Brad Pitt turns 50: The big screen heart-throb through the years as he marks landmark birthday

 Brad Pitt was 27 when he first came to the attention of women around the globe, playing a hitchhiking cowboy in Thelma & Louise.

Scroll down and click photo for gallery of Brad Pitt through the years.

The role established him firmly as a Nineties heart-throb, and opened the floodgates for a series of Hollywood roles which proved he was more than a pretty face.



It's a testament to his staying power, that now, as he enters his sixth decade, the star is as much in demand as ever. In short, Brad has plenty to celebrate as he blows out the candles on his cake on 18 December, turning 50 in the process.

To celebrate the green-eyed actor's landmark birthday, HELLO! Online takes a look at some of his memorable film moments and public appearances over the years.

Brad can look back on a wide and varied career, which is far from over.

Acting roles have has included parts playing against type as the insane - in 12 Monkeys - the dead, in Meet Joe Black, and the undead in Interview With The Vampire as well as critically acclaimed performances as enigmatic Tyler Durden in Fight Club and Nazi-hating Lieutenant Aldo Raine in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

Meanwhile recognition has come in the form of four Academy Award nominations and five Golden Globe nods – one of which turned into a best supporting actor win for 12 Monkeys .

Over the years the star parlayed his burgeoning appeal into Hollywood clout to get prestige personal projects such as Seven Years In Tibet off the ground. His production company's latest film World War Z, in which he plays an ex-United Nations investigator battling a zombie virus, became his highest grossing film to date.

With such success under his belt, it's hard to fathom that Brad could have gone down a totally different career path. After growing up in Missouri, he enrolled in university there studying journalism with a focus on advertising.

But two weeks shy of finishing his degree he felt he wasn't ready to settle down. Having always loved films, as they were "a portal to another world", he decided to move to where they were made.

Journalism's loss was Hollywood's gain, as Brad arrived in Los Angeles and began taking acting lessons and working odd jobs. He began his acting career in 1987, aged 24, with uncredited film roles and bit parts in TV shows. After that there was no going back.

As well as a successful career, Brad has firmly found his place as a family man. After romancing Gwyneth Paltrow and marrying – then splitting with – Jennifer Aniston, he found lasting love with Angelina Jolie, with whom he has six children.
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