The Enduring Legacy of Brad Pitt: A Hollywood Icon’s Life in the Spotlight at 60

Brad Pitt's Journey: From a Small Oklahoma Town to Hollywood Stardom

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India. He holds an M.B.A in International Business. Books: Author: Foxtrot to Arihant: The Story of Indian Navy's Submarine Arm; Co Author : Warring Navies - India and Pakistan. *views are Personal

William Bradley Pitt, who turned 60, was born (18 December 1963) in a small Oklahoma town. His father worked in freight transport, while his mother was a teacher. He grew up in Missouri, which he describes as the land of Mark Twain and Jesse James, with many hills and lakes. He also spent all of his leisure time in “fantastic caves.” He was compared to Huckleberry Finn by journalists. Brad was involved in sports in school (tennis, golf, swimming) and went to church every Sunday. He then enrolled in the journalism programme at the University of Missouri. He wanted to be a journalist or publicist (he studied advertising), but when he had only two tests left to complete before receiving his diploma, he left his faculty, hopped into a Datsun 200SX given to him by his father, and drove west. To California, to Los Angeles, and notably Hollywood.

From Snack Bar Chicken to Stealing Hearts: Brad Pitt’s Early Days in Hollywood

He fell in love with filmmaking as a child after seeing the Japanese horror film “The Monsters of Frankenstein.” Later, he would spend hours in movie theatres, once sitting through five “Planet of the Apes” films in a row. However, none helped him in Hollywood; no one was expecting him. The young man landed bit parts and small roles in TV programmes thanks to his pleasant appearance, and when he wasn’t working, he marketed a snack bar by dressing up in a large chicken costume or delivering strippers to homes after parties. Brad’s first important role in a feature film was in a Yugoslav film called “The Dark Side of the Sun,” he played a young American who couldn’t handle sunshine and developed sores and scabs when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Outside of Yugoslavia, the film received little attention.

“Thelma & Louise” Turns the Tide: How One Role Made Brad Pitt a Sex Symbol and A-Lister

“Thelma & Louise,” directed by Ridley Scott, was the actual game changer. George Clooney, another unknown at the time, auditioned five times for the role of the young scoundrel who seduces Gina Davis’s character and subsequently steals from her, but Scott selected Pitt. Following this movie, he became known as a sex symbol, and following his next appearance in Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Through It,” he was recognised as a competent actor. Pitt has admitted to taking cannabis to cope with his growing celebrity in the late 1990s.

From then on, paparazzi began to hunt Brad, which initially terrified him, but he openly hid from them. The ’90s became his decade: “Interview with the Vampire,” “Legends of the Fall,” “Se7en,” “12 Monkeys,” “The Devil’s Own,” “Seven Years in Tibet,” “Meet Joe Black,” “Fight Club”… By the beginning of the new century, he was already one of the leading Hollywood stars. To become even more popular, all he has to do is die,” remarked one journalist. He was twice honoured with the title of “Sexiest Man Alive.” He responded by declaring People magazine, which bestowed these titles, the “Dumbest Magazine in the Universe.” He was never again recognised as the sexiest in the world.

Pitt at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival
Pitt at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival. Image: Maggie from Palm Springs, United States. CC.

From Gwyneth to Jennifer: Brad Pitt’s Tumultuous Romance History

Brad Pitt’s girlfriends were mostly actresses. Initially, there were Robin Givens and Jill Schoelen, whose names did not leave an imprint on art history. Then there was Juliette Lewis, his co-star in the films “California” and “Too Young to Die?” Gwyneth Paltrow, his co-star in “Se7en,” sparked a passionate romance. They agreed they would never be apart for longer than two weeks. He presented her with an engagement ring, including one enormous and three smaller diamonds. He named her “his angel, the love of his life” when he won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for “12 Monkeys.” She declined roles to spend more time with her fiancé. Everything came crashing down in the end. Many years later, Gwyneth claimed she was too young for the romance, which began when she was 22: “I was still a child then, and he was too good for me!”

Brangelina: Inside the Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Power Couple

They split in 1997, and the following year, Pitt met Jennifer Aniston, star of the television show “Friends.” They married in 2000, with a grandiose wedding ceremony in Malibu. Aniston later stated everyone keeps asking her if they are happy together.” Let me catch my breath! We’ve been married for two years, in Hollywood years, that’s an eternity!, she said.

