Born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California, Ben Affleck had modest beginnings. His mother, Chris, was a schoolteacher, while his father, Tim, was a social worker. It may seem like he’s been dominant in the movie business forever, as he collected his first Oscar in 1997. However, he has had both success and failures in the intervening years.
Affleck has achieved in a way many Hollywood superstars haven’t. He has written successful screenplays, starred as the leading man, directed political dramas and become a bankable star.
His offscreen life has also enthralled many. He played cards with one of the best Canadian poker players, Daniel Negreanu, dated J-Lo and married Jennifer Garner. There’s no doubt he’s led a fascinating life and is rarely out of the spotlight. Here’s a rundown of his life to date.
Ben loved movies from an early age, and wanted to become an actor. He made his first commercial for Burger King, then won a role in the PBS mini-series, The Voyage of Mimi.
Fate took a twist when he was 8 years old and met a new pal, Matt Damon. Affleck found another friend who was into acting, and they also played little league together.
The pair both won extras roles in the Kevin Costner vehicle, Field of Dreams in 1989. Then they got proper roles in School Ties, alongside Brendan Fraser, in 1992. While seeking out acting parts, the two young actors moved in together in LA’s Eagle Rock neighborhood. Despairing at the lack of big roles, they decided they would write something for themselves to star in.
The resulting screenplay was Good Will Hunting, which director friend, Kevin Smith, took to Miramax. The film was a huge hit, and brought massive success to Affleck, also gaining his first Academy Award. He earned $300,000 for the script of Good Will Hunting, the same sum as Matt Damon.
Affleck stuck with his mates and starred in Dogma with Matt Damon and directed by Kevin Smith. The movie, about two fallen angels, became a huge cult hit.
By the year 2000, Affleck was a household name like other American movie stars, big studios were offering him roles wherever he turned. That year saw the release of four movies the young actor starred in:
- Reindeer Games
- Boiler Room
- Joseph: King of Dreams
However, it was Armageddon in 2001 that cemented his status as a heartthrob. The following year People Magazine named him the “Sexiest Man Alive”.
Other smash hits for Affleck included Pearl Harbor, Changing Lanes with Samuel L. Jackson and The Sum of All Fears. For the two latter films, he earned $10 million apiece.
His personal life also began attracting attention when he met Jennifer Lopez on the set of Gigli. Although the film was widely panned by critics, the two ended up splashed across the tabloids. They gained the nickname “Bennifer” and he starred in her video for “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” Affleck proposed to J-Lo with a pink custom 6.1 carat ring and they set a date for late 2003.
Marriage, Children and the Director’s Seat
Bennifer II came about when a friendship between Affleck and Jennifer Garner blossomed. The pair had become friends while filming Pearl Harbor and Daredevil. In October 2003 they made their first public appearance at a Boston Red Sox game. Ben has been a loyal fan of the team ever since he was a child in Massachusetts.In April 2005, he got down on one knee to Garner, proposing with a 4.5 carat Harry Winston ring. They married in a low-key ceremony at the end of June.
Later that same year, they welcomed their first child, Violet. In several interviews, Garner praised Ben for being there for her, and being a true romantic.As Affleck matured, he decided to take some time behind the camera and works on Gone Baby Gone. He also worked on The Town and Argo, which both gained critical plaudits. In 2009, he and Garner added a second daughter, Seraphina Rose, to their brood. They had a son, Samuel in February 2012.
In March 2013, Ben accepted the Oscar for Best Picture for Argo, and thanked Jennifer in his acceptance speech. He acknowledged that marriage takes work, but that’s “it’s the best work.”
Scandal and Superheroes
Although seen as a power couple with a strong bond, Affleck and Garner announced their split in June 2015. This came days after Ben was spotted at a charity poker event with their children’s nanny, Christine Ouzounian.
Later, it’s claimed that the couple had already split and the nanny tipped off the paparazzi. Affleck and Garner told the media that they will make co-parenting work.
Many are shocked when Affleck dons the black cape as Batman, one of the greatest American comic heroes well known through many generations as he starred in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, the film has the 5th biggest worldwide opening of all time and has a 6.4 rating on imdb.
Recently, Affleck’s performances in The Way Back and Deep Water were praised by critics. He joined forces with old pal Matt Damon to write The Last Duel, which he also co-produced and starred in.
In 2021, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez rekindled their romance from 20 years earlier. In April 2022, they announced that they are engaged for the second time.
Ben Affleck Net Worth
Ben Affleck has had a long and varied career, which has contributed to a net worth of $150 million. He has also had a lucrative career on the felt, winning over $350,000 at a World Series of Poker event.
In a life lived rarely out of the spotlight, it seems that Ben Affleck has managed to win over fans. His talent and passion have earned the 6’2 (and ¼) actor a healthy bank account and a fulfilling life.
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