John Joseph Travolta (born February 18, 1954) is an American actor, dancer, and singer. Travolta first became known in the 1970s, after appearing on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter and starring in the box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease. Travolta's acting career declined through the 1980s. His career enjoyed a resurgence in the 1990s with his role in Pulp Fiction, and he has since continued starring in Hollywood films, including Face/Off, Ladder 49, and Wild Hogs. Travolta was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in Get Shorty.
Travolta, the youngest of six children, was born and raised in Englewood, New Jersey, an inner-ring suburb of New York City. His father, Salvatore Travolta (November 1912 – May 1995), was a semi-professional American football player turned tire salesman and partner in a tire company. His mother, Helen Cecilia (née Burke, January 1912 – December 1978), was an actress and singer who had appeared in The Sunshine Sisters, a radio vocal group, and acted and directed before becoming a high school drama and English teacher. His siblings, Joey, Ellen, Ann, Margaret, and Sam Travolta, have all acted. His father was a second-generation Italian American and his mother was Irish American; he grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood and has said that his household was predominantly Irish in culture. He was raised Roman Catholic, but converted to Scientology in 1975. Travolta attended Dwight Morrow High
School, but dropped out as a junior at age 17 in 1971.
Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino in the ABC comedy Welcome Back Kotter, c. 1976
After attending Dwight Morrow High School, Travolta moved across the Hudson River to New York City and landed a role in the touring company of the musical Grease and on Broadway in Over Here!, singing the Sherman Brothers' song "Dream Drummin'". He then moved to Los Angeles to further his career in show business.
Travolta's first California-filmed television role was as a fall victim in, Emergency! (S2E2), in September 1972, but his first significant movie role was as Billy Nolan, a bully who was goaded into playing a prank on Sissy Spacek's character in the horror film, Carrie (1976). Around the same time, he landed his star-making role as Vinnie Barbarino in the TV sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–1979), in which his sister, Ellen, also occasionally appeared (as Arnold Horshack's mother). The show aired on ABC.
Travolta had a hit single entitled "Let Her In", peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July 1976. In the next few years, he appeared in two of his most noted screen roles: Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever (1977) and as Danny Zuko in Grease (1978). The films were among the most commercially successful pictures of the decade and catapulted Travolta to international stardom. Saturday Night Fever earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. At age 24, Travolta became one of the youngest performers ever nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. His mother and his sister Ann appeared as extras in Saturday Night Fever and his sister Ellen appeared as a waitress in Grease. Travolta performed several of the songs on the Grease soundtrack album. In 1980, Travolta inspired a nationwide country music craze that followed on the heels of his hit film, Urban Cowboy, in which he starred with Debra Winger.
Travolta in 1983.
After Urban Cowboy, Travolta starred in a series of financial and critical failures that sidelined his acting career. These included Perfect, co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis, and Two of a Kind, a romantic comedy reteaming him with Olivia Newton-John. During that time he was offered, but turned down, lead roles in what would become box office hits, including American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman, both of which went to Richard Gere.
Travolta in 1997.
In 1989, Travolta starred in Look Who's Talking, which grossed $297,000,000, making it his most successful film since Grease. Travolta continued to the two sequels Look Who's Talking Too (1990) and Look Who's Talking Now (1993). But it was not until he played Vincent Vega in Quentin Tarantino's hit Pulp Fiction (1994), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, that his career revived. The movie shifted him back onto the A-list, and he was inundated with offers. Notable roles following Pulp Fiction include a movie-buff loan shark in Get Shorty (1995), an FBI agent and terrorist in Face/Off (1997), a desperate attorney in A Civil Action (1998), a Bill Clinton-esque presidential candidate in Primary Colors (1998), and a military detective in The General's Daughter (1999).
Travolta in 2004.
Travolta also starred in Battlefield Earth (2000) based on a work of science fiction by L. Ron Hubbard, in which he played the leader of a group of aliens that enslaves humanity on a bleak future Earth. The film received almost universally negative reviews and did very poorly at the box office. In 2007 he starred in Wild Hogs & played Mrs. Edna Turnblad in the remake of Hairspray, his first musical since Grease. In 2008 he lent his voice for the film Bolt in which he played the titular role.
Travolta dancing with Diana, Princess of Wales, at the White House, November 9, 1985. She is wearing her Travolta dress.
Travolta was in a relationship with actress Diana Hyland, whom he met while filming The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; Hyland died of breast cancer in 1977.
Travolta married actress Kelly Preston in 1991. The couple had a son, Jett (April 13, 1992 – January 2, 2009). Their daughter, Ella Bleu, was born in 2000 and a third child, a son called Benjamin, was born on November 23, 2010 in Florida. Travolta and Preston have regularly attended marriage counseling; Travolta has stated that therapy has helped the marriage.
