Jennifer Anne Garner (born April 17, 1972)[1] is an American actress. Her breakthrough film debut was in the comedy Dude, Where's My Car (2000). Following a supporting role in Pearl Harbor (2001), 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 Emmy Award nominations.

While working on Alias, Garner gained a cameo role in Catch Me if You Can (2002), followed by a praised leading performance in the romantic comedy film 13 Going on 30 (2004). Garner has appeared in supporting as well as lead film roles including the superhero films Daredevil (2003) and Elektra (2005), the comedy-drama Juno (2007), and the fantasy romantic comedy The Invention of Lying (2009). In the 2010s, she appeared in the romantic-comedy Valentine's Day (2010), the fantasy comedy-drama The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012), the biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club (2013), the comedy Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014), and the drama Miracles from Heaven (2016).

Garner works frequently as an activist for early childhood education and is a board member of Save the Children. She is also an advocate for anti-paparazzi campaigns among children of celebrities. Garner had a five-year relationship with Scott Foley from 1998 to 2003, during which they married. Garner married Ben Affleck in 2005, with whom she has three children.

Early lifeEdit

Jennifer Garner was born on April 17, 1972 in Houston, Texas but moved to Charleston, West Virginia at the age of three.[2] Her father, William John Garner, worked as a chemical engineer for Union Carbide and her mother, Patricia Ann (née English), was a homemaker and, later, an English teacher at a local college.[3][4] She has an older sister, Melissa Wylie, and a younger sister, Susannah Carpenter. Garner has described herself as a typical middle child who sought to differentiate herself from her accomplished older sister.[5][6] While Garner did not grow up in a politically active household,[7] her father was "very conservative" and her mother "quietly blue."[8] She attended a local United Methodist Church every Sunday and went to Vacation Bible School.[9] As teenagers, Garner and her sisters were not allowed to wear makeup, paint their nails, pierce their ears or dye their hair;[10][11] she has joked that her family's "take on the world" was "practically Amish."[12]

Garner attended George Washington High School in Charleston;[13] she played saxophone in the marching band and was water girl for the football team.[2][14] While Garner was not a bad student, she did not get "straight As" and instead wanted to perform "in any kind of production."[8] She participated in musicals at the local community theater, the Charleston Light Opera Guild,[15] and took piano, singing and ballet lessons.[14][2] In 1990, Garner enrolled at Denison University in Granville, Ohio,[16] where she changed her major from chemistry to theater[17] and was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.[18] She spent the fall semester of 1993 studying at the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.[19] In 1994, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater performance.[20]


  1. Jennifer Garner Biography (1972-). Retrieved on July 1, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Saban, Stephen (2003-02-16). Fighting fit. Telegraph. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  3. Binelli, Mark (2002-02-14). Jennifer Garner: Spy Girl. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  4. Connelly, Chris (2007-09-11). The Zen of Jen (and Ben). Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  5. de Bertodano, Helena (2013-04-01). Jennifer Garner interview: Mrs Ben Affleck on juggling fame and family. Telegraph. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  6. Pringle, Gill. "Jennifer Garner: Actress with the ex factor", May 6, 2009. Retrieved on June 10, 2013. 
  7. Jacobs, Alexandra (2006-12-12). Princess Bride. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Stern, Marlow (September 5, 2011). Jennifer Garner’s Screwball Turn.
  9. Jennifer Garner on her latest emotional role and keeping it professional as a mom, on and offscreen | National Post. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  10. Bianco, Robert. "Sydney Bristow in the flesh", Gannett Company, January 31, 2002. Retrieved on January 8, 2013. 
  11. Brown, Bobbi (2015-01-21). Jennifer Garner is Done with Diets & High-Maintenance Beauty. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  12. Jennifer Garner is treading warily around social media | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  13. "Garner happy to be home for holidays", Gannett Company, December 26, 2003. Retrieved on January 8, 2013. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Binelli, Mark (February 14, 2002). "Jennifer Garner: Spy Girl". Rolling Stone.
  15. April 2004 | | features | interviews |an interview with jennifer garner. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  16. CO-ED Interview with Jennifer Garner. COED (August 2, 2007). Retrieved on August 1, 2010.
  17. What's on Jennifer Garner's Bookshelf?,
  18. Jennifer Garner and 30 other celebrities in sororities. Retrieved on 2 July 2017.
  19. BWW Exclusive: NTI Changed My Life - Jennifer Garner. (2015-02-09). Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  20. Denison Graduate and 'Alias' Star Jennifer Garner To Speak at Provost Alumni Series Convocation - Denison University. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.