Birthdate: July 24, 1969
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Jennifer Lopez, AKA J.Lo (birthname: Jennifer Lynn Lopez), has cut as wide and varied a showbiz path as any single American performer. Not content with singing and dancing, Lopez has acted in a diverse range of movies, from Steven Soderbergh’s contemporary classic, Out of Sight (1998), to popular rom-coms like The Wedding Planner (2001) to dramas like Hustlers (2019), which scored Lopez a best-supporting award or runner-up from prestigious film critics organizations such as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Society of Film Critics.
Jennifer Lopez has also played a significant role as a producer, closely selecting her movie roles and projects, and setting a mold that has been imitated by other female stars such as Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, thus extending movie careers for women whose filmographies would typically thin out or vanish by the time they reached their 40s and 50s.
Jennifer Lopez’s movie career properly began in 1995 with a supporting role in the action movie, Money Train, with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. In her third feature, Lopez was directed by Francis Ford Coppola in Jack (1996), with Robin Williams and Diane Lane, and then by writer-director Bob Rafelson in the noir drama, Blood and Wine (1997), with Jack Nicholson, Judy Davis, and Michael Caine.
Her breakthrough as a movie star came soon after, with the 1997 release of Gregory Nava’s music biopic, Selena, chronicling the rise and tragic end of Tejano mega-star Selena Quintanilla. The busy year for Jennifer Lopez continued with Luis Llosa’s over-the-top chiller and sleeper hit, Anaconda, with Owen Wilson, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, and Eric Stoltz, and Oliver Stone’s superb crime thriller, U-Turn, with Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, Voight, and Nick Nolte.
Jennifer Lopez was in the midst of what, in retrospect, was her most interesting and engaging period as a movie star, when she joined director Steven Soderbergh for his peerless adaptation (with screenwriter Scott Frank) of Elmore Leonard’s classic crime novel, Out of Sight (1998), with George Clooney, Ving Rhames, and Don Cheadle. For the first, and perhaps only, time, Lopez was able in Out of Sight to combine her skills playing a tough cop (one of her most convincing types) with adult romantic comedy alongside the dashing Clooney, and with a single stroke, she expanded the universe of casting options for Latina female actors.
Although it proved a box-office disappointment at the time, the movie has probably proven to have the longest shelf life of any of Jennifer Lopez’s movies. After a vocal performance in the hit animated comedy, Antz (1998), and a co-starring turn in Tarsem Singh’s fantastic art film, The Cell (2000), with Vince Vaughn and Vincent D’Onofrio, Lopez launched a lucrative string of rom-coms, starting with the huge hit comedy, The Wedding Planner (2001), with Matthew McConaughey, tallying a hefty worldwide gross of nearly $95 million.
Despite the commercial success, Jennifer Lopez earned her first of several Razzie Award nominations as Worst Actress. Other rom-coms included hits like Maid in Manhattan (2002), with Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson, Peter Chesom’s Shall We Dance? (2004), with Richard Gere, and Monster-in-Law (2005), with Jane Fonda; as well as box-office disasters like Martin Brest’s Gigli (2003), with Ben Affleck, frequently ranked among the worst movies ever made, and inconsequential entertainments such as the dreadful Mark Anthony vanity project, El Cantante (2006), What to Expect When You’re Expecting (2012), with Cameron Diaz and Elizabeth Banks, and action dramas like Parker (2013), with Jason Statham, and Peter Segal’s Second Act (2018), with Leah Remini and Vanessa Hudgens.
Requiring a serious boost to the movie side of her robust career (including multiple platinum recordings as a singer), Jennifer Lopez brought to the screen as producer-star in the Wild and Wooly true-crime thriller, Hustlers (2019), with Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lizzo and Cardi B, scoring rave reviews, a worldwide box office total of $158 million and a score of industry and critical organization nominations and awards.
In 2022, Jennifer Lopez starred in the rom-com Marry Me, with her frequent co-star Owen Wilson; Niki Caro’s thriller, The Mother, with Joseph Fiennes; and the comedy, Shotgun Wedding, with Josh Duhamel, Sonia Braga, Jennifer Coolidge, and Lenny Kravitz.
Bronx-born Jennifer Lopez was raised by computer specialist father David Lopez and mother Lupe Lopez. Her sisters are journalists Lynda Lopez and Leslie Scholl. After attending Holy Family grade school, Lopez attended and graduated from Preston High School, a Bronx-based all-girls prep school. She enrolled at New York City’s Baruch College and then dropped out. Lopez was married to Ojani Noa from 1997 to 1998; she was then married to Cris Judd from 2001 to 2003; her third marriage was to Marc Anthony, from 2004 to 2014.
Jennifer Lopez has two children with Marc Anthony, Max, and Emme Muniz. Her multiple relationships include Sean “Diddy” Combs (1999-2001), former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez (engaged from 2019 to 2021), and Ben Affleck, to whom she was engaged from 2002 to 2004, then broke it off, only to renew their engagement in 2022. Her height is 5’ 4½”. Jennifer Lopez’s estimated net worth is $400 million.
Arrest Record: Jennifer Lopez was arrested with then-boyfriend Sean “Diddy” Combs in connection to a nightclub shooting, and possession of a stolen firearm. Charges against Lopez were dropped.
Dolls: Lopez has two Barbie dolls made in her likeness.
Training: Jennifer Lopez is famed for her hard-core training and preparation, including three months’ training in Krav Maga for her role in Enough, and months of pole dance training for Hustlers.
Young Teacher: Lopez had become so skilled in ballet, flamenco, and jazz dancing by the time she was in high school that she was teaching dance to younger students, including Kerry Washington.