Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher

Christopher Ashton Kutcher was born in Cedar Rapids, IA, the son of factory workers Diane and Larry Kutcher. He had a twin brother, Michael, who had cerebral palsy and an emergency heart transplant at the age of 13, as well as an older sister named Tausha. A dedicated athlete, Kutcher was a first-rate football player, but also made time to star in plays at Washington High School. After his family moved to Tiffin, IA, the Clear Creek-Amana High School student was arrested and convicted of third-degree burglary during his senior year after he and his cousin broke into his school. He received three years of probation and 180 hours of community service for the prank gone awry. His high school troublemaking days led Kutcher to the University of Iowa, where he majored in biochemical engineering, motivated to find a cure for his twin's heart ailment. His college career seemed like a nonstop party that left him constantly broke, yet Kutcher found several ways to make ends meet, including donating blood as well as working at a General Mills plant where he swept cereal off the floor. His luck changed when he was recruited by a modeling agent after being spotted at a local bar and entered in the "Fresh Faces of Iowa" competition, where he won a first place trip to New York City's International Modeling and Talent Association Convention in 1997. Even though he lost the title at the IMTA competition to another future heartthrob - model-turned-actor Josh Duhamel - Kutcher signed a contract with the Next modeling agency in New York, where he modeled for Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch, and worked the runways of Paris and Milan.In 1998, he flew to Los Angeles during pilot season to test for two TV shows on the same day. One was for an hour-long NBC drama; the other for a Fox series set in 1976 Wisconsin. Unbelievably, the acting newbie booked the latter and joined the cast of "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006), playing floppy-haired Michael Kelso, a clownish and lovable character that reflected public opinion of Kutcher's charisma as well as his perceived limitations. The airhead routine landed the actor his first big screen role opposite fellow goofball hunk Seann William Scott in the charmingly stupid, "Dude, Where's My Car?" (2000), in which the two played stoners who battle alien vixens, ostriches and Fabio in an escalating series of misadventures. Starring on a hit TV show and in a big screen comedy turned Kutcher into one of Hollywood's most sought after bachelors virtually overnight. He briefly dated January Jones, Ashley Scott and Monet Mazur, but sparks flew when he met Brittany Murphy on the set of their romantic comedy, "Just Married" (2003). The stars flirted and fell in love while making the comedy about newlyweds on a European honeymoon from hell. The couple's incessant public displays of affection sparked rumors they secretly got married in the middle of promoting the movie, but all that was squashed when they broke up the same year for reasons never divulged. At the same time his love life had become the media's main focus, Kutcher popped up in a fun cameo in the Steve Martin/Hilary Duff family hit, "Cheaper by the Dozen" (2003). The combined impressive box office gross of all these films - including his shockingly dark, time-traveling dramatic debut "The Butterfly Effect" (2004) - helped Kutcher get his own production company, Katalyst Films. In the middle of his feature film hits and regular appearance on "That '70s Show," the actor managed to squeeze in a new TV project in 2003 titled "Punk'd" (MTV, 2003-07). The reality show Kutcher wrote and produced centered on playing elaborate pranks on dozens of celebrities he was personally friendly with, including Justin Timberlake, Jessica Alba and Britney Spears. It was a massive hit for the music network, and the trucker hat-wearing actor became the creator of a new slang word for practical jokes: "Punk'd."Everyone thought Kutcher had just "Punk'd" the entire country when he attended the premiere of "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (2003) walking hand in hand with 16-years-older girlfriend Demi Moore, her ex-husband Bruce Willis, and their three teenage daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. The uncommonly harmonious clan made headlines, with Kutcher becoming the overnight target of tabloids and "sugar mama" punch lines. The relationship was far from a prank, however, as the two tied the knot after two years of dating - approved of by Moore's ex, Willis - on Sept. 24, 2005 in a private ceremony held in