Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck is a famous American actor, director, and filmmaker, born on August 15, 1972. He’s won many big awards like the Oscars, BAFTAs, and Golden Globes.

As a kid, he was on a PBS show called The Voyage of the Mimi. Then he got into movies, starting with a comedy called Dazed and Confused in 1993. You might also know him from Kevin Smith’s movies like Chasing Amy.

But the big breakthrough came when he and his buddy Matt Damon wrote and acted in Good Will Hunting, winning an Oscar for their script. After that, Affleck starred in a bunch of big movies like Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, and The Sum of All Fears.

He had a bit of a rough patch but bounced back with Hollywoodland in 2006, where he played George Reeves. Then he started directing movies, with his debut Gone Baby Gone getting a lot of praise. He followed it up with hits like The Town and Argo which won him more Oscars.

Affleck also played Batman in some movies and starred in other thrillers like Gone Girl and The Accountant. Plus, he’s involved in charity work, co-founding the Eastern Congo Initiative and he’s into politics, supporting the Democratic Party.

Full NameBenjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt
Date of BirthAugust 15, 1972
Place of BirthBerkeley, California, USA
OccupationActor, Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Height6 ft 2 in (1.89 m)
SpouseJennifer Lopez (m. 2022), 
Jennifer Garner (m. 2005–2018)
ChildrenViolet Affleck
Net Worth$150 million

Ben Affleck’s Early Life and Education

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck was born in Berkeley, California, on August 15, 1972. When he was three, his family moved to Massachusetts, where he grew up with his brother Casey. Their mom, Christopher Anne “Chris” Boldt was a teacher, and their dad, Timothy Byers Affleck tried his hand at various jobs but struggled with alcoholism. Affleck’s childhood was tough because his dad drank a lot and their parents eventually divorced when he was 11. His dad’s drinking problem got worse, and he ended up homeless for a while.

When Affleck was 16, his dad went to rehab in California and stayed there for twelve years to get better. Meanwhile, Affleck and his brother grew up in a household where they were encouraged to explore the arts. They often went to see plays and were even allowed to make their home movies. Affleck started acting professionally when he was just seven years old.

In high school, Affleck was into acting thanks to his drama teacher Gerry Speca. He also became close friends with Matt Damon who shared his passion for acting. They even traveled to New York together for auditions. Affleck wasn’t the best student academically but he had high SAT scores. He tried going to college in Vermont but left after a basketball injury.

At 18, Affleck moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full-time. He briefly studied Middle Eastern affairs at Occidental College but eventually focused solely on his acting career.

Career

1981–1997: Child Acting and Good Will Hunting

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck started acting when he was just a kid, but not because his family pushed him into it for money or fame. He got his first break in a movie called The Dark End of the Street when he was only seven, and he did some work on a TV show for kids called The Voyage of the Mimi when he was a bit older.

As he got older he tried different acting gigs like being in a TV movie and even a Burger King commercial. After he finished high school he went to New York to try and find more acting jobs. Then, when he was studying at Occidental College in Los Angeles he started making his movies.

But acting was tough for him at first. He mostly got small roles in movies and TV shows. One of his early big roles was in the movie Dazed and Confused where he played a bully. Even though he was big and intimidating the director thought he was a good fit for the part because he was smart and full of energy.

His career started to take off when he got a lead role in a movie called Chasing Amy. Critics liked his performance saying he was charming and funny. He also got praise for his role in Going All the Way.

Then, in 1997, everything changed for Ben Affleck when he co-wrote and acted in a movie called Good Will Hunting. He and his friend Matt Damon wrote the screenplay together drawing from their own experiences growing up. It was a big success winning them an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Affleck was just 25 years old making him the youngest person ever to win that award.

This was a turning point in his career and he describes it as a dream come true. He went on to have a successful career in Hollywood both as an actor and a director.

1998–2002: Leading man status

Ben Affleck’s career trajectory during the late 1990s and early 2000s was quite varied with notable successes and some critical receptions that were less favorable.

