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Jennifer Anne Affleck (née Garner; born April 17, 1972), known professionally as Jennifer Garner, is an American actress. She is best known for her role as CIA agent Sydney Bristow on the ABC thriller drama series Alias. She is also known for her roles in the films Juno, Dude, Where's My Car?, 13 Going on 30, Catch Me if You Can, Daredevil, Elektra, Catch and Release, and The Kingdom.


Garner was born in Houstonmarker, Texasmarker, the daughter of Patricia Ann (née English), an English teacher from Oklahoma, and William John Garner, a chemical engineer who worked for Union Carbide in Texas. She is the middle child between two sisters, Melissa Lynn Garner Wylie (born February 5, 1969, resides in Bostonmarker, Massachusettsmarker) and Susannah Kay Garner Carpenter (born January 24, 1975 in Texas, resides in Charlestonmarker, West Virginiamarker). Her family is Methodist. At three years old, Garner began taking ballet lessons which she continued throughout her youth. Although she admitted that she loved dancing, she never had ambitions to become a classical ballerina. When she was four years old, her father's job with Union Carbide relocated her family to Princeton, West Virginiamarker, then to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner resided until her college years.


In 1990, Garner graduated from George Washington High Schoolmarker in Charleston, where she played the saxophone. She then enrolled at Denison University to study chemistry. Upon realizing that she enjoyed stage acting more than science, Garner changed her major to drama. While at Denison, Garner was initiated into the sorority Pi Beta Phi. Garner graduated from Denison in 1994 and continued her drama education at the National Theater Institute in Waterford, Connecticutmarker where she was trained by fight choreographer David Chandler, and told she was a natural in stage combat. Keen for immediate experience, she visited her friend, Clayton Kirlew, in New York Citymarker in 1995 and decided to take her chances in New York theatre.


In New York City, Garner earned $300 a week as an understudy in the play A Month in the Country for Roundabout Theatre Company in 1995. She was then cast in her first television role, a part in the made-for-television movie Zoya, based on the Danielle Steel novel. In 1996 she appeared in an episode of Spin City as the character James' high school sweetheart and in an episode of Law & Order as a temporary love interest of Benjamin Bratt's character. Her next acting jobs were in two short-lived television series, Significant Others and Time of Your Life, and a recurring role in the series Felicity. 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 epic Pearl Harbor, co-starring with Kate Beckinsale and future husband Ben Affleck.

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 for 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 was successful, concluding in May 2006 after a fifth, abbreviated season (due to Garner's pregnancy, a development that was written into the storyline of the fifth season). Garner's salary for the show began at $45,000 an episode, rising to $150,000 per episode by the series' end. During the show's run, Garner received four consecutive Golden Globe nominations for her lead performance. She 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. In March 2005, Garner directed the fourth-season Alias episode, "In Dreams", which aired in May. Garner received producer credit during the series' 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 showed her comedic side in 2004's 13 Going on 30, a romantic comedy whose commercial success established her as a leading feature film actress, and reprised her role as "Elektra" in the 2005 spin-off to Daredevil titled Elektra. Garner is known for performing her own stunts and in January 2005 was forced to bow out of some publicity duties for Elektra because of 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 the fourth season of Alias.

Catch and Release, a romantic comedy, opened on January 26, 2007. Garner has formed a production company named Vandalia Films which will produce its first film in 2007. She will produce the company's upcoming films Sabbatical and Be with You. Garner took her first role as part of an ensemble in The Kingdom alongside Jamie Foxx, Jason Bateman and Ashraf Barhom. Box office analysts have commented that the choice was a smart move on Garner's part, as her other projects with her as the sole lead are risky gambles. Garner was set to star in Zach Braff's directorial feature of Open Hearts but backed out of the project so she could spend more time with her family.

Garner appeared in the Jason Reitman-directed comedy/drama feature Juno. After that film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festivalmarker, Entertainment Weekly declared Garner's role the best female supporting performance of the festival, saying "The star of Alias and The Kingdom does no butt-kicking in this sweet comedy. Instead, as a young wife desperately hoping to adopt, she's funny, a bit tough, and unbelievably touching."

In 2008, Garner appeared as a presenter at the Oscars. However, for Garner, this part of the evening was somewhat overshadowed in the next day's press by discussions of the unexpected interruption of her Red Carpet interview by Gary Busey. Busey later publicly apologized for the incident, saying that he merely wanted to congratulate Laura Linney, who was being interviewed along with Garner, and didn't realise that they were being interviewed at the time. In 2009, she appeared in the films Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and The Invention of Lying.

