son Maddox at a beach in Kenya. During the summer, the pair were seen together with increasing frequency, and the entertainment media dubbed the couple "Brangelina". Two months later, the highly-anticipated July 2005 issue of W magazine hit newsstands, featuring Pitt and Jolie posed as a married couple.

In July 2005 he accompanied Jolie to Ethiopia,[16] where Jolie adopted a six-month-old girl named Zahara;[17] later Jolie indicated that she and Pitt made the decision to adopt the girl together.[18] In December 2005 it was confirmed that Pitt was seeking to legally adopt Jolie's two children as his (as part of legal requirements), classified advertisements in the Los Angeles paper Daily Commerce announcing the name change request.[19][20] On January 19, 2006, a judge in California approved this request. The children's legal surnames were formally changed to "Jolie-Pitt".[21] During a charity trip to Haiti with Wyclef Jean, rumors began to circulate that Jolie was pregnant. On January 11, 2006 Jolie confirmed to People magazine that she was pregnant with Pitt's child.[22] On May 27, 2006, Jolie gave birth to a daughter, named Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, at the Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital in Swakopmund, Namibia by the couple's Los Angeles obstetrician, assisted by local staff. Pitt confirmed that their newborn daughter would have a Namibian passport.[23] Public interest in the child was immense. In an August 2006 survey, 41 percent of participating 18 to 24-year-old American adults correctly identified that the couple had named their baby Shiloh.[24] Jolie decided to offer the first pictures of Shiloh through the distributor Getty Images herself, rather than allowing paparazzi to take these extremely valuable snapshots. People magazine paid more than $4.1 million for the North American rights, while British magazine Hello! obtained the international rights for roughly $3.5 million; the total rights sale earned up to $10 million worldwide – the most expensive celebrity image of all time.[25] Jolie and Pitt donated all the earnings to an undisclosed charity. On July 26, 2006 Madame Tussauds of New York unveiled a wax figure of two-month-old Shiloh; it is the first infant re-created in wax by Madame Tussauds.[26]

Pitt and Jolie are not married. In 2006, Pitt said, "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able."[27]

The Jolie-Pitt children

Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt (originally Rath Vibol)[28]
Born on August 5, 2001;[28] adopted at 7 months old on March 10, 2002. He was in Cambodia and initially lived in a local orphanage in Battambang. Maddox's name is Celtic in origin, usually translated as "beneficent."[29] His middle name is Khmer for "life" and is shared with a member of the Cambodian royal family, Prince Sisowath Chivan Monirak.[30] Maddox has gained considerable celebrity in his own right, and his adoption is often credited with sparking the celebrity adoption trend of the 2000s. He appears regularly in the tabloid media, was named the "cutest celebrity kid"[31] and he is known for this Mohawk hairstyle.
Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt (originally Pham Quang Sang)
Born on November 29, 2003. On March 2, 2007, Vu Duc Long (head of Vietnam's international adoption department) confirmed that Jolie had filed papers to adopt a child from Vietnam. On March 16, 2007, Jolie went to Vietnam (with Maddox) to get her new son. Since the Vietnam orphanage does not allow unmarried couples to adopt, Jolie adopted Pax as a single parent.[32][33]
Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt (originally Tena Adam)
Born on January 8, 2005; adopted at 6 months old on July 6, 2005. She was orphaned when her mother died of AIDS.[34] Jolie adopted her from Wide Horizons For Children orphanage in Addis Ababa. Shortly after they returned to the United States, Zahara spent time in a hospital for salmonella-intestinal infection as well as dehydration and malnutrition.[35] Jolie stated that "she was six months and not nine pounds. Her skin, you could squeeze it, it stuck together".[35] Zahara's name means "flower" in Swahili.[36] Her middle name "Marley" comes from the late Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley.
Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt
Born on May 27, 2006 at Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital in Swakopmund, Namibia. Shiloh was born by a scheduled cesarean section, due to breech presentation. Her middle name, Nouvel, comes from Jean Nouvel, one of Pitt's favorite architects.

Life in New Orleans

The family divides its time between Los Angeles, California and New Orleans, Louisiana.[37] In an interview with the Times-Picayune, while filming The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Pitt said:

“I can't describe why we're allowed to live a more normal life (in New Orleans). Living in the French Quarter is a thrill for us. We have some semblance of real family life. People have been very, very gracious with us. If we're on the front deck, people go by and say, 'Hi.' Then they go on their way, very friendly.[38]

Popular esteem

In 1995, Pitt was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 25 sexiest stars in film history. Pitt has also twice been named the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.