In Armageddon (1998), despite initial doubts from director Michael Bay, Affleck’s performance alongside Bruce Willis earned him recognition as a leading man. However, he underwent physical transformations and changes to his appearance before filming began.

His supporting role in Shakespeare in Love (1998) alongside then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow showcased his comedic talents earning praise from critics. This was followed by roles in Phantoms (1998) and Dogma (1999) where he reunited with childhood friend Matt Damon in Kevin Smith’s religious satire.

Affleck continued to demonstrate his versatility with roles in romantic comedies like Forces of Nature (1999) and ensemble comedies such as 200 Cigarettes (1999). His interest in directing led him to shadow director John Frankenheimer during the production of Reindeer Games (2000).

In Pearl Harbor (2001), directed by Michael Bay, Affleck’s performance faced criticism for lacking emotional depth. He later appeared in comedies like Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Daddy and Them (2001), as well as the thriller Changing Lanes (2002), which was noted for his nuanced portrayal.

Alongside his acting career, Affleck became increasingly involved in television and film production. He co-founded production companies like Pearl Street Films and LivePlanet which aimed to integrate the internet into entertainment production. Projects like Project Greenlight (2001-2005) received critical acclaim, while others like the ABC series Push, Nevada (2002) faced challenges with ratings.

Despite some ups and downs in his acting career and production ventures, Affleck’s dedication to both his craft and the industry’s evolution through innovative projects underscores his versatility and commitment to storytelling.

2003–2005: Career downturn and tabloid notoriety

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck was already famous in the gossip magazines, but in 2003, things went into overdrive because of his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. By the end of that year, everyone was talking about him all the time. This attention wasn’t all positive though. Critics didn’t like a bunch of the movies he was in.

First, there was Daredevil, where he played a blind superhero. Affleck loved comics, so he was excited about it. The movie made money, but critics weren’t thrilled. They said he didn’t fit the role well except for when he was with Jon Favreau another actor in the movie.

Then there was Gigli, a romantic comedy where he starred with Jennifer Lopez. People hated it. Critics said Affleck couldn’t save the bad script. Some even said it reminded them how bad both he and Lopez were at acting.

After that, he was in Paycheck, a sci-fi thriller. Critics were a bit kinder this time saying he had a likable quality but they wondered why he couldn’t find better movies.

In 2004, he was in Jersey Girl, a romantic comedy where he played a grieving husband. Critics still didn’t like him much. They said his talent was going downhill, especially with all the attention from the gossip columns.

Later that year, he was in Surviving Christmas, a holiday comedy. Critics thought the movie used his unlikable qualities well for his character, but still, it wasn’t a hit.

By this point, Ben Affleck was feeling the pressure. He felt like he was only getting bad scripts, and the negative attention was getting to him. So, he decided to take a break from acting.

Some articles talked about how his career was struggling, but not everyone was happy about it. Even though critics and gossip magazines were tough on him, not many people in the industry were celebrating his problems.

2006–2015: Emergence as a director

Ben Affleck made a big comeback in 2006 when he starred as George Reeves the actor who played Superman in a movie called Hollywoodland. Critics loved his performance, saying he showed a lot of skill and emotion, even though some people had doubted him before. He got some awards and nominations for it too. That same year, he showed up in a small part in the movie Clerks II, a not-so-popular movie called Man About Town, and a crime movie called Smokin’ Aces.

In 2007, Affleck directed his first movie called Gone Baby Gone. It’s about a guy looking for a missing kid in a poor neighborhood in Boston. Critics liked it, saying it was sensitive and well-made.

Even though Affleck wanted to focus more on directing, he acted in a few movies in 2009. He was in a romantic comedy called He’s Just Not That Into You, a thriller called State of Play, and a comedy called Extract. People had mixed opinions about his acting in these movies.

In 2010, Ben Affleck starred in a movie called The Company Men, where he played a guy dealing with losing his job during the financial crisis. Critics said he did a great job.