Garner played Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac at the Richard Rodgers Theatremarker on Broadwaymarker from November 1, 2007 alongside Kevin Kline who was in the title role. This was her Broadway debut. The show was originally set to run until December 23, 2007, but it was extended through January 6, 2008 due to the Broadway stagehand strike in late 2007. For this role Garner won the 9th Annual Audience Award for Favorite Actress in a Play.

Income and status

Garner entered the Forbes' "Power 100" list of celebrities in 2005 at 70th place. From June 2004 to June 2005, she earned an estimated US $14 million.

She earned an estimated $3 million for her first film role in 13 Going on 30. The actress then received a bump up to a $5 million paycheck for Elektra and a similar sum for Catch and Release. She negotiated a reported $7 million for The Kingdom. Instead of demanding an A-list salary for the small independent film Juno, she settled on percentage points. This gesture of goodwill earned her over $8.5 million when the film became a runaway success at the box office.

Personal life

Garner enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and kickboxing (a hobby picked up during training for her Alias character). She is close friends with Reese Witherspoon and also close to actress Jean Louisa Kelly, who interviewed Garner for the June 2005 issue of Self magazine.

In December 2007, Garner was named The Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail's 2007 West Virginian of the Year "for her dedication, work ethic and unique role as role model and ambassador for West Virginia."

She has a yellow Labrador Retriever named "Martha Stewart" (after the television personality of the same name), which appeared with her on the television show Martha on January 24, 2007.


Scott Foley

On October 19, 2000, Garner married actor Scott Foley, whom she met on the set of Felicity in 1998. After separating from Foley in March 2003, Garner filed for divorce in May 2003, citing irreconcilable differences. Dismissing rumors of infidelity, Foley stated that the reason behind their separation was Garner's increasing fame after the success of Alias. Similarly, Garner claimed that their Hollywood lifestyle led to their failed marriage and they "really were victims of Hollywood." The two were officially divorced on March 30, 2004.

Michael Vartan

Garner is known for being private about her personal life. This is reflected in her relationships with Michael Vartan and Ben Affleck. Over the course of her relationship with her Alias co-star Michael Vartan, she never made any public appearances with him and was late to confirm their relationship in August 2003. Garner began dating Vartan in mid-2003, and though rumors of their break-up began in March 2004, Garner only confirmed the end of their relationship in August 2004.

Ben Affleck

Garner's relationship with her Daredevil co-star Ben Affleck, which started in July 2004, was also very low-key. It was months into their relationship before a paparazzi managed to take a shot of the two as a couple. Both stars' publicists denied their relationship until a public appearance at a Boston Red Sox game. When there were rumours of Garner being pregnant, there were repeated denials of the pregnancy. On Garner's 33rd birthday, Affleck proposed to her with a diamond ring from Harry Winston and the couple married on June 29, 2005 in a surprise ceremony at the Parrot Caymarker resort on the Turks and Caicos Islands. Finally, their publicists confirmed the marriage and pregnancy. Officiating at the ceremony was her Alias co-star Victor Garber. Her pregnancy was incorporated into the plot of Alias, with the season's episode order reduced from the initial 22 to 17 in order to let Garner go on maternity leave. On December 1, 2005, she gave birth to their daughter, Violet Anne Affleck. On July 17, 2008, her Alias co-star Victor Garber stated that Garner and Affleck were expecting their second child and that Garner was five months pregnant. On January 6, 2009, she gave birth to their second daughter, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck.

Fashion and style

Early life and career

While growing up, Garner and her sisters had to abide by a number of rules laid down by their parents that set the three girls apart from their peers. For example, they were not allowed to wear make-up or go to the movies, they couldn't wear the latest fashions in clothes, they had to attend church every Sunday, and had to wait until at least the age of sixteen before they would be allowed to have their ears pierced. Speaking in interviews about these rules, Garner later said "I sometimes joke that we were just a step away from being Amish." In early interviews, Garner appeared to imply that she and her sisters had followed these rules closely, with comments such as "I'm the middle of three girls, and none of us pierced our ears, none of us wore makeup or nail polish. We had straight hair, one length. It was just kind of the Garner Girl aesthetic. We didn't really question it; it was just the way we looked." More recently, she has admitted that, while they did follow the rules to some extent, they also broke them too, such as the time when Susannah had her ears pierced without parental permission at the age of fourteen. Garner herself didn't have her ears pierced until she appeared in the made-for-television disaster movie, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, and agreed to have her ears pierced temporarily especially for that role, letting them heal once filming was completed.

Alias and movies

While Garner may have had a very conservative upbringing and been used to dressing simply, the same could not be said of her Alias character, Sydney Bristow. Most episodes of the show saw her adopt some sort of disguise, often provocative or revealing. Early in the show's run, these disguises often included a selection of brightly-colored wigs. However, as the show matured, these were gradually phased out in favor of more "conventional" disguises. Some of her movie roles have also seen her wear quite daring or provocative outfits, such as the tight leather costume worn by her character in Daredevil and Elektra.

