Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez : biography

July 24, 1969 –

Lopez received her first professional acting gig in the direct-to-video drama film Lost in the Wild (1993), co-starring alongside Lindsay Wagner and Robert Loggia. Later in 1993 Lopez signed a deal with CBS to co-star in the television series Second Chances. The show was cancelled after airing only six episodes, due to its set being destroyed by the 1994 Northridge earthquake. A spin-off of the series, entitled Hotel Malibu was launched later that same year. It also ran for only a brief period of time and, like Second Chances, received negative reviews. Lopez received her first major big-screen role in Gregory Nava’s 1995 drama My Family, portraying Young Maria. The film, which stars Esai Morales, Jimmy Smits and Edward James Olmos, was critically acclaimed. Although her role was uncredited, Lopez received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female nomination for her performance. In November, Lopez starred in Money Train alongside Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, as New York City transit cops. The film faced negative reviews and is considered to be a box office bomb; with a budget of $68 million, the film grossed a total of $77 million worldwide. In August 1996, Lopez had a supporting role in the comedy Jack. With a budget of $45 million, the film grossed a total of $59 domestically. The film received generally negative reviews.

Breakthrough with Selena and On the 6 (1997–2000)

In February 1997, Lopez starred alongside Jack Nicholson and Stephen Dorff in the neo-noir thriller Blood and Wine. It was a commercial failure; the $26 million production budget was matched with a domestic gross of $1 million at the box office. The film received generally positive reviews from critics. Lopez starred as the title role of the Selena biopic of the same name in March. Despite having previously worked with the film’s director on My Family, Lopez was subjected to an intense auditioning process before she was cast in the film. With a production budget of $20 million, the film grossed a total of $35 million domestically. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times stated that even in the "forgettable films" Money Train and Jack, Lopez’s "presence and ability made her seem just one role away from stardom" and with Selena she’s "seized the opportunity and turned in an incandescent presentation that is especially strong during the film’s numerous musical numbers". He concluded by calling the film not just a celebration of Selena’s life, but also of the actress who portrayed her. After filming Selena, Lopez was "really feeling [her] Latin roots" and cut a demo in Spanish.Mendible, M. (2007). "From bananas to buttocks: the Latina body in popular film and culture". Austin: University of Texas Press. Retrieved September 4, 2012. Lopez’s manager then sent the song, entitled "Vivir Sin Ti", to Sony Music Entertainment’s Work Group, who showed an interest in signing Lopez. Tommy Mottola, the head of the label suggested to her that she sing in English instead.

In April, Lopez starred in the horror film Anaconda alongside Ice Cube and Jon Voight. With a production budget of $45 million, the film grossed a total of $137 million worldwide, becoming a commercial success. Lopez starred alongside Sean Penn and Billy Bob Thornton in the crime film U Turn in October. The film, which is based on the novel Stray Dogs by John Ridley, received generally positive reception from critics. In June, Lopez starred opposite George Clooney in Out of Sight, Steven Soderbergh’s adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel of the same name (1996). Cast as a deputy federal marshal who falls for a charming criminal, Lopez won rave reviews for her performance and became the first Latina actress to earn over $1 million for a role. With a production budget of $48 million, the film grossed a total of $78 million worldwide, becoming a moderate commercial success. Lopez provided the voice of Azteca in the computer-animated film Antz in October. With a production budget of $105 million, the film grossed a total of $172 million worldwide.