Pitt was also prominently featured in the December 2006 Art Issue of Vanity Fair. Pitt appears on the cover in nothing but a pair of white boxers. The cover promotes an article on the Robert Wilson video portraits, a production of LAB HD that includes numerous celebrities and noted personalities. This cover has drawn criticism from Pitt because although he had signed a release for the image, he did not expect it to end up on the cover of Vanity Fair more than a year later. The video portrait, which represents Pitt’s first effort in avant-garde cinema, was exhibited at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes and Awards
1987 No Man's Land Waiter  
Less Than Zero Partygoer  
Cutting Class Dwight Ingalls First major role
1990 Too Young to Die? Billy Canton With Juliet Lewis
1991 Across the Tracks Joe Maloney Athletics teen drama
Thelma & Louise J.D. First mainstream film
Johnny Suede Johnny Suede  
1992 Contact   Short
Cool World Detective Frank Harris  
A River Runs Through It Paul Maclean Directed by Robert Redford
1993 Kalifornia Early Grayce With David Duchovny
True Romance Floyd  
1994 The Favor    
Interview with the Vampire Louis  
Legends of the Fall Tristan Ludlow  
1995 Se7en David Mills  
Twelve Monkeys Jeffrey Goines  
1996 Sleepers Michael Sullivan  
1997 The Devil's Own    
Seven Years in Tibet Heinrich Harrer Tibetan nationalism saw Pitt banned from China for life.
The Dark Side of the Sun Rick Filmed in 1988 in Yugoslavia
1998 Meet Joe Black Joe Black/Man in the Coffee Shop  
1999 Being John Malkovich   Cameo
Fight Club Tyler Durden  
2000 Snatch Mickey O'Neil  
2001 The Mexican With Julia Roberts
Spy Game Tom Bishop  
Ocean's Eleven Rusty Ryan  
2002 Full Frontal    
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Brad, Bachelor #1  
2003 Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas Sinbad Voice Actor
Abby Singer Himself Cameo
2004 Troy Achilles  
Ocean's Twelve Rusty Ryan  
2005 Special Thanks to Roy London   Documentary
Mr. & Mrs. Smith John Smith With Angelina Jolie
2006 The Departed   Producer:Academy Award
Babel Richard  
Robert Wilson Video Portrait    
2007 The Assassination of Jesse James
by the Coward Robert Ford
Jesse James  
A Mighty Heart   Co-producer
Ocean's Thirteen Rusty Ryan  
2008 Shantaram   Co-producer
Burn After Reading    
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button    

Awards and nominations

Awards won:

  • 1993: ShoWest Convention: Male Star of Tomorrow
  • 1995: MTV Movie Awards: Best Male Performance for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
  • 1995: MTV Movie Awards: Most Desirable Male for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
  • 1996: MTV Movie Awards: Most Desirable Male for Se7en
  • 1996: Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Best Supporting Actor for Twelve Monkeys
  • 1996: Golden Globes: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Twelve Monkeys
  • 1996: Sci-Fi Universe Magazine: Best Supporting Actor in a Genre Motion Picture for Twelve Monkeys
  • 1997: Blockbuster Entertainment Awards: Favorite Supporting Actor, Science Fiction for Twelve Monkeys
  • 1998: Rembrandt Awards: Best Actor for Seven Years in Tibet
  • 2004: Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie Actor, Drama/Action Adventure for Troy
  • 2005: People's Choice Awards: Favorite Leading Man
  • 2006: MTV Movie Awards: Best Fight Scene for Mr. & Mrs. Smith
  • 2007: Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup best actor: Best Actor for The Assassination of Jesse James
People's Sexiest Man Alive
1995
 
People's Sexiest Man Alive
2000
 
Awards
Saturn Award
Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1995
for Twelve Monkeys
Golden Globe Award
Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
1996
for Twelve Monkeys
Venice Film Festival
Best Actor
2007
for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Awards nominations:

  • 1995: Golden Globes: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama for Legends of the Fall
  • 1995: Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Best Actor for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
  • 1996: Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Twelve Monkeys
  • 1995: MTV Movie Awards: Best On-Screen Duo for Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
  • 1996: MTV Movie Awards: Best Male Performance for Twelve Monkeys
  • 1996: MTV Movie Awards: Best On-Screen Duo for Se7en
  • 2000: Blockbuster Entertainment Awards: Favorite Action Team for Fight Club
  • 2001: Golden Satellite Awards: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Comedy or Musical for Snatch
  • 2001: Teen Choice Awards: Choice Chemistry for The Mexican
  • 2002: Emmy Awards: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for Friends ("The One with the Rumor")
  • 2002: MTV Movie Awards: Best On-Screen Team for Ocean's Eleven
  • 2004: Kids' Choice Awards: Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie for Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
  • 2005: Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards: Best Acting Ensemble for Ocean's Twelve
  • 2006: MTV Movie Awards: Best On-Screen Kiss for Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • 2007: Golden Globes: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for Babel

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