Awards ceremonies

The success of Alias led to Garner becoming a regular attendee at major awards ceremonies. Since 2002, she has been a regular attendee at the annual Academy Awards ceremony, missing only the 2005, 2007 and 2009 ceremonies. At these various awards ceremonies, she has often showcased the work of many notable designers, again in complete contrast to the fairly plain clothing worn during her very conservative school years, and also still favored by her while "out and about" in her everyday life.

For the 75th Academy Awards ceremony in 2003, Garner's pale blue dress was designed by Versace, accessorized by a pair of Neil Lane diamond hoop earrings and an art deco-style bracelet. Because Garner did not at the time have pierced ears, the earrings had to be specially designed and made for her as clip-ons, and were not completed until the day of the ceremony itself. The next year (2004), her 76th Academy Awards dress was designed by Valentino, with shoes by Sergio Rossi and jewelry by Fred Leighton and Bulgari. At the 78th Academy Awards ceremony in 2006, she wore a long flowing dress by Michael Kors, which led to a potentially embarrassing moment when she tripped over it and almost fell while walking out on stage to present the award for Best Sound Editing. She did not fall, but lost her balance, and jokingly commented, "I do my own stunts!" In addition to the Michael Kors dress, Garner's 2006 Academy Awards outfit also featured over $1,200,000 worth of diamond jewelry. This included a pair of Fred Leighton chandelier-style diamond earrings worth $250,000, for which she had to have her ears temporarily re-pierced especially a few weeks before the ceremony. Her most recent Academy Awards appearance was at the 80th Academy Awards in 2008, where she wore a simple black dress by Oscar de la Renta, with jewelry by Van Cleef and Arpels.

Current style

As of early 2009, Garner continues to dress conservatively in her private life, in complete contrast to many other celebrities, and is perfectly happy to be seen out and about in quite plain and practical clothes. This has led to her being criticized by a number of celebrity gossip websites, while others see her as the perfect counter to certain other high-profile celebrities who will only be seen in public wearing nothing but major designer labels.

In late January 2009, shortly after the birth of her second child, Garner and her older sister, Melissa, both had their ears pierced during a visit to a medical center in Santa Monicamarker, Californiamarker.


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Zoya Sasha aka Danielle Steel's Zoya
1996 Harvest of Fire Sarah Troyer TV Movie
Dead Man's Walk Clara Forsythe aka Larry McMurtry's Dead Man's Walk
Swift Justice Allison One Episode – "No Holds Barred"
Law & Order Jaime One Episode – "Aftershock"
Spin City Becky One Episode – "The Competition"
1997 In Harm's Way Kelly
The Player Celia Levison TV Movie
Rose Hill Mary Rose Clayborne TV Movie
Deconstructing Harry Woman in Elevator
'Washington Square Marian Almond
Mr. Magoo Stacey Sampanahodrita
1998 1999 Annabell aka Girls & Boys
Felicity Hannah Bibb 1998–2002 (3 episodes)
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York Diane Agostini
Time of Your Life Romy Sullivan 1999–2001 (19 episodes)
2000 Dude, Where's My Car? Wanda
2001 Pearl Harbor Nurse Sandra aka Pearl Harbour
Rennie's Landing Kiley Bradshaw aka Stealing Time
Alias Sydney Bristow 2001–2006 (105 Episodes)
Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Drama
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Teen Choice Awards for Television - Choice Actress
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television (2004, 2005, 2006)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress - Drama Series (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Drama (2003, 2004, 2005)
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2003, 2004, 2005)
Nominated – Television Critics Association for Individual Achievement in Drama
Nominated – Teen Choice Awards for Choice Television Actress - Drama

2002 Catch Me If You Can Cheryl Ann Cameo Role
2003 Daredevil Elektra Natchios MTV Movie Awards for Breakthrough Female Performance
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Ben Affleck)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Chemistry (shared with Ben Affleck)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress - Drama/Action Adventure
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Breakout Star - Female

2004 13 Going on 30 Jenna Rink Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Performance (shared with Mark Ruffalo)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Chemistry (shared with Mark Ruffalo)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Blush
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress - Comedy
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Hissy Fit
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liplock

2005 Elektra Elektra Natchios Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Natassia Malthe)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure/Thriller
2006 Catch and Release Gray
2007 The Kingdom Janet Mayes aka Operation: Kingdom
Juno Vanessa Loring Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress
2009 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past Jenny Perotti
The Invention of Lying Anna
Be with You Alice Higgins Announced
2010 Valentine's Day Julia Berlison filming


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