Ben Affleck biography
Born in California in 1972, Ben Affleck is an actor and screenwriter whose big break came with a role in the Academy Award-winning Good Will Hunting. In 1998, he starred in the successful blockbuster Armageddon, and landed a part in the Academy Award-winning film Shakespeare in Love. He went on to star in the films Dogma and Forces of Nature. In 2003, Affleck announced his engagement to Jennifer Lopez, with whom he co-starred in the film flop Gigli. Affleck and Lopez called off the wedding in early 2004, and the following year, Affleck wed actress Jennifer Garner. Affleck's next three films, Paycheck, Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas, were poorly received. In 2006, he starred in Smokin' Aces, Hollywoodland, Clerks II and Man About Town, and then directed and co-wrote the acclaimed film Gone Baby Gone. In 2009, the actor starred in He's Just Not That Into You, State of Play and Extract. In 2012, he directed, co-produced and acted in the film Argo, which earned him a Golden Globe for best director and the 2013 Oscar for best picture.
Benjamin Geza Affleck was born on August 15, 1972, in Berkeley, California, to Chris and Tim Affleck. His parents separated soon after he was born, and officially divorced when he was 11. After the split, Affleck and his siblings moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ben Affleck's first acting experience came at the age of seven, when he appeared in The Dark End of the Street (1979), an independent film produced by a friend of the family. At the age of eight, Affleck appeared in a PBS production, The Voyage of the Mimi. That same year he met his future best friend, Matt Damon, a 10-year-old who lived two blocks away. The boys later attended the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School,where they both took drama classes. While still in high school, Affleck appeared in several network-TV dramas.
Affleck briefly attended the University of Vermont and California's Occidental College, but left to pursue his dreams of acting in Hollywood. His first major film was School Ties (1992), which also featured Matt Damon and Brendan Fraser. He then appeared as a bully in the cult classic, Dazed and Confused (1993). Ben was then part of an ensemble cast for director Kevin Smith's Mallrats (1995), and was the romantic lead in Smith's Chasing Amy (1997).
In 1992, Affleck and Damon collaborated on a screenplay called Good Will Hunting about a troubled young math genius. After a long struggle to get the script produced, Miramax purchased the rights to the film in 1996. Starring Damon, Affleck and Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting was released in 1997 to both critical and popular acclaim. Affleck and Damon won Golden Globe and Academy Awards for best original screenplay, thrusting the friends into the public eye.
Affleck began getting a great deal of media coverage after the Oscars, which earned him several leading film roles.
He starred alongside Bruce Willis and Liv Tyler in the blockbuster disaster movie Armageddon (1998), which became the top-grossing movie of that year, earning over $520 million worldwide. That same year he landed a supporting turn in the popular film Shakespeare in Love, which won a number of Academy Awards, including one for best picture.
Affleck made headlines when he began a high-profile romance with Gwyneth Paltrow, his co-star in the film Shakespeare in Love. The couple announced their break-up in late 1998, but they remained good friends.
Affleck had less success in 1999 with Kevin Smith's irreverent comedy Dogma, co-starring Damon and Chris Rock. He also starred in the poorly reviewed romantic comedy, Forces of Nature, co-starring Sandra Bullock.
In 2000, he turned in a supporting performance in the slick stock-market drama Boiler Room, and headlined the fast-paced action thriller Reindeer Games, co-starring Charlize Theron and Gary Sinise. He also co-starred opposite Paltrow in the romantic drama Bounce.
In the summer of 2001, Affleck teamed up again with Armageddon director-producer team Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer for the blockbuster action flick Pearl Harbor, co-starring Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett and Cuba Gooding Jr. Shortly after the film hit theatres, Affleck checked himself into an exclusive rehabilitation center in Malibu, California, to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse. The son of an alcoholic, Affleck announced through a spokesman that he "decided that a fuller life awaits him without alcohol."
A year later, a newly sober Affleck found romance with actress and musician Jennifer Lopez. Their relationship pushed Affleck back into the glare of the spotlight, and earned the couple the moniker "Bennifer."
In the fall of 2002, Affleck moved to the small screen when he co-produced the ABC mystery series Push, Nevada. The show promised $1 million cash to the viewer who solved its mystery, but was canceled just a few weeks into the season. Affleck also partnered with friend Matt Damon yet again, and founded the production company LivePlanet. The duo produced the documentary series, Project Greenlight, which gave aspiring screenwriters the opportunity to produce their creative visions. The show earned three Emmy nominations for an Outstanding Reality Program.
Affleck returned to feature films later that year, when he appeared as Tom Clancy's young Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears. The movie fared well at the box office and cemented Affleck's reputation as an action star. His next film, the comic book action-adventure movie Daredevil (2003), also performed well, setting a box-office record for its Presidents' Day-weekend debut.
In November 2003, Affleck announced his engagement to Lopez, who began sporting a $3.5 million ring. He then co-starred with his fiancee in the highly anticipated film Gigli. Despite the hype, box office sales only reached $3 million over its opening weekend.
The film marked the beginning of a difficult time in Affleck's film career and personal life.
Affleck and Lopez called off the wedding in early 2004, citing too much media attention as the reason for the split. That same year, Affleck starred in the sci-fi thriller Paycheck, which performed poorly at the box-office and was panned by critics. His next two films, Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl (2004) and the comedy Surviving Christmas (2004), also struggled to capture the attention of audiences.
After his break-up with Lopez, Affleck began seeing his Daredevil co-star, Jennifer Garner. The two were engaged after nine months of dating, and married June 29, 2005. They welcomed their first daughter, Violet Anne, on December 1, 2005.
The next year was a busy one for Affleck: He starred in Smokin' Aces (2006); the critically acclaimed Hollywoodland (2006); the Kevin Smith-produced Clerks II (2006); and Man About Town (2006), all of which made a decent showing at the box office.
In 2007, Affleck worked on the other side of the camera as the director and co-writer of the film Gone Baby Gone. The film earned rave reviews from critics.
In January 2009, Garner gave birth to the couple's second daughter, Seraphina. Affleck also starred in three new projects, including the box office hit He's Just Not That Into You, as well as the action films State of Play and Extract. Their first son, Samuel, was born on February 27, 2012.
Affleck saw one of his biggest cinematic successes in 2012 with the release of Argo, a film about former CIA operative Tony Mendez, who led six American citizens to safety during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Affleck directed, co-produced and acted in the film, playing Mendez.
Argo earned Affleck a Golden Globe Award for best director. The film also won a Golden Globe for best picture in the drama category and the 2013 Academy Award for best picture. Argo also garnered Academy Award nominations in six other categories, including best adapted screenplay and best actor in a supporting role (Alan Arkin).