Date and Place of Birth
April 17, 1972
Houston, Texas, USA

Birth Name
Jennifer Anne Garner


5' 9'' (1.75 m)

Star Sign

Violet Anne (2005) • Seraphina Rose Elizabeth (2009) • Samuel (2012)
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Jennifer Anne Garner was born on April 17, 1972, in Houston, Texas, but moved to Charleston, West Virginia at age three. Her father, William John Garner, worked as a chemical engineer for Union Carbide; her mother, Patricia Ann English, was a homemaker and later an English teacher at a local college. She has two sisters. Garner has described herself as a typical middle child who sought to differentiate herself from her accomplished older sister. While Garner did not grow up in a politically active household, her father was "very conservative" and her mother "quietly blue". She attended a local United Methodist Church every Sunday and went to Vacation Bible School. As teenagers, she and her sisters were not allowed to wear makeup, paint their nails, pierce their ears, or dye their hair; she has joked that her family's "take on the world" was "practically Amish".

She attended George Washington High School in Charleston. In 1990, Garner enrolled at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she changed her major from chemistry to theater and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. She spent the fall semester of 1993 studying at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. During college summers, she worked summer stock theatre. In 1994, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater performance.

As a college student, Garner performed in summer stock theatre. In addition to performing, Garner helped sell tickets, build sets, and clean the venues. She worked at the Timber Lake Playhouse in Mount Carroll, Illinois, in 1992, the Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan, in 1993, and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1994. Garner moved to New York City in 1995. During her first year in the city, Garner earned $150 per week as an understudy for a Roundabout Theatre Company production of A Month in the Country and made her first on-screen appearance as Melissa Gilbert's daughter in the romance miniseries Zoya. In 1996, she played an Amish woman in the television movie Harvest of Fire and a shopkeeper in the Western miniseries Dead Man's Walk. She appeared in the independent short film In Harm's Way and made one-off appearances in Spin City, and the legal dramas Swift Justice and Law & Order. Garner also supplemented her income by working as a hostess at a restaurant on the Upper West Side.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1997, Garner gained her first leading role in the television film Rose Hill and made her first feature film appearance in the period drama Washington Square. She appeared in the comedy film Mr. Magoo, the independent drama 1999 and Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry, though most of her performance was cut from the film. In 1998, Garner appeared in an episode of Fantasy Island and was cast as a series regular in the Fox drama Significant Others, but Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly thought there was "no center" to the character as played by Garner. Fox canceled the series after airing three of six filmed episodes. Garner's most significant role of 1998 was in J. J. Abrams' college drama series Felicity. In 1999, Garner was cast as a series regular in another Fox drama series, Time of Your Life, but it was canceled midway through the first season. Also in 1999, she appeared in the miniseries Aftershock: Earthquake in New York and in two episodes of the action drama series The Pretender.

In 2001, Garner was cast as the star of the ABC action thriller series Alias. The show's creator, J. J. Abrams, wrote the part of Sydney Bristow with Garner in mind. Alias aired for five seasons from 2001 to 2006; Garner's salary began at $40,000 per episode and rose to $150,000 per episode by the series' end. During the show's run, Garner received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (from four nominations) and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (from two nominations), in addition to four nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. While Alias was airing, Garner continued to work in film intermittently.

In a 2002 episode of the action thriller series Alias, titled "Rendezvous", Garner sang a version of the song "Since I Fell For You", to which she wrote her own lyrics. She also sang "My Funny Valentine" when hosting a 2003 episode of the sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live, on which Beck was the musical guest; she was not credited for either performance. Garner was one of the fourteen actors, not generally known for singing, who participated in the compilation album Unexpected Dreams – Songs from the Stars, released on April 4, 2006, on which album she sang a solo version of "My Heart Is So Full Of You", from Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella; the original version had been a duet. Victor Garber, who she co-starred with in Alias, was another such actor on the same compilation album. In 2016, Garner sang "Doin' It (All for My Baby)" in the Garry Marshall comedy-drama Mother's Day, and in 2021, she interpreted the Four Tops's 1964 chart selection "Baby I Need Your Loving" in the family comedy Yes Day.

Garner's first leading film role, in the romantic comedy 13 Going on 30 (2004), was widely praised. She played a teenager who finds herself trapped in the body of a thirty-year-old. Garner chose Gary Winick to direct the film and they continued to look for other projects to do together until his death in 2011. Manohla Dargis of the Los Angeles Times found her to be "startling": "Whenever she's on screen you don't want to look anywhere else." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly called it an "utterly beguiling" performance, writing, "You can pinpoint the moment in it when Garner becomes a star." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post remarked: "Garner is clearly cut out to be America's next Sweetheart; she has the same magic mix of allure and accessibility that the job calls for." 13 Going on 30 grossed $96 million worldwide. Garner reprised the character of Elektra in the 2005 Daredevil spin-off film Elektra; it was a box office and critical failure. Claudia Puig of USA Today concluded that Garner "is far more appealing when she's playing charming and adorable, as she did so winningly in 13 Going on 30".