In May 2012, an anonymous masseur filed a lawsuit against Travolta citing claims of sexual assault and battery. A lawyer for Travolta said that the allegations were "complete fiction and fabrication" and someone wanting their 15 minutes of fame. Travolta's counsel also stated that his client would be able to prove that he was not in California on the day in question and asserted that Travolta would "sue the attorney and Plaintiff for malicious prosecution" after getting the case thrown out. A second masseur later joined the lawsuit making similar claims. Both lawsuits were subsequently dropped by the complainants and dismissed without prejudice.
A judge ruled to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against Travolta and his attorney Marty Singer by writer Robert Randolph. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Mackey dismissed the case on September 27, 2012, because he found that a letter, written by Singer in response to allegations in a book by Randolph, had free speech protection.
In 2009, Travolta's son Jett died while on a Christmas vacation in the Bahamas. A Bahamian death certificate was issued, attributing the cause of death to a seizure. Jett, who had a troubled history of seizures, reportedly suffered from Kawasaki disease at the age of two. Travolta confirmed speculation that his son had autism and suffered regular seizures and immediately made his public statements while giving testimony after a multi-million dollar extortion plot against him in connection of his son's death. After a mistrial, Travolta dropped the charges and has credited his immediate family and faith in helping him survive the premature death of his son and in moving forward with his film career.
Travolta has been a practitioner of Scientology since 1975 when he was given the book Dianetics while filming the movie The Devil's Rain in Durango, Mexico. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, joining other celebrities in helping with the relief efforts, Travolta flew his 707 full of supplies, doctors, and Scientologist Volunteer Ministers into the disaster area.
Travolta is a certified private pilot. He owns five aircraft, including an ex-Qantas Boeing 707–138 airliner that bears the name Jett Clipper Ella in honor of his children. Pan American World Airways was a large operator of the Boeing 707 and used Clipper in its names. The 707 aircraft bears the marks of Qantas, as Travolta acts as an official goodwill ambassador for the airline wherever he flies.
His $4.9 million estate in the Jumbolair subdivision in Ocala, Florida, is situated on Greystone Airport with its own runway and taxiway right to his front door.
On November 24, 1992, Travolta was piloting his Gulfstream N728T at night above a solid undercast, when he experienced a total electrical system failure, while flying under instrument flight rules into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. During the emergency landing he almost had a mid-air collision with a USAir Boeing 727, an event attributed to a risky decision by an air traffic controller.
On September 13, 2010, during the first episode of the final season of her talk show, Oprah Winfrey announced that she would be taking her entire studio audience on an 8-day expenses-paid trip to Australia, with Travolta serving as pilot for the trip. He had helped Winfrey plan the trip for over a year.
Year Title Role Notes
1975 The Tenth Level John TV movie
1975 The Devil's Rain Danny
1976 The Boy in the Plastic Bubble Tod Lubitch
Nominated—TV Land Award
1976 Carrie Billy Nolan
1977 Saturday Night Fever Tony Manero
National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
3rd place—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
3rd place—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
1978 Moment by Moment Strip Harrison
1978 Grease Daniel "Danny" Zuko
Henrietta Award – World Film Favorite Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1980 Urban Cowboy Buford 'Bud' Uan Davis
1981 Blow Out Jack Terry
1983 Staying Alive Tony Manero
1983 Two of a Kind Zack Melon
1985 Perfect Adam Lawrence
1987 Basements Ben TV segment "The Dumb Waiter"
1989 Look Who's Talking James Ubriacco
1989 The Experts Travis
1990 Look Who's Talking Too James Ubriacco
1991 Shout Jack Cabe
1991 Eyes of an Angel Bobby aka The Tender
1991 Chains of Gold Scott Barnes TV movie; also writer
1992 Boris and Natasha: The Movie Himself cameo
1993 Look Who's Talking Now James Ubriacco
1994 Pulp Fiction Vincent Vega
MTV Movie Award for Best Dance Sequence (shared with Uma Thurman)
David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor
London Critics Circle Film Award for Actor of the Year
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Stockholm International Film Festival for Best Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Performance
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Samuel L. Jackson)
3rd place—National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
1995 Get Shorty Chili Palmer
American Comedy Award for Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1995 White Man's Burden Louis Pinnock
1996 Michael Michael
1996 Phenomenon George Malley
1996 Orientation: A Scientology Information Film Himself short subject
1996 Broken Arrow Maj. Vic 'Deak' Deakins Nomination—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Nomination—MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Christian Slater)
1997 Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's Himself documentary
