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Profile of Brad Pitt, Activist & Film Actor

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Profile of Brad Pitt, Activist & Film Actor

Activists Brad Pitt and Bono

Brad Pitt, Activist & Film Actor:

As film star Brad Pitt has aged, the more publicly active he's become in supporting political candidates and activist causes, including John Kerry in 2004, environmentalism, alternative fuels and energy-efficient cars, and global issues of trade, poverty and AIDS.

And like close pal and fellow "Sexiest Man Alive" George Clooney, Pitt is increasingly using his film skills and connections to bring political issues to the Hollywood silver screen.

The Environment & Global Green USA:

Brad Pitt, long interested in architecture, joined with Global Green USA in July 2006 to promote the rebuilding of New Orleans, which remains devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Pitt headed a jury for Global Green's Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans Neighborhoods that selected the top 5 ecologically sound designs for rebuilding that city. The designs were required energy-efficient building materials and green building stratgies. Pitt has since moved with his family to New Orleans.

Brad Pitt also narrated Design: e2, a 6-part 2006 PBS program on environmentally friendly architecture.

The One Campaign Against AIDS & Poverty in Africa:

In 2004, Brad Pitt joined activist Bono as a spokesman for the One Campaign to push for "an additional 1% of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food" in Africa, and to rally Americans to support "debt cancellation, trade reform and anti–corruption measures... to help Africa and the poorest nations beat AIDS and extreme poverty."

In his role, Pitt has traveled abroad, and has used his star power to attract media attention to the One Campaign, including a 2005 interview in Africa with ABC's Diane Sawyer.

The 2004 & 2006 Elections:

Prior to 2004, Brad Pitt didn't publicly endorse political candidates, and projected bipartisan concern for issues related to AIDS, poverty and the environment.

In the November 2004 presidential race, Pitt endorsed Democrat John Kerry, and famously hung a Kerry banner outside his Hollywood mansion. Pitt also hosted pre-election screenings of Going Upriver, a documentary about Kerry.

And in November 2006, Pitt held a press conference in support of California proposition 87, a measure to tax oil companies as a means to raise $4 billion to promote alternative fuels and energy-efficient cars.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - December 18, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the oldest of 3 children born to Bill, a trucking company manager, and Jane, a high school counselor. Soon after, the family moved to Springfield, Missouri.
  • Education - Kickapoo High School in Springfield, 1978-82. Journalism major at University of Missouri, 1982-86.
  • Faith - Raised in a devout Southern Baptist family, where he was a choir member.
  • Youthful Interests - Sports and a "love of movies."

High School & College Years:

At Kickapoo High School, William Bradley Pitt excelled in tennis and basketball, and participated in student government, debate, drama and choir. He was elected "Best Dressed" by classmates, and worked as a salesman at the local Levi Emporium.

In college, he joined Sigma Chi fraternity and posed for a campus pin-up calendar before dropping out in 1987, 2 credits shy graduation. With $325 in his pocket, Pitt drove his old Datsun to California, promising his mother that he would enroll in the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Early Hollywood Years:

Before landing acting parts, Brad Pitt held a series of odd jobs, including wearing a chicken suit to hawk El Pollo Loco fast food, delivering refrigerators and chauffeuring L.A. strippers to their gigs.

Pitt's first Hollywood jobs were on TV shows "Dallas," soap opera "Another World," sitcom "Growing Pains" and an NBC movie. His silver screen debut was in 1989 horror film "Cutting Class."

Pitt caught public fancy with a short, beefcake part in "Thelma and Louise" (1991). He was regarded as an attractive Hollywood leading man after star turns in "A River Runs Through It" (1992) and "Legends of the Fall" (1994).

Public Notoriety:

To his chagrin, Brad Pitt has received as much public notoriety for his liaisons and attractive looks as for his acting skills and activism. In 1995 and again in 2000, Pitt was dubbed Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.

After relationships with Hollywood starlets, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Geena Davis and Juliette Lewis, Pitt married Friend actress Jennifer Aniston in 2000. The couple divorced 5 years later, and Pitt's partnership with activist/actress Angelina Jolie became public news. Pitt and Jolie have 4 children, including 3 adopted internationally.

Brad Pitt Films with Political Themes:

Pitt films with political themes include:

State of Play (unset release) - Probe into the death of a political researcher, which uncovers government-oil industry collusion.

Babel (2006) - 4 interwoven stories set in Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico, and Japan.

Seven Years in Tibet (1998) - Story of mountaineer Heinrich Harrer who befriended the young Dalai Lama, and tutored the religious leader in English, geography and the Western world.

Twelve Monkeys (1995) - Set in 2035 following the eradication of 99% of the Earth's population by a holocaust that makes the Earth's surface uninhabitable.

Memorable Brad Pitt Quotes on Activism:

"I've had the luxury to travel around the world for the last 15 years, and I've seen a real shift in the idea of what America is, how people define America. The [idea] is growing that we are opportunists; we're only there if it serves us. But this is not the complete picture. This is not who we are, and it's certainly not our history."

--- 2005 press conference for the One Campaign

“By employing the intelligence of natural systems we can create industry, buildings, even regional plans that see nature and commerce not as mutually exclusive but mutually coexisting."

--- Speaking on a June 2006 PBS special, "e2,the Economics of Being Environmentally Conscious"

"Shouldn't the argument be, what's not good enough for us is not good enough for them? In the movie business, we can't burn toxic things when we film in the United States. So we go to Morocco and burn all the rubber tires we like when we're doing action scenes."

--- Washington Post, November 21, 2005

"Six thousand people are dying a day--a day--needlessly because they don't have access to the drugs that we have. I feel it is our responsibility to make those available. I had a woman who just heard about the drugs last week. She grabbed my hand. She said, 'Please, please help us get the drugs.' I visited many orphanages. You literally want to grab as many children as you can and take them home with you."

--- Interview with Oprah Winfrey about Pitt's trip to Africa, December 8, 2004

"I'd like to design something like a city or a museum. I want to do something hands on rather than just play golf which is the sport of the religious right."

--- Per BrainyQuote.com

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