Brad Pitt: Eye-candy turned Hollywood heavyweight348 views
Pitt came into the public eye 25 years ago with a much-talked-about debut as eye-candy in the hit movie “Thelma and Louise” — and went on to become a household name.
A three-time Oscar nominee for his acting — also twice named the “sexiest man alive” by People magazine — Pitt took home a golden statuette for best picture in 2014 as a producer of “12 Years A Slave.”
And as half of one of the world’s most famous celebrity couples — known to fans simply as “Brangelina” — he was never far from the gossip pages, up until Tuesday when it emerged that Angelina Jolie had filed for divorce.
The Hollywood glory is all a far cry from Pitt’s early days.
Born 48 years ago in a middle-class family in Oklahoma, William Bradley Pitt studied journalism and advertising at the University of Missouri before following thousands of young Americans and heading to Hollywood.
Pitt supported himself with a series of part-time jobs, including as a chauffeur, removal man and even dressing up in a chicken suit to advertise a fast-food chain.
But from 1987 the work started to trickle in, with bit parts in television series “Dallas” and “21 Jump Street” and a few low-budget movies.
Secondary roles followed in “Kalifornia” (1993) and “True Romance” (1994) and he finally made it as a headliner later that year alongside Tom Cruise in “Interview with a Vampire,” and Anthony Hopkins in “Legends of the Fall.”
If Pitt needed any further affirmation of his talent, he got it with “Seven,” the acclaimed 1995 thriller in which he played a policemen spun along by a serial killer.
The success continued the following year with Terry Gilliam’s “Twelve Monkeys,” in which Pitt was nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actor.
The high from that accolade did not last long, however, being followed by two commercial flops in 1997, “Seven Years in Tibet” and “The Devil’s Own” with Harrison Ford. The critics were also less than impressed with his pairing with Julia Roberts in “The Mexican” and Robert Redford in “Spy Game,” both in 2001.
But the actor won a new legion of fans alongside Edward Norton in “Fight Club” (1999), and hit the commercial big time two years later as part of a star-studded cast led by George Clooney with the remake of “Ocean’s Eleven.”
– World’s sexiest stars –
Pitt’s position as a Hollywood golden boy was now assured, and his commercial clout was only strengthened by his 2000 marriage to “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston, which made them one of the hottest couples in the world.
If the symbolism of his playing the unstoppable Achilles in Wolfgang Petersen’s “Troy” (2004) was not clear enough, he starred in another box office smash that year (“Ocean’s Twelve”) before 2005’s “Mr and Mrs Smith.”
It was while filming the latter movie that Pitt encountered Jolie. The match-up of two of the world’s sexiest stars was commercial dynamite but did little for his marriage to Aniston. They announced their split in early 2005.
“Brangelina,” as they were quickly dubbed by the media, were soon an item and in May 2006 Jolie gave birth to their first biological child, a girl named Shiloh. The couple have six children, three of whom are adopted.
The actor scored another hit in “Babel” (2007) and earned his second Oscar nomination in 2009 for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
In recent years Pitt has stepped behind the camera, and successfully tried his hand at producing — taking home a golden statuette for best picture in 2014 as a producer of “12 Years A Slave.”
Through his firm Plan B, he was also involved in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winner “The Departed” (2006) and “A Mighty Heart” starring Jolie, released the following year.