Brad Pitt

On this date in 1963, Brad Pitt was born in Shawnee, Okla. Two credits shy of a college degree from the University of Missouri, Pitt dropped out and headed to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Working as a limousine driver for several months, Pitt enrolled in an acting class and then accompanied a classmate to an audition as her scene partner. The agent signed Pitt instead and he began work in television, including appearing on episodes of "Dallas," "Another World" and "Growing Pains." In spite of appearing only a few minutes on screen, Pitt's big break came from his role as a hitchhiker in the classic female buddy story, "Thelma and Louise" (1991). With some failed films over the next few years, Pitt established himself as more than a sex symbol, showing off his acting prowess in "A River Runs Through It" (1992), "Kalifornia" (1993), "Interview with the Vampire" (1994), "Legends of the Fall" (1994) and "Seven" (1997). He received critical acclaim and some award nominations and wins for his work in "Twelve Monkeys" (1995), "Babel" (2006) and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008). Year after year, Brad Pitt's celebrity continues to rise, due to his high-profile public romances (including to partner Angelina Jolie), sex symbol status and award-winning acting abilities. "When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me. It was a discovery of self. I had thought that I'm capable enough to handle any situation. There's peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I'm responsible," he said to Parade Magazine in 2007. Pitt told BILD.com: "I'm probably 20 percent atheist and 80 percent agnostic" (July 23, 2009).

“I don't have a chance [on being elected Mayor of New Orleans]. I'm running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform.”

—Brad Pitt, in an interview with Ann Curry on

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch

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