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40. Born to be.

William Bradley Pitt (born December 18th, 1963) is the son of Jane Etta, a school counselor, and William Alvin Pitt, a truck company manager.

39. Humble roots.

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.”

38. Sorry, George!

Pitt gained widespread attention with a small part in Thelma & Louise, where he played JD, a sexy criminal.  George Clooney had auditioned for the role of J.D. multiple times before it went to the relatively unknown Brad Pitt. For years, Clooney couldn’t bring himself to watch the film, joking in 2011 that he was still “upset.”

37. Good call.

Brad Pitt declined to act in American Psycho (2000) on the advice of his management. Apparently, the heartthrob’s fan base might not have responded too fondly to him slicing women with a chainsaw.

36. Oh, Angelina…

In the stylish spy-versus-spy flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Brad and Nicole Kidman were initially cast as the happy couple, but Brad pulled out due to a lack of chemistry between himself and the flame-haired Australian. When he learned Angelina was to play the female lead, he signed on immediately.

35. Kicking some butt in the courtroom.

On July 18, 2001, Pitt sued Damiani International, the company that created the wedding ring he gave to Jennifer Aniston. According to Pitt, the ring was his design and was to be exclusive. The company has since been selling replicas and indicating Pitt/Aniston’s endorsement of the ring.

34. A controversial switcheroo.

It was on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith that Pitt, who married Jennifer Aniston in a highly publicized ceremony in 2000, met his current partner Angelina Jolie. Pitt left Aniston for Jolie in 2005.

33. Sounds like restraining order time…

In 1999, a girl went to Pitt’s Hollywood-area home shortly after midnight and crawled in through an open window, dressed herself in his clothes and stayed for 10 hours before the alarm went off. Athena Rolando, 19, was ordered not to contact the actor and to stay 100 yards away from him for three years.

32. Haunted house?

In 1996, Brad Pitt purchased a mansion in Southern California from the actress who portrays Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Cassandra Peterson). This mansion was filled with Gothic antiques and has a “vampirish” look. He reportedly paid $1.7 million for it.

31. Too sweet…

Pitt auditioned for the role of J.D. in the cult classic film Heathers (1988) and, though he showed talent, casting directors thought him to be “too sweet” for the role, which later went to Christian Slater.

30. Irish vs. English.

After watching Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Pitt asked director Guy Ritchie if he could be in his next film. He could not master the English accent, so Ritchie gave him the role of Mickey the One Punch Pikey, an Irish fighter, in Snatch (2000).

29. Getting into character?

In 2003, Pitt tore his Achilles tendon during the production of Troy (2004), in which he plays, coincidentally, Achilles. His injury caused the production of Ocean’s Twelve (2004) to be pushed back to April 2004.

28. Too sexy for his shirt…

Pitt was the first man ever to be named “Sexiest Man Alive” twice by People magazine. He was awarded the title in 1994 and 2000.

27. Three for seven.

Pitt has appeared in three movies with the number seven in the title (Se7en (1995), Seven Years in Tibet (1997) and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)). Has also appeared in three movies with the number twelve in the title (Twelve Monkeys (1995), Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and 12 Years a Slave (2013).

26. A few ex-girlfriends.

Pitt has dated a number of high-profile actresses, including Gwyneth Paltrow (they were briefly engaged), Juliette Lewis (10 years younger, and still a teen when they dated), and of course Jennifer Aniston. Aniston and Pitt met on a blind date thanks to their agents.

25. Pretty cool cameos.

He and his Ocean’s Eleven (2001) / Ocean’s Twelve (2004) co-stars, Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Elliott Gould , all have guest-starred on the sitcom Friends (1994), though not in the same episodes. Pitt played Ross’s childhood friend who hated Rachel.

24. Helping those in need.

On the invitation of Virgin CEO Richard Branson, he visited over 100 orphans affected by HIV at a facility run by The Salvation Army in South Africa as well as personally meeting Nelson Mandela and discussing Mandela’s 46664 campaign (named for his prison ID number) to call attention to South Africa’s devastating AIDS epidemic. After South Africa, he then flew to Ethiopia on behalf of DATA, a third-world lobby group co-founded by U2’s Bono in 2004.

Getty Images

23. Brad in a monkey suit…

Is a huge fan of MTV’s reality show Jackass (2000). He even asked the cast if he could join them during one of their stunt jokes. He eventually made an appearance dressed in an ape outfit, in order not to be recognized, which would have ruined the joke.

22. Seeing the impact.

In November 2005, he visited Pakistan with Angelina Jolie to see the impact of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. In 2006, Jolie and Pitt also went to Haiti where they visited a school supported by Yéle Haïti, a charity founded by Haitian-born hip hop musician Wyclef Jean.

21. Power couple.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have made it to the fifth spot on the Forbes list of Top Earning Couples. They earned $34 million combined in a span of one year.

20. Sorry, Brad.

Unfortunately, he didn’t make it into his middle school’s basketball team, so he got creative. He put together his own unofficial squad whom he jokingly named the team the Cherokee Rejects and even enlisted his father, Bill Pitt, as coach.

19. In this sign we will conquer.

Brad was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity while attending the University of Missouri. He could have become a journalist, but he dropped out of college two weeks shy of graduation. He moved to Los Angeles in 1986 with $325 in his pocket and slept on Melissa Etheridge’s couch.