After Gone Baby Gone did okay at the box office, Warner Bros. liked working with Affleck and let him pick which movies he wanted to make with them. He chose to direct a crime movie called The Town, where he also played a bank robber. It did well and critics praised his directing skills.

Next, Affleck directed and starred in a movie called Argo in 2012. It’s about a plan to rescue some diplomats in Iran by pretending to make a movie. Everyone loved it, and it won a bunch of awards.

In 2013, Ben Affleck acted in a movie called To the Wonder directed by Terrence Malick, where he played a romantic lead. Critics liked his performance. He also starred in a thriller called Runner Runner, which didn’t do so great.

In 2014, Affleck put off directing a movie so he could star in Gone Girl, a thriller directed by David Fincher. Critics loved his performance, saying he was perfect for the role.

In 2015, Affleck’s show Project Greenlight came back for one season on HBO.

2016–2019: Batman and continued directing

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2016, Ben Affleck surprised many by taking on the role of Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Some folks scratched their heads at the decision, but Ben’s performance got a thumbs-up from critics. They liked his grumpy yet charismatic portrayal. He made a short appearance as Batman in Suicide Squad the same year. Ben also starred in The Accountant as an accountant with autism, which did surprisingly well at the box office. Critics thought his laid-back style suited the role.

There was talk in 2016 about Ben directing and starring in a movie based on an Agatha Christie story, but it never happened. His movie Live by Night didn’t do so hot. Critics weren’t too thrilled, though they did praise some action scenes. Ben and his buddy Matt Damon did a live reading of Good Will Hunting in 2016. Ben returned as Batman in Justice League in 2017, but making the movie was tough. The original director had to leave, there were complaints about how the replacement director treated people, and Ben was dealing with personal issues.

In 2018, Ben Affleck was set to direct a movie about a McDonald’s Monopoly fraud, but it got stuck in development because of a big company merger. Ben didn’t work in 2017 due to struggling with alcoholism. He dropped out of directing and starring in The Batman because he couldn’t get into it anymore. Filming for Triple Frontier was pushed back because of his health issues. When it came out, some critics thought they could see the personal struggles in his performance. He made a small appearance in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot in 2019 and played a diplomat in The Last Thing He Wanted, which didn’t get great reviews.

But in 2020, Ben’s performance as a recovering alcoholic in The Way Back got a lot of praise. It hit close to home for him, as he had struggled with alcoholism in real life. Critics thought his performance was subtle and authentic. The movie was released early for on-demand viewing because of the pandemic. Ben was nominated for Best Actor at the Critics’ Choice Awards for it. In 2021, there was a new version of Justice League with a scene featuring Ben.

2020–present: Supporting roles and Artists Equity

Ben Affleck had smaller roles in two movies in 2021. In one called The Last Duel, he played a rich guy named Peter II. He also helped write the script for that movie. Critics liked his performance, saying he was good at playing a sleazy character. In another movie called The Tender Bar, he played a substitute dad. People thought he did a great job and even got nominated for some awards.

In 2021, there was talk that Affleck would direct a movie based on a fantasy book for kids, but we haven’t heard any updates since then.

In 2022, Affleck and Ana de Armas were in a movie called Deep Water, but it got bad reviews. Critics said Affleck was good at playing a certain type of character. He also had a small role in a movie called Clerks III.

Ben Affleck’s fifth movie as a director, Air, premiered in 2023 and people loved it. It’s about Nike signing Michael Jordan. Affleck played a smaller role in it. This movie is special because it’s the first one from Affleck and his friend Matt Damon’s new company, Artists Equity. They want to share the profits with everyone involved. Affleck plans to only work for this company in the future.

He was in another movie in 2023 called Hypnotic, where he played a detective. Plus, he had a quick appearance as Batman in The Flash. He was also supposed to be in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, but his scenes got cut.

In late 2023, Artists Equity partnered with Chris Hemsworth’s production company. In early 2024, it was announced that Affleck would direct another movie a crime thriller starring Matt Damon which is set to start filming soon.

