Jennifer Lopez, the daughter of a computer specialist and a kindergarten teacher, grew up in the Bronx borough of New York City. She started her showbiz career as a dancer in stage musicals. Later, she won a national competition of about two thousand contestants to become one of the "fly girl" dancers on Fox’s In Living Color.
After a couple of seasons on the show, she got her shot at acting on the pilot of Fox’s South Central. South Central was followed by a few other short-lived series and made-for-tv movies.
In 1995, Lopez appeared in the critically acclaimed Mi Familia. This appearance was followed by roles in Jack and Money Train. Then came her breakout role in Selena, the biopic about the slain Tejano singer. She earned a Golden Globe best actress nomination and a $1 million paycheck that made her the highest paid Latina actress in history.
She married her boyfriend, Ojani Noa in early 1997, but the marriage fell apart in less than a year. During 1997, Lopez was named one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people in 1997 and her film Anaconda held the top spot at the box office. She starred opposite Jack Nicholson in Blood and Wine and opposite Sean Penn in Oliver Stone’s U-Turn.
In 1998, Lopez beat out a group of A-list stars to land the female lead in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, opposite George Clooney. She also provided voice support for DreamWorks’ Antz. In 1999, Lopez released the Latin pop album On the 6, which achieved platinum status within two months. Since her divorce from Noa, Lopez has been linked to [former Mr. Mariah Carey] Tommy Mottola, Latin pop star Marc Anthony and Sean "Puffy" Combs.