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Brad Pitt

Actor

Born: 18 December 1963
Birthplace: Shawnee, Oklahoma
Best known as:

The star of Fight Club and Moneyball

Name at birth: William Bradley Pitt

A three-time acting Oscar nominee, Brad Pitt is also one of the leading movie heartthrobs of the 1990s and 2000s. Brad Pitt grew up in Missouri and studied journalism in college before dropping out to become an actor. Boyish and sexy, he scored as the scoundrelly hitchhiker in the 1991 movie Thelma and Louise (with Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon), a small role that nonetheless catapulted him to much bigger things. Despite having the golden glow of a leading man, Pitt quickly became known as a movie star who didn't always have to be the star. Pitt co-starred with Tom Cruise in Anne Rice's Interview With A Vampire (1994), with Bruce Willis in Twelve Monkeys (1995, earning Pitt his first Oscar nomination) and with Harrison Ford in The Devil's Own (1997). As a leading man, Pitt appeared in David Fincher's Se7en (1995, with Morgan Freeman), in Fincher's brutal urban psychodrama Fight Club (1999, with Edward Norton), and in Spy Game (2001, with Robert Redford). He's done ensemble comedy in Ocean's Eleven (2001, with George Clooney) and its sequels, and in the Coen brothers 2008 comedy Burn After Reading. And, of course, he's done big-budget star vehicles like Troy (2004, with Pitt as the weak-heeled Achilles), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005, opposite Angelina Jolie), the aging-backwards fantasy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008, earning his second Oscar nomination), and Inglorious Basterds (the 2009 World War II film directed by Quentin Tarantino). In 2011 he was again Oscar-nominated for his role as baseball whiz Billy Beane in Moneyball, and he starred in the Oscar-nominated drama Tree of Life (directed by Terrence Malick). Pitt's other films include A River Runs Through It (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997), The Mexican (2001, with Julia Roberts), Babel (2006) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, with Casey Affleck).

Extra credit:

Once engaged to actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt married actress Jennifer Aniston in 2000. They divorced in 2005, amid rumors that Pitt had begun a romantic relationship with Angelina Jolie, his co-star from Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Those rumors were confirmed early in 2006, when Jolie legally changed her two adopted children's names to Zahara Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Jolie-Pitt. Pitt and Jolie then had a daughter together -- Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, who was born on 27 May 2006 in the country of Namibia -- adopted a four-year-old boy, Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt (b. 2003 in Vietnam), and then had twins named Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline on 12 July 2008. Pitt's children are, in order of age: Maddox (b. 2001 in Cambodia), Pax (b. 2003 in Vietnam), Zahara (b. 2005 in Ethiopia), Shiloh (b. 2006 in Namibia), and the twins Knox and Vivienne (b. 2008).

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