Jared Joseph Leto is an American actor and singer-songwriter. After starting his career with television appearances in the early 1990s, Leto achieved recognition for his role as Jordan Catalano on the television series My So-Called Life. He made his film debut in How to Make an American Quilt and received critical praise for his performance in Prefontaine. Take a look below for 34 more awesome and interesting facts about Jared Leto.
1. Leto was born on December 26, 1971, in Bossier City, Louisiana, to Constance Leto.
2. His mother has Cajun ancestry.
3. “Leto” is the surname of his stepfather.
4. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he and his older brother, Shannon Leto, lived with their mother and their maternal grandparents, Ruby (Russell) and William Lee Metrejon.
5. His father remarried, and committed suicide when Jared was eight.
6. Leto moved frequently with his family from Louisiana to different cities around the country.
7. Leto has two younger half-brothers from his father’s second marriage.
8. Constance joined the hippie movement and encouraged her sons to get involved in the arts.
9. Leto stated he “was raised around a lot of artists, musicians, photographers, painters and people that were in theater,” adding that “Just having the art communal hippie experience as a child, there wasn’t a clear line that was drawn. We celebrated creative experience and creative expression. We didn’t try and curtail it and stunt any of that kind of growth.”
10. Leto started playing music with his brother at an early age and his first musical instrument was a broken-down piano.
11. After dropping out briefly in the 10th grade, Leto decided to return and focus on his education at the private Emerson Preparatory School in Washington, D.C.
12. He was interested in large-scale visual art and enrolled at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
13. After developing an interest in filmmaking, he transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
14. While he was a student there, he wrote and starred in his own short film, Crying Joy.
15. He also attended the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, a part of George Washington University.
16. In 1992, Leto moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in directing, intending to take acting roles on the side.
17. He found minor roles on television shows but his first break came in 1994, after he was cast opposite Claire Danes as Jordan Catalano, her love interest, in the short-lived but well-reviewed ABC teen drama My So-Called Life.
18. In 1997, Leto starred in the biopic Prefontaine in which he played the role of Olympic hopeful Steve Prefontaine. For the preparation of the role, Leto immersed himself in the runner’s life, training for six weeks and meeting with members of his family and friends.
19. After the strong relationship between Thirty Seconds to Mars and its audience, Leto launched the social media management and digital marketing company The Hive. It is based in Studio City, Los Angeles and focus on creative community building.
20. In 2010, Leto launched The One and Only Golden Tickets, a full service company which operates worldwide and manages exclusive services for concerts, festivals, and events.
21. In 2011, Leto launched the online platform VyRT. Created as a live video streaming service, it also features social networking and official merchandise.
22. In June 2012, VyRT was awarded Best Online Concert Experience at the O Music Awards.
23. In 2012, Leto became an investor in Surf Air, a California-based air service.
24. He is also a funder for Reddit and Robinhood Markets.
25. Leto lives a vegan lifestyle and supports animal rights.
26. In 2008, he supported the California Proposition 2 regarding treatment of farm animals.
27. In the 2008 presidential election, Leto supported Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.
28. In 2012, he chaired a Gen44 event, a campaign set up by Obama to energize voters under 40.
29. In October 2009, he raised money to the campaign against California Proposition 8, created by opponents of same-sex marriage to overturn the California Supreme Court decision that had legalized same-sex marriage.
30. In May 2012, he expressed support after hearing that Barack Obama had endorsed same-sex marriage.
31. He has been volunteering at the charity Art of Elysium, which helps children with serious medical conditions.
32. He has supported the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, a program specializing in type 1 diabetes research and care.
33. In 2006, he created the cover art for the album 97X Green Room: Volume 2, which proceeds from the sales benefited The Nature Conservancy.
34. In June 2008, he joined Habitat for Humanity to work with Thirty Seconds to Mars on a home being repaired and renovated through the Greater Los Angeles Area’s “A Brush With Kindness” program.