Ashton Kutcher

Active - 1999 - 2014  |   Born - Feb 7, 1978 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Having acquired legions of loyal female followers with his portrayal of the ever-horny and dimwitted Kelso in the popular television comedy series That 70s Show, it may come as a surprise that male model-turned-actor Ashton Kutcher ironically majored in biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa before his "discovery" in an Iowa bar and subsequent stint on the catwalk for such fashion industry luminaries as Versace and Calvin Klein.

Born in Cedar Rapids, IA, along with a fraternal twin named Michael, Kutcher was bitten by the acting bug in high school. Balancing his love for the stage with his talent for wrestling before gravitating toward the former in such high school productions as Annie, Kutcher worked numerous odd jobs during his tenure at the University of Iowa before winning the Fresh Faces of Iowa contest in 1997 and heading for New York. Competing in that same year's International Model and Talent Agency competition before being signed to the next agency, Kutcher relocated to Los Angeles the following year and soon landed his breakthrough role on That 70s Show. Though he had small roles in Down to You and Reindeer Games (both 2000), Kutcher's first major big-screen role was in Dude, Where's My Car? (also 2000), in which he teamed his airheaded goofiness with that of American Pie's Sean William Scott.

Breaking out of the mold with a more serious turn alongside James Van Der Beek in 2001's Texas Rangers, a return to comedy wasn't far behind with a role in My Boss's Daughter scheduled for release later that same year. Though My Boss's Daughter would ultimately be pushed back to a late February 2003 release date, Kutcher and actress Brittany Murphy (8 Mile) scored a modest hit when Just Married was released into theaters in early January of the same year. Despite receiving only a lukewarm reception from critics, positive audience turnout ensured that Just Married would nevertheless hold on to a position in the box office top-ten for nearly a month after its release. Though My Boss's Daughter failed to stir up much at the box-office, the one-two punch of his immensely popular MTV prank show Punk'd and a high-profile romance with Demi Moore (whom he later married and then divorced) shot Kutcher's celebrity stock through the roof in 2003. He subsequently closed out the year with a self-depricating role in the holiday hit Cheaper by the Dozen.

2004 saw Kutcher trying his hand at drama once again with the supernatural thriller The Butterfly Effect. Though the reviews were mixed, the film had its share of fans among critics and went on to makeup its budget more than three-times over. Kutcher continued finding success on the small-screen by producing the series Beauty and the Geek. In 2005 he teamed with Bernie Mac for the racial comedy Guess Who, and 2006 found Kutcher trying his hand at more action oriented fare teaming up with Kevin Costner for The Guardian. The actor would continue to find his place in the romcom niche with 2008's What Happens in Vegas, 2010's Valentine's Day and 2011's No Strings Attached, but made particular waves with a return to television, when he famously signed on to replace Charlie Sheen on the sitcom Two and a Half Men in 2011. His movie career slowed due to his television commitments, but he did find time to play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the 2013 bio-drama Jobs. Two and a Half Men wrapped up in 2015, leaving Kutcher free to return to movies and producing.

Movie Highlights

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  • Was a cereal-dust sweeper at the Cedar Rapids General Mills factory to finance his college education.
  • Worked as a model in Calvin Klein jeans advertisements and did runway shows in Paris and Milan.
  • Landed the breakthrough role of lovable doofus Michael Kelso on Fox's That '70s Show in 1998.
  • Had an uncredited cameo as Piper Perabo's boyfriend in the Steve Martin remake of Cheaper by the Dozen.
  • Began to work behind the scenes with the hit MTV series Punk'd, which he wrote and produced, and followed up this success with producing credits for reality fare Beauty and the Geek and True Beauty.