Ben Affleck is an American film actor, director and screenwriter who became known in the late 1990s after his involvement in the film Good Will Hunting, and has since become a Hollywood leading man, having starred in and directed several big budget films.
Affleck was born in Berkeley, California, USA but raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He was born to parents Tim Affleck, a social worker, who is now divorced from Ben's mother Chris Affleck (nee' Boldt) a school teacher. Ben also has a younger brother, actor Casey Affleck, who was born in 1975.
Ben wanted to be an actor ever since he could remember and his first acting experience was for a Burger King commercial, when he was on the PBS mini-series The Voyage of the Mimi (1984).
It was also at that age when Ben met his lifelong friend and fellow actor, Matt Damon. They played little league together and took drama classes together.
Ben's teen years consisted of mainly TV movies and small television appearances including Hands of a Stranger (1987) and The Second Voyage of the Mimi (1988). He made his big introduction into feature films in 1993 when he was cast in Dazed and Confused (1993).
After that, he did mostly independent films like Kevin Smith's Mallrats (1995) and Chasing Amy (1997) which were great for Ben's career, receiving renowned appreciation for his works at the Sundance film festival.
But the success he was having in independent films didn't last much longer and things got a little shaky for Ben. He was living in an apartment with his brother Casey and friend Matt, getting tired of being turned down for the big roles in films and being given the forgettable supporting ones.
Since Matt was having the same trouble, they decided to write their own script, where they could call all the shots. So, after finishing the script for Good Will Hunting (1997), they gave it to their agent Patrick Whitesell, who showed it to a few Hollywood studios, finally being accepted by Castlerock.
It was great news for the two but Castlerock wasn't willing to give Ben and Matt the control over the project they were hoping for. It was friend Kevin Smith who took it to the head of Miramax who bought the script giving Ben and Matt the control they wanted and, in December of 1997, Good Will Hunting was released, making the two unknown actors famous.
The film was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won two, including Best Original Screenplay for Ben and Matt. The film marked Ben's breakthrough role, in which he was given for the first time the chance to choose roles instead of having to go through grueling auditions constantly.
He chose such roles in the blockbusters Armageddon (1998), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Pearl Harbor (2001).
For his 2012 film Argo, Affleck became the first director ever who failed to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Director, yet went on to win both the Golden Globe and the Directors Guild of America awards for best directing, in 2013.
For the same film, Affleck also won the Critic's Choice and BAFTA awards for best director, while the film was named Best Picture in the previously mentioned organisations as well as the Producers Guild.
Affleck has been married to Jennifer Garner since June 2005. They have two daughters, Violet and Seraphina, and a son, Samuel. Previously, he dated Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998.
His relationship with actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, in which they were dubbed "Bennifer", attracted worldwide media attention before it ended in 2004.