1997 Mad City Sam Baily
1997 Face/Off Sean Archer/Castor Troy
MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Nicolas Cage)
Nomination—Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor - Action/Adventure
Nomination—MTV Movie Award for Best Performance
Nomination—MTV Movie Award for Best Villain (shared with Nicolas Cage
Nomination—Saturn Award for Best Actor
1997 She's So Lovely Joey Giamonti also executive producer
1998 A Civil Action Jan Schlichtmann
1998 The Thin Red Line Brigadier General Quintard Satellite Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Motion Picture Ensemble
1998 Junket Whore Himself documentary
1998 Primary Colors Governor Jack Stanton Nomination—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1999 The General's Daughter Warr. Off. Paul Brenner/Sgt. Frank White
1999 Our Friend, Martin Kyle's dad animated educational film, voice only
2000 Welcome to Hollywood Himself mockumentary; cameo
2000 Lucky Numbers Russ Richards
2000 Battlefield Earth Terl also producer
Razzie Award for Worst Actor
2001 Domestic Disturbance Frank Morrison
2001 Swordfish Gabriel Shear
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember "Austinpussy" Johann van der Smut (Goldmember) / Himself cameo
2003 Basic Tom Hardy
2004 Ladder 49 Captain Mike Kennedy
2004 A Love Song for Bobby Long Bobby Long
2004 The Punisher Howard Saint
2005 Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D James Benson "Jim" Irwin narrator; documentary
2005 Be Cool Chili Palmer
2006 Lonely Hearts Elmer C. Robinson
2007 Wild Hogs Woody Stevens
2007 Hairspray Edna Turnblad
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Hollywood Film Festival for Ensemble of the Year
Hollywood Film Festival for Supporting Actor of the Year
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated—Palm Springs International Film Festival Ensemble Cast Award
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2008 Bolt Bolt the Dog voice
2009 The Taking of Pelham 123 Benard Ryder
2009 Old Dogs Charlie Reed
2010 From Paris with Love Charlie Wax
2012 Savages Dennis
2013 Killing Season Emil Kovac
Year Title Role Notes
1972 Emergency! Chuck Benson Episode: "Kids"
1972 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Episode: "A Piece of God"
1973 The Rookies Eddie Halley Episode: " Frozen Smoke"
1974 Medical Center Danny Episode: "Saturday's Child"
1975–1979 Welcome Back, Kotter Vincent "Vinnie" Barbarino Main Role (Seasons 1–3) / Special Guest Star (Season 4); 79 episodes
Year Album US
1974 Over Here! —
1976 John Travolta 39
1977 Can't Let You Go 66
1978 Travolta Fever 161
1983 Two of a Kind 26
1986 The Road to Freedom —
1996 Let Her In: The Best of John Travolta —
2003 The Collection —
2007 Hairspray —
2012 This Christmas (with Olivia Newton-John) 81
"Dream Drummin'" (1974)
"Easy Evil" (1975)
"Can't Let You Go" (1975)
"You Set My Dreams To Music" (1976)
"Goodnight Mr. Moon" (1976)
"Settle Down" (1976)
"Moonlight Lady" (1976)
"Right Time of the Night" (1976)
"Big Trouble" (1976)
"What Would They Say" (1976)
"Back Doors Crying" (1976)
"Let Her In" (1976) – #10
"Whenever I'm Away From You" (1976) – #38
"Slow Dancin'" (1976)
"It Had To Be You" (1976)
"I Don't Know What I Like About You Baby" (1976)
"All Strung Out On You" (1977) – #34
"Baby, I Could Be So Good at Lovin' You" (1977)
"You're the One That I Want" – #1 (1978) (w/ Olivia Newton-John)
"Greased Lightnin" (1978) – #47
"Never Gonna Fall in Love Again" (1980)
"Take A Chance" (1983) (w/ Olivia Newton-John)
"Two Sleepy People" (1997) (w/ Carly Simon)
His family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, when he was very young, and his parents divorced in 1984. At age eight, Affleck met 10-year-old Matt Damon, who lived two blocks away. Damon is Affleck's tenth cousin, once removed, through a common New England ancestor. The two attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School together, although they were in different grades. Affleck attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, as well as the University of Vermont, where he studied Middle Eastern affairs for one semester, but then dropped out to pursue his acting career.
Career[edit source | editbeta]
Early work[edit source | editbeta]
Affleck worked as a child actor, appearing on the PBS children's series The Voyage of the Mimi, as well as in several movies made for television. In the mid-1980s Affleck appeared regularly as a news correspondent for Kidsworld, reporting on such diverse issues as lactose intolerance and the life of retired circus elephants. In the 1990s, he had roles in Lifestories: Families in Crisis, as a steroid-abusing athlete, as well as in several films, including School Ties (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993), Mallrats (1995), and Chasing Amy (1997). Mallrats and Amy marked the beginning of his collaboration with writer/director Kevin Smith. He had the starring role in Smith's Jersey Girl and has appeared in every View Askewniverse-Jersey film Smith has made to date, with the exception of Clerks and Zack and Miri Affleck also starred on several Saturday Night Live episodes early in his career. He made his directorial debut in 1993 with a 16-minute comedy called I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney.
Box office[edit source | editbeta]
Smiling young man with a trim goatee and moustache, wearing a white t-shirt and a baseball cap. He is surrounding by hands reaching out to him.
Affleck visiting the USS Enterprise (CVN?65) in Manama, Bahrain, in December 2003.
