William Bradley "Brad" Pitt, born December 18, 1963 is an American actor and film producer. Pitt has received four Academy Award nominations and five Golden Globe Award nominations, winning one Golden Globe. He has been described as one of the world's most attractive men, a label for which he has received substantial media attention.
Pitt first gained recognition as a cowboy hitchhiker in the road movie Thelma & Louise (1991). His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with A River Runs Through It (1992), Interview with the Vampire (1994), and Legends of the Fall (1994). In 1995, he gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys, the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. Four years later, Pitt starred in the cult hit Fight Club. He then starred in the major international hit Ocean's Eleven (2001) and its sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Troy (2004) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). Pitt received his second and third Academy Award nominations for his leading performances in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). In addition, Pitt owns a production company, Plan B Entertainment, whose productions include The Departed (2006), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Moneyball, which garnered a Best Picture nomination.
Following a high-profile relationship with actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Pitt was married to actress Jennifer Aniston for five years. Pitt lives with actress Angelina Jolie in a relationship that has attracted wide publicity. He and Jolie have six children—Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne. Since beginning his relationship with Jolie, he has become increasingly involved in social issues both in the United States and internationally.
Humanitarian and political causes
A Caucasian male bent over a table autographing a movie poster. He has light brown hair with blonde highlights, and is wearing a dark-colored trench coat with a white shirt. Visible in the background and foreground are other people, some of whom are also signing autographs.
Pitt signing autographs for troops during his 2001 visit to Incirlik Air Base
Pitt visited the University of Missouri campus in October 2004 to encourage students to vote in the 2004 U.S. presidential election, in which he supported John Kerry. Later in October he publicly supported the principle of public funding for embryonic stem-cell research. "We have to make sure that we open up these avenues so that our best and our brightest can go find these cures that they believe they will find," he said. In support of this he endorsed Proposition 71, a California ballot initiative intended to provide federal government funding for stem-cell research.
Pitt supports the ONE Campaign, an organization aimed at combating AIDS and poverty in the developing world. He narrated the 2005 PBS public television series Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge, which discusses current global health issues and traveled to Pakistan in November 2005 with Angelina Jolie to see the impact of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.The following year Pitt and Jolie flew to Haiti, where they visited a school supported by Yéle Haïti, a charity founded by Haitian-born hip hop musician Wyclef Jean. In May 2007, Pitt and Jolie donated $1 million to three organizations in Chad and Sudan dedicated to those affected by the crisis in the Darfur region.Along with Clooney, Damon, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub, Pitt is one of the founders of "Not On Our Watch", an organization that tries to focus global attention and resources to stop and prevent genocides such as that in Darfur.
Pitt has a sustained interest in architecture and has narrated Design e2, a PBS television series focused on worldwide efforts to build environmentally friendly structures through sustainable architecture and design. He founded the Make It Right Foundation in 2006, organizing housing professionals in New Orleans to finance and construct 150 sustainable, affordable new houses in New Orleans's Ninth Ward following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. The project involves 13 architectural firms and the environmental organization Global Green USA, with several of the firms donating their services. Pitt and philanthropist Steve Bing have each committed $5 million in donations. The first six homes were completed in October 2008, and in September 2009 Pitt received an award in recognition of the project from the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated.Pitt met with U.S. President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in March 2009 to promote his concept of green housing as a national model and to discuss federal funding possibilities.
In September 2006, Pitt and Jolie established a charitable organization, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, to aid humanitarian causes around the world. The foundation made initial donations of $1 million each to Global Action for Children and Doctors Without Borders, followed by an October 2006 donation of $100,000 to the Daniel Pearl Foundation, an organization created in memory of the late American journalist Daniel Pearl. According to federal filings, Pitt and Jolie invested $8.5 million into the foundation in 2006; it gave away $2.4 million in 2006 and $3.4 million in 2007. In June 2009 the Jolie-Pitt Foundation donated $1 million to a U.N. refugee agency to help Pakistanis displaced by fighting between troops and Taliban militants. In January 2010 the foundation donated $1 million to Doctors Without Borders for emergency medical assistance to help victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Pitt is a supporter of same-sex marriage. In an October 2006 interview with Esquire, Pitt said that he would marry Jolie when everyone in America is legally able to marry. He reaffirmed his stance to Parade in August 2009, and again to People in July 2011. In September 2008, he donated $100,000 to the campaign against California's 2008 ballot proposition Proposition 8, an initiative to overturn the state Supreme Court decision that had legalized same-sex marriage. Pitt stated his reasons for the stance: "Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8. In March 2012, Pitt was featured in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8' — a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage — as Judge Vaughn Walker.The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a non-profit organization funding the plaintiffs' legal team and sponsoring the play.
In the media
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Pitt interviewed by the news media at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2007
Pitt's sex appeal has been picked up by many sources including Empire, who named him one of the 25 sexiest stars in film history in 1995.The same year, Pitt won People's Sexiest Man Alive, an accolade he won again in 2000. Pitt appeared on Forbes's annual Celebrity 100 list of the 100 most powerful celebrities in 2006, 2007, and 2008, at No. 20, No. 5, and No. 10 respectively. In 2007 he was listed among the Time 100, a compilation of the 100 most influential people in the world, as selected annually by TIME. The magazine credited Pitt with using "his star power to get people to look to where cameras don't usually catch". Pitt was again included in the Time 100 in 2009, this time in the Builders and Titans list.
