Brad Pitt didn’t become one of the most popular actors alive overnight. While some aspiring stars move to LA and immediately hit it big (especially now with social media), Pitt’s rise to superstardom was a slow burn filled with many starts and stops.
Pitt dropped out of college two weeks before graduation and headed to LA, picking up odd jobs to make ends meet while he studied acting with coach Roy London. At first, he only landed bit parts on soap operas and uncredited movie roles. Then, in the late 1980s, Pitt scored bigger TV roles on popular shows like Dallas and 21 Jump Street. He finally broke through with a show-stealing role in the classic 1991 Ridley Scott film, Thelma & Louise. From there, Pitt’s rise was steady and consistent, one larger part following another larger until he starred in Legends of the Fall in 1994. Though only a leading man since the ‘90s, Pitt’s habit of dating co-stars began in the 1980s and lasted through his divorce from Angelina Jolie, assuring that Brad’s name was always in the tabloids, upcoming film or not. Below, we break down 20 pivotal moments in Pitt’s career and how they shaped the man and actor he is today.