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Ben Affleck
Photograph of Ben Affleck wearing a Blue Jacket
Affleck at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt

(1972-08-15) August 15, 1972 (age 50)
  • Actor
  • film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
Years active 1981–present
Full list
Political party Democratic
(m. 2005; div. 2018)
(m. 2022)
Children 3
Relatives Casey Affleck (brother)
Awards Full list

Benjamin Géza Affleck (born August 15, 1972) is an American actor and filmmaker. His accolades include two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and a Volpi Cup, the principal award given to actors at the Venice Film Festival.

Early life

Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California. His family moved to Massachusetts when he was three, living in Falmouth, where his brother Casey was born, before settling in Cambridge. His mother, Christopher Anne "Chris" Boldt, was a Harvard-educated elementary school teacher. His father, Timothy Byers Affleck, was an aspiring playwright who was "mostly unemployed." He worked sporadically as a carpenter, auto mechanic, bookie, electrician, bartender, and janitor at Harvard. In the mid-1960s, he had been an actor and stage manager with the Theater Company of Boston.

His father was "very difficult" , and Affleck felt a sense of "relief" at the age of 11 when his parents divorced, and his father exited the family home.

Affleck was raised in a politically active, liberal household. He and his brother, Casey, were surrounded by people who worked in the arts; the boys regularly attended theater performances with their mother and were encouraged to make their own home movies. David Wheeler, a family friend, later remembered Affleck as a "very bright and intensely curious" child. The brothers auditioned for roles in local commercials and film productions because of their mother's friendship with a Cambridge-area casting director, and Affleck first acted professionally at the age of seven. His mother saved his wages in a college trust fund and hoped her son would ultimately become a teacher, worrying that acting was an insecure and "frivolous" profession. When Affleck was 13, he filmed a children's television program in Mexico. He learned to speak Spanish during a year spent travelling around the country with his mother and brother.

As a Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school student, Affleck acted in theater productions and was inspired by drama teacher Gerry Speca. He became close friends with fellow student Matt Damon, whom he had known since the age of eight. Although Damon was two years older, the pair had "identical interests" and both wanted to pursue acting careers. They traveled to New York together for acting auditions and saved money for train and airline tickets in a joint bank account. While Affleck had high SAT scores, he was largely an unfocused student with poor attendance. He spent a few months studying Spanish at the University of Vermont, chosen because of its proximity to his then-girlfriend, but he left after fracturing his hip while playing basketball. At 18, Affleck moved to Los Angeles, studying Middle Eastern affairs at Occidental College for a year and a half.


Bay Affleck Tyler at JFK Space Center Armageddon premiere (cropped)
Affleck with Michael Bay and Liv Tyler at the Armageddon premiere in 1998
The town affleck
Affleck on the set of The Town in 2010

Affleck began his career as a child when he starred in the PBS educational series The Voyage of the Mimi (1984, 1988). He later appeared in the independent coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993) and various Kevin Smith films, including Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997) and Dogma (1999). Affleck gained wider recognition when he and childhood friend Matt Damon won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for writing Good Will Hunting (1997), which they also starred in. He then established himself as a leading man in studio films, including the disaster film Armageddon (1998), the war drama Pearl Harbor (2001), and the thrillers The Sum of All Fears and Changing Lanes (both 2002).

After a career downturn, during which he appeared in the critically derided Daredevil (2003) and Gigli (2003), Affleck won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor and received a Golden Globe nomination for portraying George Reeves in the noir biopic Hollywoodland (2006). His directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone (2007), which he also co-wrote, was well received. He then directed, co-wrote and starred in the crime drama The Town (2010) and directed and starred in the political thriller Argo (2012); both were critical and commercial successes. For the latter, Affleck won the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Picture. He then starred in the psychological thriller Gone Girl (2014) and played the superhero Batman in the DC Extended Universe, appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017) and The Flash (2023) and making cameo appearances in other films in the series. After starring roles in the thriller The Accountant (2016), the action-adventure Triple Frontier (2019) and the sports drama The Way Back (2020), Affleck shifted into supporting roles in the family drama The Tender Bar and the historical drama The Last Duel (both 2021).

