Born July 24, 1969, in the Bronx, New York, Lopez began her career as a dancer, appearing in stage musicals and various music videos. In 1990, she won a national competition and earned a spot dancing on the popular Fox comedy television series, "In Living Color," as one of the "Fly Girls." A series of small acting jobs followed, including parts in two more series and a TV movie, Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7, in 1993. Lopez's first feature film was the critically acclaimed Mi Familia, or My Family, in 1995. She also appeared in Money Train (1995), opposite Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, and in Jack (1996), directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Robin Williams.
Lopez's first big break came in 1997, when she was chosen to play the title role in Selena, a biopic of the Tejano pop singer Selena Quintillana Perez, who was killed by a crazed fan in 1995. She earned widespread praise for her performance, including a Golden Globe nomination, and became the highest-paid actress in history with her paycheck of $1 million. That same year, Lopez starred in the forgettable Anaconda and in Blood and Wine, opposite Jack Nicholson. Her role as federal marshal Karen Sisco in Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight, a film based on the Elmore Leonard novel and co-starring George Clooney, further enhanced her image as a bankable movie star.
Personal Life in the HeadlinesEdit
Lopez was briefly married, in 1997, to Ojani Noa, a model and actor. She then had a lengthy and widely publicized relationship with rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs. In December 1999, Combs and Lopez were allegedly involved in a shooting incident outside a New York City nightclub, in which three people were injured. Combs was later charged with gun possession and bribery, as prosecutors claimed he offered his driver, Wardel Fenderson, $50,000 to say that the loaded gun police found at the scene of the crime was Fenderson's. He was acquitted of all charges, but Combs confirmed in mid-February that he and Lopez had separated.
Shortly after her breakup from Combs was made public, Lopez began dating Cris Judd, a dancer who appeared in the video for her hit single "Love Don't Cost a Thing." After much media speculation, the couple announced their engagement in August 2001. They were married in late September. Nine months later, the couple separated. In the fall of 2002, the star began dating actor Ben Affleck; they announced their engagement in November. Following rumors of the relationship's demise, the couple broke up in early 2004. Lopez subsequently married singer Marc Anthony in June 2004 at a private ceremony at her Los Angeles mansion.
Returning to the big stage, Lopez has found time to join forces with her husband in 2006. She acted along side him in the film El Cantante. In the film, Anthony played Hector Lavoe, the internationally acclaimed salsa singer. True to life, Lopez played Puchi, Lavoe's wife.
In 2007, Lopez released her first Spanish language album, Como Ama una Mujer, which did well on the Latin and pop charts. She found musical success again later that same year with Brave. While the title track has received some attention, Lopez's personal life generated more media interest. Once known for her revealing fashions, Lopez started wearing loose-fitting tops, creating speculation about whether she was pregnant. Many photos of her seemed to show a "baby bump," but the official announcement didn't come until November 7, 2007. Lopez gave birth to twins February 22, 2008. The baby boy and girl were the first children for Lopez and the fourth and fifth for her husband, salsa star Marc Anthony.
In 2010, despite being busy with her family and both music and acting projects, Lopez decided to enter into a new phase in her career: she announced her plans to replace Ellen DeGeneres as the new female judge on the tenth season of American Idol, which had also just welcomed Aerosmith's Steven Tyler as part of its celebrity judge panel.
Lopez returned to the hit reality TV show for its eleventh season, earning a reported $20 million, almost double what she had made when she first signed on.