Philanthropy

Eastern Congo Initiative

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

After going to the area between 2007 and early 2010, Ben Affleck and Whitney Williams started a charity called Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010. The charity helps groups in Congo by giving them money and resources. It also trains and supports Congolese farmers’ groups, and works with companies like Theo Chocolate and Starbucks. Their goal is to make people in the United States more aware of issues in Congo and to change government policies.

Ben Affleck has written articles about problems in eastern Congo for big newspapers like the Washington Post, Politico, the Huffington Post, Time, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He has also been on discussion panels at events like the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Global Philanthropy Forum, and the Clinton Global Initiative. When he’s visited Washington D.C., Affleck has talked to government committees about Africa, global health, human rights, and foreign relations.

Other charitable causes

Ben Affleck cares about helping sick kids. He met a boy named Joe Kindregan while working on a movie in 1998. Joe had a rare disease called ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). Ben became friends with Joe and his family. He started raising money to help kids like Joe.

In 2001, Ben and Joe talked to government leaders about why it’s important to support medical research. They wanted more money for research on diseases like A-T. Ben even spoke at Joe’s high school graduation!

Joe got to be in one of Ben’s movies as a background actor. On Joe’s 25th birthday, Ben and his wife Jennifer Garner matched donations to help kids with A-T.

Ben also cares about helping soldiers. He visited troops in different places like the Persian Gulf and Germany. He supports charities that help veterans and sends them messages of support.

Ben Affleck is also passionate about fighting hunger. He works with a group called Feeding America to give food to people who need it. He’s visited food banks and spoken at events to raise awareness. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he organized a poker tournament to raise money for Feeding America.

In addition to these causes, Ben helps homeless people in Los Angeles and Atlanta. He volunteers his time and gives money to charities that support them.

Political views

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck describes himself as moderately liberal and comes from a family that strongly supports unions. He has been involved in various social and political causes over the years.

In 2000, he spoke at Harvard University in favor of higher wages for workers, inspired by his father’s work as a janitor there. He later supported a living wage campaign and advocated for an increase in the minimum wage. Affleck has also been vocal about supporting unionization efforts, particularly for low-paid workers.

He is pro-choice and believes strongly in reproductive rights, supporting campaigns like Draw the Line.

Ben Affleck has long been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, speaking out against discrimination and appearing in campaigns supporting the LGBTQ+ community.

He has spoken against nuclear terrorism and criticized the use of the Patriot Act for its impact on civil liberties. Affleck has also expressed his views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his support for a more progressive approach.

Affleck has criticized tax cuts for the wealthy and has supported campaigns for affordable healthcare for all Americans.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, he condemned prejudice and conspiracy theories against Barack Obama. He has also defended individuals like Huma Abedin against anti-Muslim attacks.

Ben Affleck supports gun rights but has expressed discomfort with his past involvement with firearms in light of tragedies involving guns.

He has been active in environmental causes, supporting alternative energy initiatives and speaking out about climate change. However, he has admitted he’s not perfect when it comes to being environmentally friendly.

Affleck has been a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party and has campaigned for several Democratic candidates over the years, including Al Gore, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden.

Despite rumors and speculation, Affleck has denied any political ambitions and has emphasized the need for campaign finance reform.

In 2023, he signed a letter calling for a ceasefire during the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, showing his continued engagement in global issues.

Personal life

Relationship with Jennifer Garner

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were married for a long time, from 2005 to 2018. They started dating in 2004 after meeting on movie sets. They got married in a small ceremony in Turks and Caicos in 2005, with only a few people attending.

During their marriage, they had three kids: Violet, born in 2005, Fin, born in 2009, and Samuel, born in 2012. In 2015, they announced they were separating but still lived together until 2017. They officially filed for divorce in 2017 and got divorced in 2018.

Ben Affleck has talked about how hard the divorce was for him. He regrets it a lot and says it was a painful experience, even though they tried to handle it well.

Ben doesn’t like the paparazzi taking pictures of him and his family, especially at their home. He thinks it’s invasive, especially for their kids. In 2013, they even supported a law to protect celebrities’ kids from paparazzi. Even though the law passed, paparazzi still bother them, sometimes even at their kids’ school.

