Actor Ashton Kutcher was born Feb. 7, 1978, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A talent scout discovered him in college, which led to modeling, most notably for Calvin Klein. In 1998, Kutcher landed the role of Kelso on That '70s Show. He later produced MTV's hit reality television show Punk'd. In 2004, he starred in The Butterfly Effect, also serving as an executive producer on the film. Kutcher went on to star in films like Guess Who, A Lot Like Love, The Guardian and No Strings Attached. In 2013, he portrayed Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the biopic Jobs.
Born Christopher Ashton Kutcher on February 7, 1978, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Ashton Kutcher started out as a model, later becoming a popular actor and successful producer. He was born minutes ahead of his fraternal twin brother, Michael, to factory workers Larry and Diane Kutcher. At the age of 13, Kutcher was dealt two painful blows: His parents divorced and his twin brother had to undergo emergency heart transplant surgery after his heart was badly damaged by a virus. "If I could give him my heart so that he could live, I would have," Kutcher later told People magazine.
Kutcher, his brother, and their older sister, Tausha, stayed with their mother after the split. When their mother remarried, they moved to Homestead, a small farm community. In his new hometown, Kutcher continued to pursue his interest in acting, appearing in school productions. After his high school days drew to a close, Kutcher's rebellious side emerged. He was arrested for breaking into his school in his senior year and spent a lot of time partying.
After graduating in 1996, Kutcher enrolled at the University of Iowa, where he studied biochemical engineering. He joined a fraternity and continued his partying ways for the first few months, before hitting the books. In addition to his studies, Kutcher held a number of odd jobs to pay for school, including sweeping up cereal dust at a General Mills factory.
Before being approached a talent scout, Kutcher knew nothing of the world of male modeling, but that would change soon after he entered and won the Fresh Faces of Iowa modeling contest in 1997. This took him to New York City, where he signed with a modeling agency. Some of his most famous gigs as a model were for designer Calvin Klein and the Abercrombie & Fitch catalog. During the Abercrombie & Fitch shoot, Kutcher met his future girlfriend, model and actress January Jones.
Big Break: 'That '70s Show'
In the spring of 1998, Ashton Kutcher landed his breakthrough role on the popular retro sitcom That '70s Show. The comedy followed the life of Eric Foreman (Topher Grace) and his teenage friends as they grew up in the small town of Point Place, Wisconsin. Appearing as the adorable but dense Michael Kelso, Kutcher won over fans his broad humor and good looks. Mila Kunis played his on-again, off-again on-screen girlfriend, Jackie, and Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama rounded out the rest of the cast as Steve Hyde, Donna Pinciotti and Fez, respectively. The young actors on the show developed a strong bond, and were often seen out together in Los Angeles.
In addition to his work on the series, Kutcher began landing film roles. His early film credits include the private school comedy Coming Soon (1999), the romantic comedy Down to You (2000) with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Julia Stiles, and the crime drama Reindeer Games (2000) with Ben Affleck. For his first leading role, Kutcher didn't stary far from his television image. He played a wacky stoner, Jesse Montgomery III, who, along with friend Chester Greenburg (Seann William Scott), tries to retrace the previous night's events in Dude, Where's My Car? (2000). While it was derided by critics, the comedy was a box-office success, and Kutcher, subsequently, developed a large fan base. That same year, the actor was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People."
Kutcher's follow-up film, Texas Rangers (2001), however, failed to make much of an impression on audiences or critics. Bouncing back soon after, he appeared in two romantic comedies: My Boss's Daughter and Just Married (both released in 2003). After filming Just Married, Kutcher became involved with his co-star, the late Brittany Murphy, but the relationship lasted only a few months. Shortly thereafter, he began dating actress Demi Moore; the couple's 15-year age difference caused quite a stir.
Producing Television and Movies
Also in 2003, Ashton Kutcher launched his career as a producer. He served as a co-producer on the film My Boss's Daughter, and helped create the MTV cable network's hit reality television show Punk'd. Preying on unsuspecting stars, Punk'd played practical jokes on the likes of Justin Timberlake, Hilary Duff and Tyra Banks during its eight seasons on the air.