After a one-year break following the conclusion of Alias, her wedding to Affleck, and the birth of her first child, Garner returned to work in 2007. Her supporting role in Juno as a woman desperate to adopt a child was described by Kyle Buchanan of New York Magazine as a turning point in her career: "She came into the movie a steely figure, and left it as the mother you'd give your own child to ... Writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman expertly deploy Garner's innate humanity as a trump card." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly said Garner had never "been lovelier or more affecting". Also that same year, she played an FBI investigator in the action thriller The Kingdom. She was nursing her baby during filming in Arizona and was hospitalized on two occasions with heatstroke.

In late 2007 and early 2008, Garner played Roxanne to Kevin Kline's Cyrano de Bergerac at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway. In preparation for the role, Garner worked with vocal and movement coaches and took French lessons. Ben Brantley of The New York Times described her performance as "captivating": "Ms. Garner, I am pleased to report, makes Roxane a girl worth pining over ... [She] speaks Anthony Burgess's peppery rhymed translation with unaffected sprightliness. If she's a tad stilted in the big tragic finale, her comic timing is impeccable." The New Yorker's theater critic was impressed by her "feistiness" and "lightness of comic touch". The play was recorded before a live audience and aired on PBS in 2008. In 2007, Garner became a spokesperson of skin care brand Neutrogena.

In 2009, Garner became an artist ambassador for Save the Children USA, promoting national literacy, nutrition, and early education efforts. Since 2014, Garner has served on the board of trustees for the organization, advocating for early childhood education. As an ambassador, she frequently visits with families involved in the organization's Early Steps to School Success program, which coaches families to help children learn in the early years.

In 2011, Garner partnered with Frigidaire as part of her work with Save the Children. In 2013, Garner took her eldest daughter Violet to a Save the Children gala in New York: "My husband and I have never taken our kids to a public event before, but I brought my daughter Violet, because ... I want her to see the passionate commitment Mark Shriver and Hillary Clinton have to make the world a better place for everyone." In 2014, she joined the Invest in Us campaign. In 2015, she appeared in A Path Appears, a PBS documentary that focuses on rural poverty among children in West Virginia.

In July 2023, it was revealed that Garner would reprise her role as Elektra in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Deadpool 3, scheduled to be released on May 3, 2024.

Garner has campaigned for laws to protect her children from paparazzi, stating in 2013: "There's an idea that because our pictures are everywhere that we are complicit in it. When really what happens is they're waiting outside our door every single day." In August 2013, Garner testified before the California Assembly Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that would protect celebrities' children from harassment by photographers. Her six-year-old daughter made a speech about her personal experiences at a private event in support of the bill. The bill passed in September 2013 and is now California law. While photographs of children may still be taken, behavior which "seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes" children is illegal, as is "lying in wait" outside their various activities. In 2014, her then-husband Affleck argued in favor of a United Kingdom-style system, where "you have to blur out the face[s]" of minor children in published photographs. In 2014, Garner spoke in support of the "No Kids" policy, which was adopted by many media organizations and forbids publication of photos of celebrities' children. She described the paparazzi interest as "gross": "Our hope is maybe our kids won't be so recognizable in a few years."

In 2019, Garner reflected on "a solid decade where there were five or six cars minimum, and easily up to 15 or 20 on the weekends, outside of my house at all times". While she said the situation had improved since the legislation was passed, she noted that "seven or eight" photographers still regularly wait outside her children's school to photograph them from a distance and that she sometimes requires police assistance when they get too close.

Garner and John Foraker co-founded the organic, fresh baby food company Once Upon a Farm in 2018; Garner is also the company's chief brand officer. In 2019, Once Upon a Farm became the first refrigerated baby food available to WIC-eligible families.

In partnership with Save the Children, Garner and her team remain dedicated to bringing 'A Million Meals' to children across America in food insecure communities.

Garner met co-star Scott Foley on the set of Felicity in 1998. They married in a ceremony at their home on October 19, 2000. The pair separated in March 2003. Garner filed for divorce in May 2003, citing irreconcilable differences, and divorce papers were signed in March 2004. She dated her Alias co-star Michael Vartan from August 2003 to mid-2004.

Garner began dating Ben Affleck in August 2004, having established a friendship on the sets of Pearl Harbor (2001) and Daredevil (2003). They married on June 29, 2005, in a private Turks and Caicos ceremony. Victor Garber, who officiated the ceremony, and his (later) husband, Rainer Andreesen, were the only guests. Garner and Affleck have three children together: two daughters, Violet Anne Affleck (born in 2005) and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck (born in 2009), and one son, Samuel Garner Affleck (born in 2012). The couple announced their intention to divorce in June 2015, and jointly filed legal documents in April 2017, seeking joint physical and legal custody of their children. The divorce was finalized in October 2018. Garner supported Affleck's struggles with alcoholism during and after their marriage and has credited Al-Anon with changing "the dance" of their relationship.

She dated businessman John C. Miller from mid-2018 to early 2020. The couple resumed their relationship in April 2021.

Although Garner stopped attending church regularly after moving to Los Angeles, her three children were baptized as members of the United Methodist Church in her hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. In 2015, she and her family began attending weekly Methodist church services in Los Angeles.

This biography has been put together with info from IMDb and Wikipedia