Ben has also spoken about the dangers of paparazzi attention, mentioning a stalker Jennifer had. The stalker was arrested in 2009 while trying to blend in with paparazzi outside their daughter’s school. He was ruled insane and ordered to stay away from the family for 10 years if released.

Relationship with Jennifer Lopez

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez were together from 2002 to 2004. They met while working on a movie called Gigli in December 2001 and started dating in July 2002, right after Lopez filed for divorce from her second husband. Their relationship was all over the news, and people called them Bennifer. They even appeared in Lopez’s music video and a movie together. Lopez even dedicated an album to Affleck. They got engaged in November 2002 but canceled their wedding in 2003 because of too much attention from the media. They broke up in January 2004.

Even after they broke up, Affleck and Lopez stayed friendly. Lopez said their breakup was tough, partly because of all the media attention. Affleck thought some of the media coverage was unfair and rooted in prejudice. He said they made mistakes by being too open about their relationship.

After almost 20 years, Ben Affleck and Lopez started dating again in April 2021 and got engaged for the second time in April 2022. They got married in Las Vegas in July 2022 and had a bigger celebration later. Affleck is now a stepfather to Lopez’s twins.

Other relationships

Ben Affleck and Paltrow started dating in 1997 after meeting at a fancy dinner. They even worked together on a movie called Shakespeare in Love. They broke up in 1999 but got back together later. However, they split again in 2000. In 2015, Paltrow said they were still friends.

After that, Affleck dated a TV producer named Lindsay Shookus who lived far away in New York. They were together from 2017 to 2018, with a short reunion in 2019. Shookus worked at Saturday Night Live, a show Affleck has hosted multiple times.

Then, in 2019, Affleck met Ana de Armas while filming Deep Water. They were together from 2020 to 2021.

Health

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck deals with a lot. He’s got anxiety and depression and he’s been taking medication for it since he was 26. Plus, he’s struggled with alcoholism. He’s been in recovery and has been attending meetings to stay on track. Addiction runs in his family too – his grandparents and uncle had alcohol problems, and his aunt dealt with heroin addiction. Even his dad had issues, which led Ben to attend support meetings as a kid.

Ben’s troubles with alcohol started when he was just fifteen. His mom sent him to a wilderness camp for troubled teens, and later he got sober in his mid-twenties. But staying sober wasn’t easy. He went to rehab a few times, had some ups and downs, and even had a public slip-up in 2019 after over a year of staying clean.

He’s been open about his struggles, especially when he was promoting a movie about an alcoholic. But now he’s trying to move past it and doesn’t want to be defined by his addiction. He even advises other actors to keep their battles private if they can.

Professional gambling

In 2004, Ben Affleck scored big at the California State Poker Championship, pocketing $356,400 as the top prize. This win also earned him a spot in the final tournament of the 2004 World Poker Tour. During the mid-2000s, Affleck, along with other famous faces like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, joined Molly Bloom’s high-stakes poker games.

However, in 2014, Affleck faced some trouble at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. His winning streak at blackjack raised suspicions that he might be counting cards, a strategy frowned upon by casinos even though it’s technically legal. As a result, he was asked to stop playing blackjack there.

Despite rumors in the tabloids, Affleck has denied having a gambling addiction multiple times.

Awards

Ben Affleck Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Ben Affleck has been in more than 50 movies and won lots of awards in his career as an actor, writer, and director. He became famous for writing Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon and won big awards like the Golden Globe and the Academy Award when he was just 25. He also got nominated for Golden Globes for acting in Hollywoodland and The Tender Bar.

Then, he directed, co-produced, and acted in the movie Argo in 2012. That movie won him a bunch of awards too, like the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Directors Guild Award for Best Director, as well as the Golden Globe, BAFTA, the Producers Guild Award, and the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Net Worth

Ben Affleck’s Net Worth is estimated to be $150 Million as of 2024, according to Celebrity Net Worth.