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How Brad Pitt Became Famous

Written by Sean Smith

An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt’s most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999). However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball (2011), and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and its sequels, also loom large in his filmography.

Pitt was born William Bradley Pitt on December 18th, 1963, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and was raised in Springfield, Missouri. He is the son of Jane Etta (Hillhouse), a school counselor, and William Alvin Pitt, a truck company manager. He has a younger brother, Douglas (Doug) Pitt, and a younger sister, Julie Neal Pitt. At Kickapoo High School, Pitt was involved in sports, debating, student government and school musicals. Pitt attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism with a focus on advertising. He occasionally acted in fraternity shows. He left college two credits short of graduating to move to California. Before he became successful at acting, Pitt supported himself by driving strippers in limos, moving refrigerators and dressing as a giant chicken while working for “el Pollo Loco”.

Pitt’s involvement with Jolie and his 2005 divorce from Aniston were intensely scrutinized by the tabloid press. In 2006 Pitt adopted Jolie’s two children, Maddox and Zahara, whom she had adopted from Cambodia and Ethiopia, respectively. The couple had their first biological child, Shiloh, in May 2006. The next year they adopted a boy, Pax, from Vietnam, and in 2008 they added biological twins, Knox and Vivienne, to their family. Pitt and Jolie married in 2014, but two years later Jolie filed for divorce. The couple often used their celebrity status as a platform for speaking out on behalf of a number of humanitarian causes. Pitt co-founded and was actively involved in Not on Our Watch, a campaign that directed resources to developing countries in crisis, notably the Sudanese province of Darfur. In 2006 he established Make It Right, a multi-million dollar project to construct environmentally friendly homes in New Orleans for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Brad’s success as a public figure, Pitt has been cited as one of the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry. For a number of years he was cited as the world’s most attractive man by various media outlets, and his personal life is the subject of wide publicity.

 

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About the author

Sean Smith