the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles. Kutcher often declared his happiness, stating in interviews that the age difference had not posed a problem for the couple and that he loved being a stepfather to three girls he was closer to in age than to his new wife, calling Moore "the greatest gift I could get." He went on to make more movies, forgettable fare like "Guess Who" (2005) (a remake of the 1967 Sidney Poitier classic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?") and "A Lot Like Love" (2005) with Amanda Peet. That same year, he lost the lead role in "Elizabethtown" (2005) to Orlando Bloom because Cameron Crowe wanted a theater-trained actor for the part of Drew Baylor. Nonetheless, Kutcher made a bigger splash with several of his entrepreneurial ventures, investing in trendy Los Angeles eateries such as Dolce and Geisha House.In 2008, Kutcher turned his "Punk'd" philosophy towards the tabloids and paparazzi that followed him throughout his career and personal life by creating the short-lived show "Pop Fiction" (E! Entertainment, 2008) where this time celebrities pulled the pranks on the unsuspecting public and ever-present paparazzi. He also served as one of the executive producers of the short-lived but critically welcomed Judy Greer sitcom, "Miss Guided" (ABC, 2008), and returned to the big screen to co-star with the equally quirky Cameron Diaz in the romantic comedy with a twist, "What Happens in Vegas" (2008). His production company also revealed plans to create a show with fellow model-turned-mogul Tyra Banks called "True Beauty" (ABC, 2009-10), which seemed like a standard beauty competition, but in fact judged its contestants on their inner beauty. He had less success as the executive producer of the modeling drama "The Beautiful Life" (The CW, 2009), which lasted only two episodes, although the resourceful mini-mogul broadcast the remaining episodes on YouTube in the hopes of sparking fan and/or financial interest in the show. Kutcher took on his meatiest acting role in a long time when he produced and starred in the dark "Spread" (2009) as a handsome, homeless L.A. gigolo living off rich women. Although the film's success was minimal, critics seemed willing to take Kutcher seriously for his participation in a challenging movie.The handsome techie and new face of Nikon digital camera advertisements made history of a whole new kind by becoming the first user of the social network Twitter to gain more than one million followers. In honor of his achievement, he made a $100,000 donation to a malaria-fighting charity. He also nabbed the largest role in the romantic comedy smash "Valentine's Day" (2010) along with of the most impressive ensemble casts ever assembled onscreen, including Anne Hathaway, Shirley MacLaine, Bradley Cooper, Jamie Foxx and Julia Roberts. Kutcher next teamed with Katherine Heigl for the romantic action comedy, "Killers" (2010), where he played a newlywed with a secret history as a spy who gets dragged back into the dangerous business along with his very surprised wife (Heigl). Although the film far from killed at the box-office, Kutcher's follow-up effort, the romantic comedy "No Strings Attached" (2011), co-starring Natalie Portman, fared somewhat better. Then, after months of watching troubled star Charlie Sheen's very public meltdown and speculation on a parade of potential replacements that included Hugh Grant, media reports placed Kutcher as the odds-on favorite to join the cast of "Two and a Half Men" (CBS, 2003-2015) in May 2011. Only a day after the rumors began to swirl, Kutcher was signed to replace Sheen on the hit sitcom as billionaire internet entrepreneur Walden Schmidt. At a time when he should have been enjoying his second successful sitcom run, Kutcher and Moore announced their separation in November amidst rumors that he had cheated on his wife of six years on their wedding anniversary. The couple separated later in 2011. Their divorce was finalized November 27, 2013, by which time Kutcher was publicly romantically linked to his former "That '70s Show" castmate Mila Kunis. Several months after the former costars announced their engagement. Their wedding was announced on July 4, 2015.) As Kutcher continued to focus on "Two and a Half Men," he appeared as Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs in the biopic "Jobs" (2013). As the series wound down, Kutcher had a small role in the musical "Annie" (2014), starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz. Kutcher next appeared on TV as the star of the sitcom "The Ranch" (Netflix 2016-), co-starring Debra Winger, Sam Elliott, Elisha Cuthbert and Kutcher's old "That 70s Show" castmate Danny Masterson.