Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Jennifer Garner


Actress Jennifer Anne Garner, born in Houston, Texas, on April 17, 1972, grew up in Charleston. She showed an early interest in the arts, dancing as a child with the Appalachian Youth Jazz-Ballet Company and appearing in plays staged by the Children’s Theatre of Charleston and the Charleston Light Opera Guild.

Graduating from Charleston’s George Washington High School in 1990, Garner attended Denison University. In 1995, she moved to New York City, where she secured a part as an understudy in a Broadway production of A Month in the Country. She had a starring role in the television series Bone Chillers and guest roles on numerous television shows, including Spin City and Law and Order. She had a recurring guest spot on Felicity, where she met her first husband, actor Scott Foley. They married in October 2000 and later divorced. Garner had minor roles in films including Deconstructing Harry, In Harm’s Way, Mr. Magoo, Pearl Harbor, and Dude, Where’s My Car?.

Garner was catapulted into stardom in 2001 with her lead role on the television series Alias, in which she plays a college graduate recruited by the CIA. Garner won a Golden Globe for her role in Alias. She appeared with Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me if You Can in 2002 and starred with Ben Affleck in Daredevil in 2003. Some of her other movies have included Juno (2007), The Invention of Lying (2009), Arthur (2011), and The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012). She also starred opposite actor Kevin Kline in a Broadway production of Cyrano de Bergerac in 2007.

Garner and Ben Affleck married in 2005, and they have three children. Garner also serves as the artist ambassador for Save the Children, an organization that aims to improve the lives of children through educational and nutritional programs.

In June 2015, Garner and Affleck announced their decision to divorce.