Affleck came to national attention working with Damon in Good Will Hunting in 1997, for which they shared writing credit and received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. They also starred in the film. Good Will Hunting's success transformed Affleck from a virtual unknown into a celebrity. Along with Damon and producers Chris Moore and Sean Bailey, Affleck founded the production company LivePlanet, through which the four created the documentary series Project Greenlight, as well as the failed mystery-hybrid series Push, Nevada, among other projects. Project Greenlight was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program in 2002, 2004, and 2005.
Affleck starred in Armageddon (1998) opposite Bruce Willis. The film received mixed to negative critical reviews, but was a box-office success, earning $553 million worldwide. In 1999, he co-starred with Sandra Bullock in the romantic comedy Forces of Nature. In 2001, Affleck collaborated with Armageddon director Michael Bay in the war film Pearl Harbor. The film opened to a mixed to negative reception, but was a box-office success, earning $449 million worldwide.
In 2002, he was cast as Jack Ryan, a role previously played by Alec Baldwin and Harrison Ford, in the fourth film in the techno-thriller series The Sum of All Fears. The movie, which ignored the story lines of the previous Jack Ryan films, also starred Morgan Freeman. Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post wrote that Affleck and Freeman "create a believable chemistry". In the same year, Affleck starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson in the popular thriller Changing Lanes.
The following year, he starred as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in Mark Steven Johnson's film Daredevil (2003). Affleck said Daredevil was his favorite comic book as a kid and explained why he took the role by saying "Everybody has that one thing from childhood that they remember and that sticks with them. This story was that for me." He also said "I didn't want someone else to do it, because I was afraid that they would go out and do it different from the comic and screw it up." Roger Ebert, in review of Daredevil, wrote that both Affleck and co?star Jennifer Garner were suitable for their roles. Daredevil grossed over $179 million worldwide.
Despite some critical missteps, his box-office successes reportedly earned Affleck an average of $15 million per film. Following Daredevil, Affleck starred in several critically panned box-office flops, including Gigli (2003) and Surviving Christmas (2004).
2006–2009[edit source | editbeta]
Affleck at the premiere for He's Just Not That Into You in February 2009
Affleck starred in the critically acclaimed George Reeves noir biopic Hollywoodland, directed by HBO TV-series veteran Allen Coulter. His performance was well-received; Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: "The irony is that Affleck's battering at the hands of fame has prepped him beautifully to play Reeves. He knows this character from the inside: the surface charm, the hidden vulnerability, the ache of watching a career become a joke and being helpless to stop it." Claudia Puig wrote in USA Today that Affleck gives a "strong performance". He was awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival, won the Supporting Actor of the Year award at the Hollywood Film Festival, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. Following the success of Hollywoodland, he appeared in the action film Smokin' Aces (2007), playing Jack Dupree, a bounty hunter. Smokin' Aces received mixed reviews from critics and was a box-office failure.
Also in 2007, Affleck made his feature film directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone, for which he also co?wrote the screenplay based on the book by Dennis Lehane about two Boston-area detectives investigating a little girl's kidnapping and how it affects their lives. His brother Casey starred in the film. It opened to rave reviews in October 2007. When asked why he decided to direct the film, Affleck said: "Directing a movie was really instructive for me. I think I learned a lot about writing, and a lot about acting, and I learned how all the pieces fit together from the inside. That was really valuable. It was a good thing." The film received critical acclaim. In Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum noted that Affleck "shows excellent instincts" as a director. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com wrote: "As a director, Ben Affleck may turn out to be quite good with actors...But he may need to work harder at shaping material, and at making his characters emerge as rounded, believable people."
Affleck appeared in Jimmy Kimmel's 2008 video I'm Fucking Ben Affleck, a response to a video by Kimmel's girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, I'm Fucking Matt Damon. Many other celebrities appeared in the video including Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji Madden, Macy Gray, Dominic Monaghan, Lance Bass, Josh Groban, Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Robin Williams, Harrison Ford, Huey Lewis, Joan Jett, Pete Wentz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Meat Loaf, Dicky Barrett and others.
2009–present[edit source | editbeta]
Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm on the set of The Town
In 2009, Affleck returned to acting, starring in three features, He's Just Not That into You, State of Play, and Extract. In He's Just Not That into You, a romantic comedy, he was part of an ensemble cast that included Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, and Jennifer Connelly. The film generated mostly mixed reviews, but was a box-office success, earning $165 million worldwide. In State of Play, an adaptation of the British television serial State of Play, Affleck played Congressman Stephen Collins. The film is a political thriller which explores the relationship between politicians and the media. In the comedy film Extract, Affleck played Dean, a bartender, and the best friend to Jason Bateman's character. His performance in the film was well-received, with Barbara Vancheri of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporting that "Affleck is a hoot as a long-haired fount of bad advice and drugs he keeps in a little tin behind the bar. After playing a square-jawed crimefighter, an actor turned Superman and a congressman, he is actually loose and funny."
Affleck directed his second feature, The Town, an adaptation of Chuck Hogan's novel Prince of Thieves, that was both a critical and commercial success when it was released in theaters in 2010. Along with directing and co-writing the film, he was part of the cast that included Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Chris Cooper and Blake Lively.
