Jennifer Anne Garner (born April 17, 1972) is an American
film and television actress, producer.
Garner was born in Houston, Texas to Patricia Ann English (a teacher)
and William Jack Garner, a chemical engineer; she is the middle
child between two sisters, Melissa Garner Wiley (born in 1969) and
Susannah Garner Carpenter (born in 1975). When she was four years
old, her father's job with Union Carbide forced the family to relocate
to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner lived until her college
In 1990, Garner graduated from George Washington High School in
Charleston, West Virginia, where she played the saxophone. She also
studied ballet for nine years before enrolling at Denison University
to study chemical engineering. Upon realizing that she enjoyed stage
acting more than science, Garner changed her major to drama. Garner
graduated from Denison in 1994, and planned to continue her drama
education at Yale University. However, keen for experience, she
visited a friend in New York City in 1995 and decided to take her
chances in theatre.
In New York City, Garner earned $150 a week as an understudy in
a play. She was then cast in her first television role, a part in
the made-for-television movie, Zoya, based on the Danielle Steele
novel. Her next acting jobs were in two short-lived television series,
Significant Others and Time of Your Life, as well as in two Hallmark
Hall of Fame movies, including the 1997 film, Rose Hill, based on
the best selling book For The Roses by Julie Garwood.
In 1996, she appeared on an episode of the NBC drama Law &
Order. She played a college student who engaged in an affair with
Detective Rey Curtis.
Subsequently, Garner moved to Los Angeles, California and got a
job as a hostess at a restaurant before being cast as Hannah Bibb
on the WB series, Felicity. On the set, she met her future husband,
Scott Foley. Garner played his character's girlfriend. In 2000,
Garner appeared in the comedy Dude, Where's My Car?, playing Ashton
Kutcher's girlfriend. In 2001, she appeared as a nurse in the big-budget
version of Pearl Harbor, co-starring Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale.
Later in 2001, J. J. Abrams, who produced Felicity, approached
Garner about starring in a new show he was working on for ABC. Garner
auditioned and was cast in the role of Sydney Bristow in the spy
drama Alias. The series became a success and Garner won the award
for "Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama" at the
January 2002 Golden Globes. Alias had just begun a few months beforehand,
and Garner won the award with only half the season's episodes aired.
The series had a successful run since, and concluded in May 2006
during its fifth season. Garner's salary for the show began at $45,000
an episode, and had since risen to $150,000 per episode.
During the show's run, Garner received four consecutive Golden
Globe nominations for her lead performance. She has also received
four consecutive Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Lead Actress
in a Drama Series". Garner won the "Actor Award"
from the Screen Actors Guild in 2005. The category had only five
nominees and is composed of all actresses in any dramatic roles,
both lead and supporting. In March 2005, Garner directed "In
Dreams", an Alias episode which aired in May. Garner has been
receiving "producer/director" credit for the series in
it's fifth and final season.
After the initial success of Alias, Garner returned to her film
career with a small role in the Steven Spielberg film Catch Me If
You Can, and starred alongside Ben Affleck as Elektra Natchios in
the action movie Daredevil, an adaptation of the comic book. She
reprised her role as "Elektra" in the 2005 spin-off to
Daredevil, entitled Elektra. Garner showed her comedic side in the
romantic comedy 13 Going on 30, which was a financial success and
established her as a leading feature film actress. Garner is known
for performing her own stunts, and in January 2005 was forced to
bow out of some publicity duties for Elektra, due to what was first
thought to have been a viral infection but was revealed to be the
effects of nerve damage to her back, caused by a stunt during the
filming of Alias.
In 2005, Garner entered the Forbes "Power 100" list of
celebrities. Garner ranked as the 5th best paid actress in Hollywood,
accumulating an estimated US $14 million over the year 2004/05.
She came 8th behind Cameron Diaz in the power rankings. During the
2006 Academy Awards ceremony, Garner stumbled on her flowing dress
(designed by Michael Kors) as she came onto the stage to present
the award for Sound Editing. She did not fall, but lost her balance,
and jokingly commented, "I do my own stunts!"
Garner's next film will be the drama Catch and Release. She will
also perform voice work for the 2006 version of Charlotte's Web.
Garner has formed a production company named Vandalia Films, which
will produce its first film in 2007. Garner will produce the company's
On October 19, 2000, Garner married actor Scott Foley, who appeared
with her on the television show Felicity. The two later separated
and were officially divorced in 2004. Garner then dated her Alias
co-star Michael Vartan until mid-2004, when she began dating her
Daredevil co-star Ben Affleck.
On June 29, 2005, Garner and Affleck were married at the Parrot
Cay resort on the Turks and Caicos Islands; the wedding had not
been announced to the press beforehand. Around this period, Garner
was pregnant with the couple's first child. Her pregnancy was incorporated
into the plot of Alias. She was rumored to be absent from several
episodes that will be produced around and after the birth but the
season's number of episodes was cut by a few and given an extended
hiatus in order to let Garner go on maternity leave. On December
1, 2005, she gave birth to their daughter, Violet Anne Affleck.
Garner enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and kickboxing (a hobby
inspired by her Alias character).
TBA: Up To The Ground
2007: Catch and Release
2004: 13 Going On 30
2002: Catch Me If You Can
2000: Dude, Where's My Car?
2001: Pearl Harbor
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