18. An early role.

In 1987, Brad worked as an extra in Less Than Zero as a preppy guy who got into a fight at a party. Robert Downey Jr., James Spader, and Andrew McCarthy starred in the film based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

17. Committing to the role.

Pitt went to a dentist to have his front teeth chipped for the role of Tyler Durden in Fight Club. His teeth were fixed after he finished making the movie.

16. Monkeying around at the psych ward.

To help Pitt get into character for his 1995 movie Twelve Monkeys, he spent a day at a Philadelphia psychiatric ward. Pitt won The Golden Globe for Twelve Monkeys. The movie starred Bruce Willis and Madelyn Stowe.

15. An honor fit for Hollywood’s legends.

Pitt is one of those few actors whose hand and shoe prints are embossed in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

14. Brad and George.

Brad once joked during an interview that he would marry Angelina Jolie only when friend and fellow Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney could marry a man, poking fun at the gay rumors surrounding George. Pitt has donated money to support same-sex marriages and opposes California legislation banning such unions.

13. “I do.”

Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston longer than he was married to Angelina Jolie. Angie and Brad have been a couple since 2005, perhaps before if you believe the rumors, making their relationship at least 11 years long, but they didn’t say “I do” until August 23, 2014. They’ve only been spouses for 2 years compared to his marriage to Aniston. He and the “Friends” star were married on July 29, 2000, and officially divorced on October 2, 2005, making their marriage 5 years long.

12. A little bit of real estate.

Jolie and Pitt share a sprawling French estate Chateau Miraval, located in a village called Brignol, near Aix-en-Provence. The estate is estimated to be worth upwards of $60 million and sits on 1,000 acres. They also own a vineyard in Italy called Villa Costanza, which is worth $41 million, a $16 million home in West London and a $5.65 million mansion in New Orleans’ French Quarter.

11. Strange names, happy family.

The couple’s six kids include Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara 11, Shiloh, 10, and Knox and Vivienne, their 8-year-old twins. Shiloh and their twins are their biological children. When the pair finally got married, it was their kiddos who helped the process along. Their children helped them write the vows for their ceremony, Jolie said in Vanity Fair. “They did not expect us never to fight, but they made us promise to always say, ‘Sorry,’ if we do. So they said, ‘Do you?,’ and we said, ‘We do!'”

10. Years a Slave.

Pitt received raves for his work on 12 Years a Slave. The film, directed by Steve McQueen, tells the true story of free African-American musician Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Pitt plays a Canadian carpenter who greatly aids Northup, with a cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender and Quvenzhané Wallis.

9. Thank you, Oscar.

For his work as a producer on the 12 Years a Slave, Pitt earned his fifth Academy Award nomination, receiving his second nod in the best picture category. He won the award in 2014—marking his first Oscar win—sharing it with McQueen, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Anthony Katagas.

8. Bursting the bubble.

He appeared in The Big Short in 2015, a film which focuses on the housing market bubble that fueled the 2008 financial collapse and a group of men who’d predicted the turmoil to come. Based on the nonfiction bestseller by Michael Lewis, the project has earned four Golden Globe nominations, garnering Oscar buzz as well.

7. Sexy daddy.

Hollywood’s Life & Styles list ranks Brad Pitt #1 on the list of The Top 10 Hollywood Dads and #4th on Touch Magazine’s Hottest Hollywood Dads list.

6. Too sexy for Malaysia.

Brad Pitt’s Toyota commercials are banned in Malaysia because the authorities there have concluded that if the commercials run for too long with Pitt in them, Malaysian men will start feeling inferior! There are no more words to describe this man’s global charm.

5. Break-out role.

His first starring role in a feature film was in The Dark Side of the Sun (1988), shot in pre-war Yugoslavia during the summer of 1988. As editing neared completion, civil war broke out in the region and much of the footage was lost. In 1996, after a five-year search, all of the lost footage was found and returned to producer Andjelo Arandjelovic, who is working on getting a distribution deal. Pitt was paid $1,523 per week for seven weeks. He played a young American taken by his family to the Adriatic Sea to search for a cure for a rare skin disease.

Avala Film

4. Making the big bucks.

World War Z is now Brad Pitt’s highest grossing movie. Paramount Pictures said the zombie flick, which was produced by Brad’s company Plan B, has crossed the $500 million mark, surpassing Troy to become his highest grossing film to date.

3. Bang!

“I got my grandfather’s shotgun when I was in kindergarten.” Pitt has been a gun owner since the age of 6 and fired his first handgun when he was 8. The actor acknowledged that it’s simply a rite of passage to inherit your ancestors’ guns in Missouri.

2. Fan of architecture.

Pitt admires architecture to such a degree that he did an informal apprenticeship at the office of renowned architect Frank Gehry. In 2001, Gehry also renovated the wine cellar in Pitt’s and Aniston’s Los Angeles $4 million home.

1. Banned from China.

Pitt has been barred from entering China. His role in the movie, Seven Years in Tibet, was apparently controversial for the Chinese in terms of their beliefs. On October 13, 1997, Time Magazine spoke to Pitt who explained: “Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I’m an actor! They hand me a script. I act. I’m here for entertainment.”

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Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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