Affleck was awarded the Chairman's Award in the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival. Commenting on Affleck, Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said:
If there is truly a renaissance man in today's cinema, it's Ben Affleck. He has distinguished himself as a premier writer and director, as well as an actor with a broad-ranging and impressive filmography. In his latest work, The Town, Affleck once again puts his acting, writing and directorial skills to work, in a stinging portrait of a New England town and the grip it has on generation after generation, who find it impossible to leave. For his ability to "do it all" and constantly evolve as an artist, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Ben Affleck with the 2011 Chairman's Award.
Affleck starred alongside Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams, and Rachel Weisz in To the Wonder, a romantic drama written and directed by Terrence Malick. Filming took place in fall 2010 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and the film was released in cinemas in 2013.
Affleck also directed his third feature, Argo, for producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov. The film tells the story of a CIA operation to save six diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis by faking a production for a large-scale science fiction film.
Also with Argo, Affleck is the first director ever who failed to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Director, yet went on to win both the Golden Globe and the Directors Guild of America awards for best directing, in 2013. For the same film, Affleck has also won the Critic's Choice and BAFTA awards for best director, while the film has been named Best Picture in the previously mentioned organizations as well as the Producers Guild.
Following his work on Argo, Affleck was selected to replace David Yates as the director for the Warner Bros. adaptation of Stephen King's novel, The Stand, as Yates thought the novel was suited for a miniseries instead. In August 2012, it was reported that Warner Bros. was eyeing Affleck to direct a live-action Justice League film, though Affleck's representatives indicated that he passed on the offer.
Activities[edit source | editbeta]
Charitable and humanitarian projects[edit source | editbeta]
Affleck is a philanthropist. Affleck's support of the non-profit charitable organization the A-T Children's Project, began while he was filming Forces of Nature. Affleck met a then nine-year-old child, Joe Kindregan, who has the rare disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). The disease, described as like having muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, immune deficiency and cancer all at once, is progressive; children with A-T usually do not live beyond their late teens. Affleck attends benefits and spoke to Congress to advocate for the charity, and in 2007 was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony of Falls Church High School in Fairfax, Virginia, from which Kindregan was graduating.
In June 2008 he appeared in an ABC News exclusive report exploring the humanitarian crisis in the Eastern Congo. Affleck travelled to the African nation and interviewed refugees, warlords, and members of parliament. "I think the more painful something is, the more you want to distance yourself from it," he said. "I think the hard part is actually to let some of that go and to realize that when you see some of these images of people suffering in some way or another, to kind of remember that these are people who are in fact just in different circumstances than you are, but that are kind of dealing with [those circumstances] in a pretty brave and enduring way." In December 2008, he teamed up with the United Nations releasing a short film highlighting the plight of Congolese refugees, and in March 2010, Affleck announced the formation of the Eastern Congo Initiative, which he founded as "the first U.S.-based advocacy and grant-making initiative wholly focused on working with and for the people of eastern Congo". In April 2013, Affleck announced that he would take part in Global Poverty Project's "Live Below the Line" campaign, which consists in living on $1.50 a day to raise awareness of extreme poverty around the world.
Political activism[edit source | editbeta]
In the final weeks of the 2000 Presidential campaign, Affleck promoted the Democratic ticket, supporting Al Gore and repeatedly delivering a get-out-the-vote plea: "It's very important to vote. The president will appoint three or four Supreme Court justices." During the final week of the race, Affleck—along with Helen Hunt, Martin Sheen, Rob Reiner and other actors—spent an hour at a phone bank calling registered Democrats. "People in my generation have a low voter turnout. One of the reasons that I'm here is to demonstrate that no matter who you are going to vote for ...I think it's important to get involved and get out and vote," he told reporters. "But I'm going to tell people to vote for Gore."
On October 28, 2000, Affleck flew with Hillary Clinton, who was running for a Senate seat, to Ithaca, New York, where he introduced her at a Cornell University rally. He told the college crowd that Clinton had been advocating for women and working families since "Rick Lazio was running around the frat house in his underwear". Lazio, then a Long Island congressman, was Clinton's Republican opponent.
Affleck on the set of The Rachel Maddow Show, April 16, 2009
On November 6, 2000, the final day of the campaign, Affleck was one of several high-profile celebrities summoned to Miami Beach by Miramax Films boss Harvey Weinstein for a late-night Gore rally, just hours before polls opened nationwide. The Gore campaign's last event, a final effort to energize South Beach voters, did not end until about 1:00 am, but Affleck flew back to New York that morning and made a surprise live appearance on The Rosie O'Donnell Show. It was 10:15 am when he made his final public pitch from a Rockefeller Center studio, noting that he was "a little bit tired ... I've been out getting involved, doing stuff and trying to get people to vote. And that's why I came by here". Also, "Today is the get-out-the-vote day and ... I think this is the time to get involved, especially the young folks who are here ... I'm about to go vote," He then said, "I am personally gonna vote for Al Gore".
