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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Brad Pitt's epic journey
Brad Pitt
Pitt has not always played it safe with his choice of film roles

Brad Pitt, who took his biggest role yet as Greek hero Achilles in the summer blockbuster Troy, has already enjoyed a golden career.

Hollywood heart-throb Brad Pitt could be the best advert yet for dropping out of college - he gave up his journalism course at the University of Missouri in the early 80s just before graduating, and headed for the bright lights of Los Angeles.

The eldest of three children, born in Oklahoma in 1963, Pitt put his change of heart down to a simple "love of movies".

Career ladder

And after only seven months of doing odd jobs around LA including chauffeuring and delivering refrigerators, he landed an agent after taking acting classes.

As with many acting careers, Pitt's first jobs came in television, including soap operas Dallas and Another World, and the sitcom Growing Pains.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
Pitt and Aniston have been together for six years
His big screen debut came in 1989 slasher film Cutting Class but it was his role in Ridley Scott's smash hit road movie Thelma and Louise that catapulted him into the spotlight in 1991.

His small but raunchy part as Geena Davis's lover immediately made him the latest Hollywood sex symbol.

Pitt failed to capitalise on his new-found status with his next few films, including the offbeat Johnny Suede, but he proved he was more than just a pretty face with the lead role in Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It in 1992.

A year later, he appeared with then girlfriend Juliette Lewis in murder spree film Kalifornia, which was criticised by some for its violence and did not fare well at the box office.

A role opposite A-list star Tom Cruise in Interview with a Vampire followed and Pitt also appeared in the Tarantino-scripted True Romance in 1993.

Settled down

Over the past 10 years, his film choices have proved to be a mixed bag but his A-list status and legion of female fans have excused him the odd poor movie among his more successful efforts.

His role as a gritty detective in thriller Seven garnered praise in 1995 and his part as a mental patient in Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys the same year won him a Golden Globe for best supporting actor and an Oscar nomination.

Brad Pitt as Achilles
Troy opens in the UK in May

Meet Joe Black with Sir Anthony Hopkins and the big-budget Seven Years in Tibet only received mixed reviews but Pitt got back on track again with an unglamorous role in 1999's Fight Club.

Steven Soderbergh's 2002 remake of rat pack heist Ocean's 11 was also a big hit for Pitt and fellow actors George Clooney, Matt Damon and Julia Roberts.

Pitt's love life has taken up as many newspaper columns as his film career over the years - he dated Lewis for several years and was engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow before meeting Friends star Jennifer Aniston in 1998.

The pair married in a private ceremony in Malibu, California, in 2000 and are now arguably Hollywood's most famous couple.

Pitt has yet to win an Oscar and there are some critics who feel he has not entirely shaken off his pretty boy tag.

Whether his efforts as a bronzed Greek warrior in Troy will dispel such misgivings is hard to say - although his female fans are unlikely to complain either way.


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