Starting in 2005, Pitt's relationship with Angelina Jolie became one of the most reported celebrity stories worldwide. After confirming that Jolie was pregnant in early 2006, the unprecedented media hype surrounding the couple reached what Reuters, in a story titled "The Brangelina fever," called "the point of insanity". To avoid media attention the couple flew to Namibia for the birth of their daughter Shiloh, "the most anticipated baby since Jesus Christ." Similarly intense media interest greeted the announcement two years later of Jolie's second pregnancy; for the two weeks Jolie spent in a seaside hospital in Nice, reporters and photographers camped outside on the promenade to report on the birth.
In a 2006 global industry survey by ACNielsen in 42 international markets, Pitt, together with Jolie, was found to be the favorite celebrity endorser for brands and products worldwide. Pitt has appeared in several television commercials. For the U.S. market, he starred in a Heineken commercial aired during the 2005 Super Bowl; it was directed by David Fincher, who had directed Pitt in Seven, Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Other commercial appearances came in television spots designed for Asian markets, advertising such products as the Acura Integra, in which he was featured opposite Russian model Tatiana Sorokko,as well as SoftBank and Edwin Jeans.
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Angelina Jolie and Pitt at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Pitt was involved in successive relationships with several of his co-stars, including Robin Givens (Head of the Class),Jill Schoelen (Cutting Class), and Juliette Lewis (Too Young to Die? and Kalifornia), who, at the age of 16, was ten years his junior when they started dating. In addition, Pitt had a much-publicized romance and engagement to his Seven co-star Gwyneth Paltrow, whom he dated from 1994 to 1997.
Pitt met Friends actress Jennifer Aniston in 1998 and married her in a private wedding ceremony in Malibu on July 29, 2000. For years their marriage was considered a rare Hollywood success; however, in January 2005, Pitt and Aniston announced that they had decided formally to separate after seven years together. Two months later Aniston filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Pitt and Aniston's divorce was finalized by the Los Angeles Superior Court on October 2, 2005, legally ending their marriage. Despite media reports that Pitt and Aniston have an acrimonious relationship, Pitt said in a February 2009 interview that he and Aniston "check in with each other", adding that they were both big parts of each others' lives.
During Pitt's divorce from Aniston, his involvement with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie attracted vigorous media attention. While Pitt denied claims of adultery, he admitted that he "fell in love" with Jolie on the set. In April 2005, one month after Aniston filed for divorce, a set of paparazzi photographs emerged showing Pitt, Jolie and her son Maddox at a beach in Kenya; the pictures were construed in the press as evidence of a relationship between Pitt and Jolie. During the summer of 2005, the two were seen together with increasing frequency, and the entertainment media dubbed the couple "Brangelina". On January 11, 2006, Jolie confirmed to People that she was pregnant with Pitt's child, thereby publicly acknowledging their relationship for the first time. Pitt and Jolie announced their engagement in April 2012 after seven years together.
In July 2005, Pitt accompanied Jolie to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she adopted her second child, six-month-old Zahara Marley a decision which Jolie later stated she and Pitt had made together. Pitt's publicist announced in December 2005 that Pitt was seeking to legally adopt Jolie's two children, Zahara and Cambodia-born Maddox Chivan.On January 19, 2006, a California judge granted Jolie's request to change the children's surnames from "Jolie" to "Jolie-Pitt".The adoptions were finalized soon after
Jolie gave birth to daughter Shiloh Nouvel in Swakopmund, Namibia, on May 27, 2006. Pitt confirmed that their newborn daughter would have a Namibian passport. The couple sold the first pictures of Shiloh through the distributor Getty Images; the North American rights were purchased by People for over $4.1 million, while Hello! obtained the British rights for approximately $3.5 million. The proceeds from the sale were donated to charities serving African children Madame Tussauds in New York unveiled a wax figure of two-month-old Shiloh; it marked the first time an infant was recreated in wax by Madame Tussauds.
On March 15, 2007, Jolie adopted three-year-old Pax Thien from an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Since Vietnam does not allow unmarried couples to adopt, Jolie adopted Pax as a single parent. In April 2007, Jolie filed a request to legally change her son's surname from "Jolie" to "Jolie-Pitt", which was approved on May 31, 2007.The rights for the first post-adoption images of Pax were sold to People for a reported $2 million, as well as to Hello! for an undisclosed amount. Pitt adopted Pax in the United States on February 21, 2008.
At the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008, Jolie confirmed that she was expecting twins. She gave birth to son Knox Léon and daughter Vivienne Marcheline on July 12, 2008 in Nice, France. The rights for the first images of Knox and Vivienne were jointly sold to People and Hello! for $14 million—the most expensive celebrity pictures ever taken. The couple donated the proceeds to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.