Affleck has five projects in post-production. His fifth directorial project, a sports marketing drama about Nike's signing of Michael Jordan, stars Viola Davis and Damon, with Affleck playing the supporting role of Phil Knight. Affleck and Damon co-wrote the script with Alex Convery. Affleck will star in Robert Rodriguez's action thriller Hypnotic, in which he plays a detective. He has filmed cameo appearances as Batman in both Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023) and The Flash (2023), and will make a cameo appearance in Kevin Smith's Clerks III.

Humanitarian work

AffleckFeedAmerica09 (cropped)
Affleck speaking at a Feeding America rally in 2009
Ben Affleck testifying to Congress on the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Affleck in 2011, testifying before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights

After travelling in the region between 2007 and early 2010, Affleck and Whitney Williams co-founded the nonprofit organization Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010. ECI acts as a grant maker for Congolese-led, community-based charities. It offers training and resources to cooperatives of Congolese farmers while leveraging partnerships with companies including Theo Chocolate and Starbucks. ECI also aims to raise public awareness and drive policy change in the United States.

Affleck is a supporter of the A-T Children's Project. While filming Forces of Nature in 1998, Affleck befriended ten-year-old Joe Kindregan (1988–2015), who had the rare disease ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), and his family. He became actively involved in fundraising for A-T, and he and Kindregan testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education in 2001, asking senators to support stem-cell research and to double the budget of the National Institutes of Health.

Affleck is a supporter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. He is also a member of Feeding America's Entertainment Council.

Affleck is a vocal supporter of the Los Angeles-based homelessness charity Midnight Mission. He has volunteered at and donated to the charity. He has also volunteered at Atlanta Mission.

Personal life

Relationship with Jennifer Lopez

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner 2013 Golden Globe Awards (8378777915) (cropped)
Affleck and Jennifer Garner at the 70th Golden Globe Awards in 2013

Affleck first dated Jennifer Lopez from 2002 to 2004. Their relationship was extensively publicized, with tabloids referring to the couple as Bennifer, the first celebrity portmanteau of its kind. They became engaged in November 2002 but their planned wedding on September 14, 2003, was postponed with four days' notice because of "excessive media attention". They called off the engagement in January 2004.

Affleck and Lopez remained in occasional contact in the years after their breakup and spoke highly of each other in public.

Affleck was married to actress Jennifer Garner from 2005 to 2018. They began dating in August 2004, having established a friendship on the sets of Pearl Harbor (2001) and Daredevil (2003). They were married on June 29, 2005, in a private Turks and Caicos ceremony. Victor Garber, who officiated the ceremony, and his partner, Rainer Andreesen, were the only guests. Affleck and Garner have three children together: daughters Violet Anne (born December 2005) and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth (born January 2009), and son Samuel Garner (born February 2012).They publicly announced their separation in June 2015.

Affleck and Lopez began dating again in April 2021, 20 years after they first met, and announced their second engagement in April 2022. They were married in Las Vegas on July 16, 2022, with Affleck becoming stepfather to Lopez's twins, Max and Emme Muñiz (born February 2008).


Much of Affleck's ancestry is English, Irish, Scottish and German. Affleck's said-to-be maternal great-great-grandfather, Heinrich Boldt, who, aged 12, accidentally discovered the Curmsun Disc, emigrated from Prussia in the late 1840s.

Affleck appeared on the PBS genealogy series Finding Your Roots in 2014. In 2009, the New England Historic Genealogical Society discovered that Affleck is an 11th cousin of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama.

Acting credits and awards

Affleck has appeared in more than 50 films, and won many accolades throughout his career as an actor, writer, and director. He first gained recognition as a writer when he won the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting (1997), which he co-wrote with Matt Damon; Affleck remains the youngest person ever to win a Best Original Screenplay Oscar, at 25 years old. As an actor, he received Golden Globe nominations for his performances in Hollywoodland (2006) and The Tender Bar (2021). The film Argo (2012), which he directed, co-produced, and starred in, won him the Golden Globe Award, BAFTA, and Directors Guild Award for Best Director, as well as the Golden Globe Award, BAFTA, the Producers Guild Award, and the Academy Award for Best Picture.

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