William Bradley Pitt
is an American actor and film producer. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a British Academy Film Award, and two Golden Globe Awards for his acting, in addition to a second Academy Award, a second British Academy Film Award, a third Golden Globe Award, and a Primetime Emmy Award as a producer under his production company, Plan B Entertainment.
Pitt first gained recognition as a cowboy hitchhiker in the road film Thelma & Louise (1991). His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with the drama films A River Runs Through It (1992) and Legends of the Fall (1994), and the horror film Interview with the Vampire (1994). He gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven (1995) and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys (1995), the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination.
Pitt starred in Fight Club (1999) and the heist film Ocean's Eleven (2001), as well as its sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Ocean's Eleven, Troy (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), World War Z (2013), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), for which he won a second Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Pitt's other Academy Award nominated performances were in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). He produced The Departed (2006) and 12 Years a Slave (2013), both of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and also The Tree of Life (2011), Moneyball, and The Big Short (2015), all of which were nominated for Best Picture. Alongside George Clooney, Pitt is one of two actors to have won Academy Awards for both Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture.
Pitt recently entered the recording business by creating a company with French record producer Damien Quintard. Set in Pitt's Chateau Miraval in South of France, Miraval Studios will re-open in 2022 after two decades of inactivity. The previous version of the studio was one of the most iconic studios in the world producing the records of Pink Floyd (The Wall), The Cranberries and AC/DC, Sade and Muse among others.
As a public figure, Pitt has been cited as one of the most powerful and influential people in the American entertainment industry. For many 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. He is divorced from actresses Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. Pitt has six children with Jolie, three of whom were adopted internationally.
Pitt was born on December 18, 1963, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to William Alvin Pitt, the proprietor of a trucking company, and Jane Etta (née Hillhouse), a school counselor. The family soon moved to Springfield, Missouri, where he lived together with his younger siblings, Douglas Mitchell (born 1966) and Julie Neal (born 1969). Born into a conservative Christian household, he was raised as Southern Baptist and later "oscillate[d] between agnosticism and atheism." He later reconciled his belief in spirituality. Pitt has described Springfield as "Mark Twain country, Jesse James country," having grown up with "a lot of hills, a lot of lakes."
Pitt attended Kickapoo High School, where he was a member of the golf, swimming and tennis teams. He participated in the school's Key and Forensics clubs, in school debates, and in musicals. Following his graduation from high school, Pitt enrolled in the University of Missouri in 1982, majoring in journalism with a focus on advertising. As graduation approached, Pitt did not feel ready to settle down. He loved films—"a portal into different worlds for me"—and, since films were not made in Missouri, he decided to go to where they were made. Two weeks short of completing the coursework for a degree, Pitt left the university and moved to Los Angeles, where he took acting lessons and worked odd jobs. He has named Gary Oldman, Sean Penn, and Mickey Rourke as his early acting heroes.
From the late 1980s to early 1990s, Pitt was romantically involved 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). Subsequently, Pitt had a much-publicized romance and engagement to his Seven co-star, Gwyneth Paltrow, whom he dated from 1994 to 1997.
Pitt met actress Jennifer Aniston in 1998 and they married in a private wedding ceremony in Malibu on July 29, 2000. In January 2005, Pitt and Aniston announced they had decided to separate. 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. Despite media reports that Pitt and Aniston had 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 other's lives.
During Pitt's divorce proceedings, his involvement with his Mr. & Mrs. Smith co-star Angelina Jolie attracted media attention. Jolie and Pitt stated that they fell in love on the set[ and that there was no infidelity. 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 press interpreted the pictures as evidence of a relationship between Pitt and Jolie. Throughout 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. They were married on August 23, 2014, in a private ceremony in Château Miraval, France. On September 19, 2016, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt, citing irreconcilable differences. On April 12, 2019, the court restored Jolie and Pitt to single status and they were declared divorced.
In July 2005, Pitt accompanied Jolie to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she adopted her second child, Zahara Marley. On December 3, 2005, Pitt was in the process of becoming the adoptive father of Zahara, and Jolie's first adopted child, 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 qualify for 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. 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.
In September 2016, the FBI and the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services investigated Pitt for child abuse following an incident on a plane, where Pitt was accused by an anonymous person of being "verbally abusive" and "physical" towards one of his children. Pitt said that he put his hands on Maddox but did not hit him in the face. In its final report on the investigation, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services ruled that Pitt did not physically abuse any of his children. Pitt was also cleared by the FBI of any wrongdoing.
Since Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt on September 19, 2016, they have been embroiled in a custody battle over their children. Jolie had full custody until May 2021 when Pitt was granted joint custody, over four and a half years after proceedings began. However, in July, Los Angeles superior court judge John W. Ouderkirk was removed from the case due to concerns over his impartiality as he did not sufficiently disclose business relationships with Pitt's lawyers. This resulted in the custody arrangement reverting to a previous November 2018 agreement where Jolie has full custody while Pitt has "custodial time" with their minor children.
In September 2016, Pitt got sober and began attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In December 2019, he wrote an article for Interview in which he talked with his Legends of the Fall and Meet Joe Black costar and fellow recovering alcoholic Anthony Hopkins about their experiences with addiction and recovery.