Christopher Ashton Kutcher was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to
Larry Kutcher (an employee of General Mills) and Diane (who
worked for Procter & Gamble); he has Irish, Native American and
Bohemian ancestry. Kutcher has an older sister, Tausha, and a
fraternal twin, Michael, who suffers from cerebral palsy and had
a heart transplant at age thirteen immediately after
cardiomyopathy-induced seizure. Kutcher desperately considered
committing suicide so that Michael could have his heart, but
luckily a doctor rushed in and announced that a woman died in
Georgia in a car accident, and the operation successfully went
Kutcher grew up on a farm in rural Homestead, Iowa. As a teen, he worked as a floor sweeper for a General Mills plant, and once donated blood for money. Kutcher, whose brother's condition caused much stress in the family and eventually his parents' divorce, said in USA Weekend, "I saw some stuff I probably shouldn't have seen, and I didn't want to be involved, and I didn't want to have to take a side. I didn't want to come home and find more bad news about my brother ... I kept myself so busy that I didn't allow myself to feel." He attended Clear Creek-Amana high school, where he was an avid competitor in soccer and wrestling, and took part in every play the school staged. He was expelled from the school for under aged drinking and was arrested at age 18 for breaking into the school with a friend and stealing money from a vending machine. Kutcher majored in biochemical engineering and was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity at the University of Iowa. In 1997, he dropped out in order to pursue a modeling career, some of which involved working in underwear ads. Because there were already several well-known models named Chris, Kutcher was asked to use "Ashton" as his professional name.
After some success in modeling, Ashton Kutcher had planned to move to Hollywood, but was asked to return to college by his mother. However, a month later, he was discovered in a bar in Iowa City, Iowa and cast as "Michael Kelso" in the television series That '70s Show, which became a success. He left the show (along with Topher Grace) before the last season to pursue other interests. Kutcher achieved some stardom and was cast in a series of film roles; although he auditioned but was not cast for the role of Danny Walker in Pearl Harbor (2001), he starred in a few financially successful comedic films, including Dude, Where's My Car? (2000), Just Married (2003) and Guess Who (2005). In addition, he appeared in the film Cheaper By The Dozen as Piper Perabo's boyfriend Hank, a self-obsessed actor who values his talents and good looks above his girlfriends' family, quite a contrast from the goofy yet well-intentioned funnymen he used to play. His 2004 film, The Butterfly Effect, was an unusually dramatic role for Kutcher as a conflicted young man, and it was also deemed a box office success.
Ashton recently filmed The Guardian, a thriller co-starring Kevin Costner, in which the two play United States Coast Guard rescue swimmers who are involved in a deadly race for their lives. His next film will be Surviving Sundays, co-starring Tina Majorino and Josh Meyers. He is being considered for the roles of District Attorney Harvey Dent or Black Mask in The Dark Knight, since he was a strong contender for the role of Batman in Batman Begins, before Christian Bale got the part.
In 2003, Kutcher used his status as a television star to produce and star in his own series on MTV's Punk'd. The series involves various hidden camera tricks performed on celebrities which at times leads to behind-the-scenes controversy; not all celebrities are good humored about being pranked by Ashton's television show. Kutcher is also the producer of the reality television show Beauty and the Geek, which began in 2005.
Ashton Kutcher has dated a variety of celebrities, including actresses January Jones (from 1998 to 2001), Ashley Scott (from 2001 to 2002), Monet Mazur (2002) and his Just Married co-star, Brittany Murphy, whom he dated from 2002 to 2003. Following his break-up with Murphy in mid-2003, Kutcher began dating actress Demi Moore; the media was fascinated with their age difference. Both would eventually spoof the public's fascination with their age difference during a classy monologue on the March 19, 2005 episode of Saturday Night Live. Kutcher, who served as guest host, brought Moore on stage while Moore was made up to appear like an old woman who constantly babied Kutcher and mentioned that she likes it "up the bum". Moore and Kutcher were married on Saturday, September 24, 2005 in a lavish, private ceremony conducted by a rabbi of the Jewish Kabbalah; the wedding was attended by about 100 close friends and family, including Bruce Willis, Moore's ex-husband.
Both Ashton Kutcher and Moore are followers of Kabbalah, the mystical off-shoot of Judaism. Kutcher has been reported to celebrate traditional Jewish holidays by taking time off from filming, and was married in a Kabbalistic ceremony.
Ashton Kutcher is good friends with his former That '70s Show costars/Punk'd victims Danny Masterson and Wilmer Valderrama. Kutcher also owns an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles named Dolce (other owners include Masterson and Valderrama) and a Japanese-themed restaurant Geisha House (which Kutcher introduced during the Punk'd Season 4 premiere, and the site of actress Salma Hayek's appearance on Punk'd, which Kutcher helped Hayek's friend, Penélope Cruz, with the bathroom trick). He also maintains a close friendship with Seann William Scott.
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