Date of Birth: July 24, 1969
With her $1 million paycheck for playing Selena in the movie of the same name about the slain Tejano singer, Lopez became the highest paid Latina actress in history. She was chosen for that role after a national search was undertaken to find an actress who could convincingly pull off Selena's combination of sexuality, innocence and killer dance moves.
For Lopez, the dance part was the easiest. The daughter of a computer specialist and a kindergarten teacher, Lopez was raised in the Bronx, New York, before beginning her showbiz career as a dancer in stage musicals and music videos. Later, she won a much-coveted spot as one of choreographer Rosie Perez's "Fly Girls" on In Living Color. Exposure on that TV show led to the Hollywood career that Lopez had always had her sights set on.
She stuck it out on In Living Color for two years, gyrating away to the beat during the transition breaks between the show and the commercials. Some TV work—South Central, Second Chances, Malibu Road and Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7—came her way before she appeared in Gregory Nava's critically acclaimed 1995 film, Mi Familia.
That film was followed up with a couple of duds that she survived unscathed before she turned in a fine performance in a decent film, Blood & Wine. But it was her next film, Selena, that really marked Lopez as an up-and-comer.
Her following films and recording career propelled Lopez to superstardom—at one point she traveled with at least a dozen bodyguards. Although none of her films have been huge hits and her acting hasn't won any notices, she continues to work non-stop, as well as being one of the paparazzi's most desired subjects. This may be partly to her very public private life, beginning with affair with rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs which ended early in 2001, followed by her short-lived marriage to dancer Cris Judd (September 2001 to January 2003), which was then interrupted when she began a relationship with Ben Affleck, whom she met in 2001 while filming Gigli (2003). The couple created quite a stir when they scheduled their wedding in September 2003, only to cancel it amidst rumors of a separation. The relationship fell apart and by January 2004, they had broken up. Just five months later, Lopez married singer/actor Marc Anthony on June 5, 2004, catching the media—and the public—by surprise.
Her salary grew to $20 million per film with the Canadian-filmed romantic comedy Shall We Dance? (2004), co-starring Richard Gere. She played Robert Redford's daughter-in-law in the drama An Unfinished Life (2005) and the girlfriend of Jane Fonda's son in the comedy Monster-in-Law (2005). In 2006, she starred opposite her husband in El cantante (2006), then took four years off to concentrate on family, giving birth to fraternal twins Emme and Maximillian in February 2008. She is also stepmother to Anthony's children Ariana, Cristian and Ryan. Unfortunately, in July 2011, she announced that the marriage was over and since then, Lopez has been keeping company with backup dancer Casper Smart, 18 years her junior.
In September 2010, she joined the panel of judges on the hit TV talent show, American Idol for a reported $12 million. In 2012, she made her comeback to the big screen by joining the all-star cast of the romantic comedy What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012) and voicing the character of Shira in Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012). She also starred in the action movie Parker (2013), alongside Jason Statham. She most recently starred in The Boy Next Door (2015) and Lila & Eve (2015), and reprised her role as Shira in the Ice Age: Collision Course (2016).
Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)
Lila & Eve (2015)
The Boy Next Door (2015)
Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) (voice)
What to Expect When You're Expecting (2012)
The Back-up Plan (2010)
El Cantante (2006)
An Unfinished Life (2005)
Shall We Dance (2004)
Jersey Girl (2004)
Main in Manhattan (2002)
Angel Eyes (2001)
The Wedding Planner (2001)
The Cell (2000)
Antz (1998) (voice)
Out of Sight (1998)
U Turn (1997)
Blood and Wine (1996)
Money Train (1995)
My Family (1995)
My Little Girl (1986)