Jennifer Anne Garner, born April 17, 1972, is an American actress. Following a supporting role in Pearl Harbor, Garner gained recognition for her performance as CIA officer Sydney Bristow in the ABC spy-action thriller, Alias, which aired from 2001 to 2006. For her work on the series, she won a Golden Globe Award and a SAG Award, and received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about Jennifer Garner.
1. While working on Alias, Garner gained a cameo role in Catch Me If You Can, followed by a praised leading performance in the romantic comedy movie 13 Going on 30.
2. Garner has appeared in supporting as well as lead movie roles, including the superhero movies Daredevil and Elektra, the comedy-drama Juno, and the fantasy comedy The Invention of Lying.
3. In 2010, she appeared in the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day.
4. Garner frequently works as an activist for early childhood education and is a board member of Save the Children.
5. She’s an advocate for anti-paparazzi campaigns among children of celebrities.
6. Garner had a five year relationship with Scott Foley from 1998 to 2003, during which they married.
7. Garner married actor Ben Affleck in 2005, but they separated in 2015 and filed for divorce in 2017. They have three children together.
8. She was born in Houston, Texas, but moved to Charleston, West Virginia, at the age of three.
9. Her father, William John Garner, worked as a chemical engineer for Union Carbide, and her mother, Patricia Ann, was a homemaker and later, an English teacher at a local college.
10. She has an older sister, Melissa Wylie, and a younger sister, Susannah Carpenter.
11. Garner has described herself as a typical middle child who sought to differentiate herself from her accomplished older sister.
12. While Garner didn’t grow up in a politically active household, her father was very conservative and her mother was more democratic.
13. Garner went to a local United Methodist Church every Sunday and went to Vacation Bible School.
14. As teenagers, Garner and her sisters weren’t allowed to wear makeup, paint their nail, pierce their ears and dye their hair. She has joked that her family’s take on the world was practically Amish.
15. Garner attended George Washington High School in Charleston. She played the saxophone in the marching band and was the water girl for the football team.
16. While Garner wasn’t a bad student, she didn’t get “straight As” and instead wanted to perform, “in any kind of production.”
17. She participated in musicals at the local community theater, the Charleston Light Opera Guild, and took piano, singing and ballet lessons.
18. 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.
19. She spent the fall semester of 1993 studying at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. In 1994, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater performance.
20. She was going to go to Yale to study drama but got an acting job in New York City instead.
21. Garner used to be a hostess at Isabella’s restaurant in New York when she was trying to launch her acting career.
22. She is a trained ballerina who initially left dance for theater acting.
23. Alias creator J.J. Abrams gave her a pink bicycle for her birthday. Being the first one on set, she would often greet the show’s production crew by ringing the bells on the bike’s handlebars.
24. She’s often confused with actress Amy Jo Johnson. Garner admitted that sometimes she’s asked to autograph photos that turn out to be of Johnson and not her.
25. While filming a sword fight in Elektra, she accidentally got her knuckles sliced by Will Yun Lee. Garner got her knuckles patched up, and when she and Lee resumed, he subsequently sliced her again in the exact same spot.
26. Garner wears green contact lenses in Daredevil and Elektra, even though the comic book version of Elektra has brown eyes, which is Garner’s natural eye color.
27. Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, she was the host of a recruitment video for the Central Intelligence Agency aimed at young professionals whom the agency would like to interest in a career.
28. She was listed as a potential nominee for Worst Actress on the 2006 Razzie Award nomination ballot, for her performance in Elektra. She didn’t end up being nominated.
29. Garner was set to star with Adam Sandler in Reign Over Me, playing the role Liv Tyler did, before dropping out a few weeks before filming began.
30. In 2006, she had to have her ears pierced especially to be able to wear the $250,000 diamond chandelier-style earrings she wore to that year’s Oscars ceremony, but then let them heal up again after the ceremony.