Perhaps, in Hollywood terms, their marriage lasted four years and some. Pitt then met Angelina Jolie on the “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” set in 2004. By the end of the year, it was clear that Brad and Aniston were no longer together. Pitt and Jolie, on the other hand, argued that there was no adultery: their affair began only after the actor and his wife had completely ended their relationship. Journalists claimed that Aniston’s reluctance to become a mother was one of the key reasons for the breakup.

The media had not covered a Hollywood relationship in such depth since Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Jolie and Pitt were content for nearly a decade. They have three biological and three adopted children and were interested in humanitarian ventures.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Image: Georges Biard/CC

Plane Incident Exposes Shocking Details of Brad and Angelina’s Breakup

In 2016, a historic altercation occurred onboard a private plane, which both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie regret. Jolie revealed the incident in a lawsuit she filed one and a half years ago. Pitt first accused Jolie of being lenient with the children, caving to their every demand. The scene then unfolded near the plane’s lavatory, including Brad and Angelina’s children in some way.

Pitt grabbed Jolie’s head and began shaking her, then grabbed her shoulders and shook her again before hitting the toilet wall. Then, Pitt repeatedly hit the plane’s ceiling, prompting Jolie to leave the loo. Pitt lunged at his child when one of the youngsters verbally supported Jolie, and Jolie grabbed her husband from behind to stop him. Pitt tumbled backwards onto the plane’s seats in an attempt to get away from Jolie, bruising her back and elbow in the process. The children fiercely attempted to defend each other. Pitt began choking one of the youngsters and hitting another in the face before it was all over. Some children pleaded with Pitt to stop. They were all terrified. Many were crying. Jolie and the children headed to the hotel without her husband when the plane touched down. She did, however, wake him up and warn him. He began yelling and pushing once more.

Battling Addiction: Brad Pitt Opens Up About Alcoholism and Recovery

Although no one was seriously injured in the incident, Jolie and the actor later split up. Pitt, for his part, stopped drinking, even attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and, after some time, delivered a remorseful interview in which he discussed his disastrous alcohol addiction. He claimed to be a professional and could drink a Russian beneath the table with his vodka. But he said he no longer desired to live in that manner. He reached a point. He had substituted cranberry juice and sparkling water for alcohol.

From Nightmare to Peace: Brad Pitt’s Haunting Dreams and Finding Solace

Pitt delivered another interview to GQ magazine last year, this time detailing his nightmares. According to him, the primary dream that haunted him for four or five years was of someone jumping on him and stabbing him. It is constantly night and dark. He claims he walks along a walkway in the park or along the coastline, passing beneath a lamp post similar to the one on the ‘The Exorcist’ movie poster, when someone jumped out of the abyss and stabbed him in the ribs. Or he detects someone strolling behind him, and then another person appears from the side, and he understands he is trapped and they intend to kill him. Or he is chased around the home, a youngster he helped escape is next to him, but they catch up with him, pin him to the floor, and knife him. Always getting stabbed. And he wakes up in dread, unsure why they or it wants to harm him. Pitt claims that this ceased two or three years ago when he began falling asleep again as if returning to a dream and publicly asked his pursuers, “Why?”

Pitt stated in 2022 that he had struggled for years to recognise people’s faces owing to prosopagnosia, sometimes known as face blindness. In a 2013 interview, he stated that his inability to recognise people’s faces had gotten so bad that he frequently wanted to stay home. He has not been officially diagnosed with prosopagnosia.

Rebuilding His Life: Brad Pitt’s Focus on Family, New Projects, and a Brighter Future

Journalists now praise Brad, portraying him as a nice individual. He has many good roles coming up, including the upcoming psychological thriller “Wolves,” in which he will co-star with George Clooney, and a yet-to-be-titled drama about race car drivers, in which he will co-star with Javier Bardem. Pitt gets paid $30 million for the latter. He recently earned his first Academy Award for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” He seemed content with his current girlfriend, jewellery designer Ines de Ramon.

Pitt is interested in art and has learned to make ceramics and sculptures. In 2022-2023, nine of his sculptures were displayed at the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere, Finland, with works by musician Nick Cave and artist Thomas Houseago.


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