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Jennifer Lopez: 1970—: Actor, Singer, Dancer Biography

Grew Up In Musical Household, Landed Fly-girl Gig, Known For Curvaceous Physique, Tangled With Law, Walked Down Aisle

Jennifer Lopez: 1970—: Actor, singer, dancer.

Jennifer Lopez is what is known in the entertainment business as a "triple threat"—she can dance, sing, and act. She was a dancing Fly Girl on the 1990s television show In Living Color, and got her break in her lead role as Selena, the 1997 film about the murdered Tejano pop star. She became the first Latina actress to have a lead role in a major Hollywood film since Rita Hayworth, and the highest-paid Latina actress ever. Her early films include Anaconda, U Turn, Jack, and Out of Sight.

While some actors endure embarrassing results when they try to make the leap from acting to singing, Lopez proved in 1999 that she was not one of them. Her debut album, On the 6, produced the hit "If You Had My Love" and sold over eight million copies. Lopez's name has become inescapable in the media. In 2001 Lopez became the first actress to have a film, the romantic comedy The Wedding Planner, and music album, her sophomore release, J.Lo, hit number one in the same week. Later that year, the success of the psychological thriller The Cell proved that Lopez's box-office power was worth her paycheck, valued in 2002 at over two million dollars per film. Not one to rest on her laurels, Lopez is constantly making progress toward her next goal. "I want everything. I want family. I want to do good work. I want love. I want to be comfortable," she said in a 1998 interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I think of people like Cher and Bette Midler and Diana Ross and Barbra Strei-sand. That's always been the kind of career I'd hoped to have. I want it all."

Lopez was born July 24, 1970 in the Bronx neighborhood of Castle Hill. She is the second of three daughters of David, a computer technician, and Guadalupe Lopez, a kindergarten teacher. Though Lopez's parents were born in the same Puerto Rican town, David and Guadalupe Lopez did not meet until they lived in Castle Hill. They were strict with their girls and instilled a strong work ethic in them—no one in the family was allowed to miss a day of school, work, or church. "Our parents had a strong work ethic—there wasn't really any other way," Lynda Lopez told Rolling Stone. Lopez's parents also stressed assimilation—the need to speak English, to fit into the mainstream, to succeed. "Spanish was not something we spoke a lot of in the house," David Lopez told Rolling Stone. "They got that from their grandmothers." Though he worked nights throughout her childhood, Lopez idolized her father for working hard to provide for his family. "I'm a daddy's girl; he's the love of my life," she said in a 2001 interview with Rolling Stone's Anthony Bozza. In 1998, after their kids were grown and gone, the Lopezes divorced.

At a Glance . . .

Born Jennifer Lopez on July 24, 1970, in Bronx, NY to David (a computer technician) and Guadalupe Lopez (a teacher); married Ojani Noa, 1997 (divorced 1998); married Cris Judd (a dancer), 2001.

Career:Actress, dancer, singer. Film appearances include My Family/Mi Familia, 1995; Money Train, 1995; Jack, 1996; Blood and Wine, 1997; Selena, 1997; Anaconda, 1997; U Turn, 1997; Out of Sight, 1998; Antz, 1998; The Cell, 2000; The Wedding Planner, 2001; Angel Eyes, 2001Enough, 2002; The Chambermaid, 2002; Gigli, 2003. Television appearances include "El Show de Cristina," 1989; "In Living Color," 1990; Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7, 1993; "Second Chances," 1993; "Hotel Malibu," 1994; "South Central," 1994; Janet Jackson: Design of a Decade 1986-1996, 1996; "TFI Friday," 1999; VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, 2000; MTV Video Music Awards 2000, 2000; "Parkinson," 2001; "Rove Live," 2001; MTV Video Music Awards 2001, 2001; Jennifer Lopez in Concert, 2001; Royal Variety Performance 2001, 2001; MTV Icon: Janet Jackson, 2001; 73rd Annual Academy Awards, 2001; USO Special for the Troops, 2002; Hello, He Lied & Other Truths From the Hollywood Trenches, 2002. Sound recordings include On the 6, and the single "If You Had My Love,"1999; J.Lo, and the singles "I'm Real" and "Love Don't Cost a Thing," 2001.

Addresses: Agent—International Creative Management, 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

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