As votes were tallied that night, Affleck told Salon.com's Amy Reiter, "I'm nervous this evening, but one of the things that's exciting to me is the number of people who voted. No matter who wins, I think it's a healthy thing for our country that so many voters have come out and participated in the process. Either way, I think the most important number will be the turnout".
In the May 2001 issue of GQ, Affleck said, "My fantasy is that someday I'm independently wealthy enough that I'm not beholden to anybody, so I can run for Congress on the grounds that everyday people should be in government". However, when he was asked about his political ambitions in an April 2009 interview to promote the 2009 film, State of Play, Affleck said, "I really like my job that I have now. Plus, unlike in Hollywood where you need one director to hire you, in politics you have to have a lot of people to vote for you. I think it's harder work. I really am happy with what I'm doing now. In fact I've never been at a place where I've felt better about going to work everyday. I'm more engaged and very, very happy."
Affleck aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) on a USO sponsored tour of the Persian Gulf in December 2003
In 2004, Affleck actively campaigned for Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. During the first day of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he was featured on Larry King Live with Tucker Carlson and Al Sharpton. Larry King asked if he would consider running for office, and Affleck admitted to contemplating the proposition. Specific attention focused on whether he would run for Kerry's open Senate seat (as Affleck was from Massachusetts). He noted that the line between politics and entertainment is becoming increasingly blurred, as Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger both came from the entertainment business.
Affleck supports legalizing gay marriage, saying in 2004, "I don't think the government should be involved in any way in people's bedrooms or lives. With so much hatred and unpleasantness in the world, why would you want to get in the way of people who love each other marrying each other? Anybody who wants to be able to get married to anybody else should be able to. It's not my business." He also appeared in a print advertisement with his openly gay cousin in support of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Despite his opposition to George W. Bush's policies as president, in an interview with Bill O'Reilly in July 2004 Affleck said, "I had the pleasure of and the honor of meeting the President of the United States at the Daytona 500. I found him to be a collegial, affable, kind guy." He went on to say Bush "is a patriot and he's a man who believes in the country. He's trying to further an agenda he believes in. I happen to disagree with most of his policies, but I respect the man."
On December 21, 2010, Affleck appeared on NPR and criticized CEOs for making so much money. "CEOs' pay shouldn't be 200 times the average worker. It used to be nine times." On November 4, 2010, Affleck was commended for returning a second check for $250,000 that was mistakenly sent to him for appearing at the opening of a casino at The Greenbrier resort.
On March 14, 2012, Affleck wrote an article endorsing the Kony 2012 campaign. Affleck applauded the action taken by the Invisible Children in regards to raising awareness about child soldiers in Africa as well as raising awareness about the LRA. However, Affleck stated that "Westerners are not and will never be the 'saviors' of Africa".
On 12 March 2013, Affleck was officially censured by the parliament of New Zealand for misportraying the role of New Zealand diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis in his film Argo 
Personal life[edit source | editbeta]
Affleck has described himself as a lapsed Protestant.
Affleck at the 2008 World Series of Poker.
An avid poker player, Affleck has regularly entered local events. He has been tutored by poker professionals Amir Vahedi and Annie Duke, and won the California State Poker Championship on June 20, 2004, taking home the first prize of $356,000, which qualified him for the 2004 World Poker Tour final tournament. He is a fan of the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, and Boston Bruins.
Affleck entered alcohol rehab in 2001, with a spokesman for the actor saying that "Ben is a self-aware and smart man who had decided that a fuller life awaits him without alcohol".
Family and relationships[edit source | editbeta]
Affleck had a high-profile romance with actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998, following her breakup with actor Brad Pitt. In 2002 he began dating actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, whom he had met while filming Gigli. The same year, his engagement to Lopez was announced, and the relationship between the two received much attention from the entertainment media, who dubbed the couple "Bennifer". Despite a wedding planned for September 14, the couple broke up in 2004, both blaming the media attention—including an alleged incident in which Affleck partied with Christian Slater and some lap dancers in Vancouver. The negative publicity and media attention carried over to the 2003 film Gigli, which was a box-office failure.
He subsequently began seeing his Daredevil co?star, actress Jennifer Garner, and the two were engaged after nine months of dating. Affleck and Garner were married on June 29, 2005, in Turks and Caicos, located in the Atlantic Ocean north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The couple have three children: daughters Violet Anne Affleck (born December 1, 2005) and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck (born January 6, 2009), and son Samuel Garner Affleck (born February 27, 2012). They have year-round homes in Los Angeles, and Massachusetts, an apartment in New York and a vacation home in Savannah, Georgia
Jennifer Anne Garner (born April 17, 1972) is an American actress and film producer. Garner gained recognition on television for her performance as CIA officer Sydney Bristow in the thriller drama series Alias, which aired on ABC for five seasons from 2001 to 2006. For her work on the series, Garner won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
While working on Alias, she gained minor roles in hit movies such as Pearl Harbor (2001), with her current husband Ben Affleck, and Catch Me if You Can (2002). Since then, Garner has appeared in supporting as well as lead roles on the big screen in projects including Daredevil (2003), 13 Going on 30 (2004), Elektra (2005), a spin-off of Daredevil, and Juno (2007). Garner is married to actor and director Ben Affleck, with whom she has three children.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
3.1 Marriages and family
4 In the media
7 External links
Early life[edit source | editbeta]
Garner was born in Houston, Texas. Her mother, Patricia Ann (nee English), was an English teacher from Oklahoma, and her father, William John "Bill" Garner, worked as a chemical engineer. When she was four years old, her father's job with Union Carbide relocated her family to Princeton, West Virginia, and then later to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner resided until her college years. She has credited her older sister, Melissa Lynn Garner Wylie, who resides in Boston, Massachusetts, as a source of inspiration to her. Her younger sister is Susannah Kay Garner Carpenter.
