Often, people find themselves in awe of great achievers and wish they had what it takes to be like them. However, every one of these larger-than-life personalities were born ordinary and experienced the usual struggles with career beginnings as everyone else. One of such people who many look up to is the Hollywood icon Brad Pitt, who is today a household name with over 92 prestigious awards in his collection.
Like everyone else, the Thelma & Louise (1991) actor had a normal childhood. He went through the same route as anyone else hoping to make in the movie world, however, there is a little twist as regards how he went by it. Find out more about Brad Pitt’s younger years and the early success he enjoyed in his career.
Brad Pitt’s Fact Card
How Old is Brad Pitt and Where was He Born?
Brad Pitt, whose birth name is William Bradley Pitt, was born a week to Christmas on the 18th of December, 1963 in Shawnee Oklahoma. A few years after his birth, his family relocated to Springfield, Missouri where he eventually spent most of his childhood. The young man was raised in the Southern Baptist faith alongside his two younger siblings; Douglas and Julie, by his mother Jane Etta (nee Hillhouse) and father William Pitt. The older Pitt made a living as a trucking company owner while his wife worked as a school counselor.
Brad, who was notably hyperactive as a growing kid, attended Horace Mann Elementary School before enrolling at Kickapoo High School, both in Missouri. At Kickapoo, he was noted for having participated in numerous extracurricular activities. He was a member of the tennis, golf, and swimming teams, and also featured in school debates and musicals.
Why He Dropped Out of College To Pursue Acting
Once his high school days were over in 1982, Brad Pitt enrolled at the University of Missouri where he majored in Journalism and had a focus on Advertising. As expected, he was popular in school and was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
As he studied to acquire his degree, Brad grew interested in movies, both the acting part of it and how they were made. Unfortunately for him, no movies were made in his home state and so he had to go all the way to Los Angeles, California to explore more about it.
Brad Pitt, who looked up to people like Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, and Gary Oldman, did not care that he was only two weeks away from graduating as he packed his bags and headed to Hollywood. He was said to have lied to his parents that he was going to attend an art design school in Los Angeles. Upon arrival in LA, he enrolled in a number of acting classes while also working multiple odd jobs in order to make ends meet.
Success in Brad Pitt’s Younger Years As An Actor
Brad Pitt’s decision to abandon school eventually paid off but it wasn’t an overnight success. While he worked different odd jobs, he brought himself under the direct tutelage of actor and acting coach Roy London.
While he was still learning his trade, he was fortunate enough to land uncredited roles in four movies that were released in 1987. His talent looked to have gotten the attention of a number of producers as by the middle of that same year, he landed his first credited role. This came in the NBC soap opera, Another World, where his character appeared in two episodes.
Brad Pitt’s excellent performance in the role went a long way in earning him a guest appearance in the ABC sitcom, Growing Pains, in November of 1987. His role here was quickly followed up by him playing the character of Randy, the very romantic boyfriend of Shalane McCall (acting as Charlie Wade) in the CBS soap opera, Dallas, from December 1987 to February 1988.
As expected, Brad Pitt’s younger years as an actor were filled with ups and downs. While work was steady for him, it took him a few years before he was able to land his breakthrough role. This eventually came in 1994 in the gothic horror drama film, Interview With the Vampire, a film adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel of the same name. Alongside an ensemble cast that included actors like Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Christian Slater, and Antonio Banderas, Pitt played the role of the protagonist Louis de Pointe du Lac and received his first-ever award for his performance even though he failed to impress critics.
What followed next for the Missouri native was an announcement of his talent to the world. He did so by playing a role in Edward Zwick’s Legends of the Fall (1994) where he put in a critically acclaimed performance to receive his first Golden Globe Award nomination in the category of Best Actor as the rest became history.