Two years later, Kutcher headed another reality TV show, Beauty and the Geek, which brought together smart, socially challenged men and beautiful, less intelligent women, who worked together toward the show's grand prize.
Tackling more dramatic fare, in 2004, Kutcher starred in The Butterfly Effect, also serving as an executive producer on the science-fiction film. The movie, which revolved around a young man who can travel back into his own past to change the course of events, did well at the box office, bringing in around $60 million.
In 2005, Kutcher said goodbye to That '70s Show to pursue other opportunities. Returning to the romantic-comedy genre that same year, the actor starred in Guess Who (2005) with Zoe Saldana and comedian Bernie Mac, and then in A Lot Like Love (2005) with Amanda Peet.
Trying his hand at action, Kutcher appeared in The Guardian (2006) with Kevin Costner, a film about the U.S. Coast Guard. Kuther played a rescue swimmer in the film; to prepare for the part, Kutcher underwent intensive physical training. "I used to be a pack-and-a-half-a-day smoker, so I had no endurance," he later told Cosmopolitan magazine. Also in 2006, Kutcher took on something less physically taxing: lending his voice to the animated film Open Season.
In 2008, Kutcher starred in What Happens in Vegas with Cameron Diaz and the drama Personal Effects with Michelle Pfeiffer. On the producing side, Kutcher worked on the ABC sitcom Miss Guided (2008), which was canceled after only one season. Also in 2008, he returned to modeling as part of an advertising campaign for Pepe Jeans London. In 2009, he made history by having the first Twitter account to attract 1 million followers.
Kutcher later returned to film acting, appearing in the romantic comedies Killers (2010) and No Strings Attached (2011). In 2011, he returned to the runway, modeling in Brazil for the Colicci fashion label. That same year, it was announced he would replace Charlie Sheen in CBS' Two and a Half Men, playing internet entrepreneur billionaire Warren Schmidt. Kutcher's one-year contract was rumored to be at $20 million.
When the first episode with Kutcher aired in September 2011, an estimated 28.7 million people tuned in, the highest ratings of any episode that Sheen had been on in the previous eight seasons. Kutcher ended up staying on the show through 2015, earning $750,000 per episode.
In 2012, Kutcher landed one of his most anticipated roles to date: playing legendary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the 2013 biopic Jobs. The film's other cast members include Lesley Ann Warren, James Woods, Matthew Modine, Dermot Mulroney and Josh Gad.
In addition to acting and producing, Kutcher has a range of business interests. He has invested in two Los Angeles restaurants, Geisha House and Dolce, and serves as creative director of Ooma, a telephone device company.
On September 24, 2005, Kutcher wed Demi Moore in a small ceremony at their Beverly Hills home. Moore's three daughters from her previous marriage to actor Bruce Willis served as her bridesmaids and walked her down the aisle. While Kutcher was dating Moore, he became very close with her children, so much so that they refer to him as "MOD," or "My Other Dad." Kutcher also managed to develop a friendship with Moore's ex-husband, Willis, who was on hand for the nuptials.
In 2009, Kutcher and Moore founded DNA Foundation, later renamed Thorn, a human rights organization aimed at stopping human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.
Kutcher and Moore separated in the fall of 2011, but didn't officially part ways until nearly two years later, finally reaching a divorce settlement in 2013. While the two were working out the details of their divorce, in 2012, Kutcher began dating Mila Kunis, his longtime That '70s Show co-star. The couple's engagement was announced in February 2014. In March, it was reported that Kutcher, 36, and Kunis, 30, were expecting a baby. Kunis gave birth to their baby daughter, Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher, on September 30, 2014. In 2015, Kunis and Kutcher were married over the Fourth of July weekend at the Secret Garden at Parrish Ranch in Oak Glen, California, according to People magazine. On November 30, 2016, Kunis gave birth to their second child, a son named Dimitri Portwood Kutcher.
In February 2017, Kutcher spoke to the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee as chairman of Thorn to speak out against the sexual exploitation of children around the world and seek funding for his organization, which builds software to combat human trafficking. "Technology can be used to enable slavery, but technology can also be used to disable slavery," he said.
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