Garner's conservative upbringing included going to church every Sunday, not wearing make-up or a bikini, and waiting at least until the age of 16 to be allowed to get her ears pierced, which, she later joked, made her family "just a step away from being Amish." She said: "I'd hate to say it was strict. It was just not condoned. I never felt hemmed in." She began taking ballet lessons at the age of three and continued to dance throughout her youth, but she did not envision herself becoming a classical ballerina. Garner attended George Washington High School in Charleston and graduated in 1990. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama from Denison University, where she was initiated into the sorority Pi Beta Phi.
Garner did not plan on becoming an actress: "I wanted to be a doctor, a librarian. ... (Acting) wasn't possible to me. The more I learned what there was to learn about this field, the more hungry I became for it. It comes out of wanting to learn more, as opposed to 'I want to be a star.' I never felt that way," she said.
Career[edit source | editbeta]
Fashion[edit source | editbeta]
As of July 17, 2013, Jennifer Garner is the first and, currently, only celebrity spokesperson of Max Mara. Starting in September, the campaign will appear in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, W, InStyle, The New York Times, and the International Herald Tribune.
Acting[edit source | editbeta]
In 1994, Garner appeared in Atlanta productions of two Shakespeare plays, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream, by the Georgia Shakespeare Company.
In 1995, Garner started pursuing theater in New York City and earned $150 a week as an understudy in the play A Month in the Country for Roundabout Theatre Company. She was then cast in her first television role as part of a made-for-television movie Zoya, based on the Danielle Steel novel. In the late 1990s, she made brief appearances in individual episodes of Spin City and Law & Order while also securing roles in two short-lived television series, Significant Others and Time of Your Life.
Garner made her first big screen appearance of the 21st century in the comedy Dude, Where's My Car?, playing Ashton Kutcher's character's girlfriend. In 2001, she appeared as the supporting character of a nurse in the big-budget epic Pearl Harbor, starring her future husband Ben Affleck.
Later in 2001, J. J. Abrams, the producer of Felicity, in which Garner had played a recurring role since 1998, approached Garner to audition for the role of Sydney Bristow in his new spy drama Alias. Garner, who up until then had mostly played weepy waifs, did not learn that she "might have to throw a punch or kick" until the first few days of the audition. Told that she "throws like such a girl" and with no background in martial arts or gymnastics, she enrolled in a month-long, private Taekwondo class to prepare for the audition. Even as Garner was cast after several auditions, Abrams revealed that he remained panicked with the thought that she might not be able to pull off the role, especially as, on the first day of shooting, he was told by Garner herself, "I don't think I can do this." Garner later commented, "I was such a girlie-girl then. I didn't even know how to punch." While she performed many of the action sequences during the series herself, the dangerous explosions and complex fights were handled by her stunt double, Shauna Duggins. The first few episodes of season one of Alias, which averaged about 10.2 million weekly viewers, earned Garner the award for "Best Actress in a Television Series — Drama" at the 2002 Golden Globe Awards. Garner's salary for the show began at $40,000 an episode and rose to $150,000 per episode by the series' end. During the show's run, Garner received four consecutive Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama nominations as well as Emmy Award nominations for her lead performance. She won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in 2005. That same year, during the fourth season, Garner directed the Alias episode, "In Dreams", which aired in May. She received producer credit during the series' final season. The series concluded in May 2006 after a shorter fifth season that was abbreviated from 22 to 17 episodes due to Garner's pregnancy, which was written into the season's storyline.
After the initial success of Alias, Garner made a big screen cameo in the Steven Spielberg film Catch Me if You Can in 2002; Spielberg had seen her on the show and wanted her to play that small role. Her breakout film role came when she played Ben Affleck's love interest as Elektra Natchios in the action movie Daredevil (2003), an adaptation of the comic book. Garner stated that her training for Daredevil was more gruesome than her work on Alias, and revealed that as she got hung up on wires several times during fight sequences, Affleck became "in charge of reaching up and saving [her]." She was involved in a potentially serious accident on the set of Daredevil when, entangled in wires with her arms stuck and unable to move while doing a flip, she came crashing towards a wall "head-first with such velocity, that [she] was about to smash [her] head into the wall". Recalling how she was rescued by Affleck, she said in 2003, "out of nowhere comes this 6 ft. 4 in. red devil who just kind of put his arms out and shouts: 'I've got her!' I'm telling you, it was like, 'I've got my own superhero.'" While Daredevil got mixed reviews, it was a box office hit.
Garner starred in her first leading role in 13 Going on 30 (2004), a moderate commercial success. Reviewers praised her performance as "radiant" and "effervescent without ever being cloying", and The Christian Science Monitor commented that "while Garner is no Tom Hanks, she's consistently appealing". Her second lead role saw her reprising the character of Elektra in the 2005 Daredevil spin-off titled Elektra, a box office disaster that was panned by critics. The Boston Globe stated, "Based on Garner's humorlessness, lack of vocal inflection, and generally bland disposition, "the Way" she has yet to grasp seems to be that of acting," whereas USA Today concluded that "Jennifer Garner ... is far more appealing when she's playing charming and adorable, as she did so winningly in 13 Going on 30.
Garner in 2009 at a press conference for The Invention of Lying.
Garner performed the Frank Loesser song "My Heart Is So Full of You" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars. She appeared in the films Catch and Release (2006) and The Kingdom (2007) alongside Jamie Foxx, Jason Bateman and Ashraf Barhom. She then appeared in the Jason Reitman-directed comedy/drama feature Juno, which became a sleeper box office hit, grossing over $230 million from a production budget of $7.5 million. After that film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Entertainment Weekly declared Garner's work the best female supporting performance of the festival, saying, "The star of Alias and The Kingdom does no butt-kicking in this sweet comedy. Instead, as a young wife desperately hoping to adopt, she's funny, a bit tough, and unbelievably touching."
Garner made her Broadway debut on November 1, 2007, playing Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac alongside Kevin Kline at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway. The show was originally set to run until December 23, 2007, but it was extended through January 6, 2008 due to the Broadway stagehand strike in late 2007.
In 2010, Garner appeared in the ensemble romantic comedy Valentine's Day, directed by Garry Marshall, which also starred Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, and former Alias co-star Bradley Cooper, among others. She portrayed Patrick Dempsey's girlfriend. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $215 million worldwide. In 2011, she starred in the 2011 remake of Arthur. In that same year, Garner was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2012, Garner appeared in the films The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Butter.
She will next star in the 2013 film The Dallas Buyer's Club, reuniting with Matthew McConaughey. On April 24, 2013 Garner started filming Summit and OddLot Entertainment's dramedy Draft Day in New York and Cleveland, Ohio, which also stars Kevin Costner. The film is directed and produced by Ivan Reitman. In April 2013, Garner joined Steve Carell in the Disney adaption of the popular children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Filming is set to be from August through October 2013 in Los Angeles. In May 2013, Garner joined the cast of the movie Imagine alongside Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale and Michael Caine. Filming is set to begin in late June or early July in Los Angeles.
Producer[edit source | editbeta]
In 2006, Garner founded a production company called Vandalia Films. The first film she produced was Butter, released in American theaters in 2012.
Personal life[edit source | editbeta]
Marriages and family[edit source | editbeta]
On October 19, 2000, Garner married actor Scott Foley, whom she had met on the set of Felicity in 1998. After separating from Foley in March 2003, Garner filed for divorce in May 2003, citing irreconcilable differences, and the two were officially divorced on March 30, 2004. Following her separation, Garner dated Alias co-star Michael Vartan from August 2003 to March 2004.
Sometime in early to mid-2004, Garner started dating Daredevil co-star Ben Affleck and the two made their first public appearance as a couple by attending the Boston Red Sox's opening World Series games in October 2004. Since her relationship with Affleck, first as girlfriend and then as wife, Garner has been a tabloid staple. "Ben taught me that you cannot read that stuff, that it's poison," she said in 2009. On Garner's 33rd birthday, Affleck proposed to her with a 4.5 carats (900 mg) diamond ring from Harry Winston. Affleck married Garner, who was four months pregnant at the time, on June 29, 2005 in a private ceremony in the Caribbean, officiated by family friend and Garner's Alias co-star, Victor Garber, at the Parrot Cay resort on the Turks and Caicos Islands. The couple have three children: daughters Violet Anne Affleck (born December 1, 2005) and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck (born January 6, 2009), and son Samuel Garner Affleck (born February 27, 2012).
Stalker[edit source | editbeta]
Garner had been stalked since 2002 by a man, Steven Burky, who was eventually arrested in December 2009, after violating a 2008 restraining order. Burky was charged with two counts of stalking, to which he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity; in March 2010, he was ruled insane and sent to the California state mental hospital with a court order to stay away from the Affleck family for 10 years if released from the hospital.
In the media[edit source | editbeta]
In 2002, Garner topped the Maxim Hot 100 list. In December 2007, Garner was named The Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail's 2007 West Virginian of the Year "for her dedication, work ethic and unique role as role model and ambassador for West Virginia." People named her one of 2012 Most Beautiful at Every Age.