Jennifer Lopez was born on July 24, 1969, in the Bronx borough of New York City to Puerto Rican parents Guadalupe Rodríguez and David López. The family was devoutly Roman Catholic and instilled a strict work ethic in the children. They also stressed the need to speak English and assimilate into American culture.
When she was a teenager, Jennifer spent much of her time sneaking out to meet her first love, David Cruz, whom she was with from ages 16 to 25. She attended Catholic school and was a good student and natural athlete. From the age of 16, she financed her own singing and dancing lessons.
Jennifer attended college for one semester and then dropped out to pursue dancing. She spent her time working at a law firm, taking dance classes and dancing in clubs at night. Her parents were concerned with her working so late at night and so far from home, even though Jennifer didn’t drink alcohol (and still doesn’t). Against her parents' wishes, she moved out of the house and lived on the floor of a dance studio until she could pay rent with her work as a dancer.
After auditioning for countless gigs, she landed a guest spot on the American Music Awards. After that, she became a "Fly Girl" for the television show “In Living Color” in 1990, after being rejected twice. Because of tension with another dancer, she left the show after her second season.
Soon Jennifer had a role in a short-lived show, “South Central.” She had various other small roles on TV shows and also danced for Janet Jackson in the video for her song “That’s the Way Love Goes” in 1993.
Jennifer made it to the big screen in 1995 when she landed a part in the drama “My Family/Mi Familia.” Next she was featured in “Money Train” opposite Wesley Snipes, “Jack” with Robin Williams and “Blood and Wine” with Jack Nicholson.
In 1997, after a nationwide search, Jennifer was chosen for the lead in the film “Selena,” for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. The film threw her even more prominently into the national spotlight.
Jennifer was married for the first time to waiter Ojani Noa in 1997. He was named the manager of her restaurant, Madre’s, but they divorced in 1998. In 2006 Jennifer sued him for breach of confidentiality for trying to sell a tell-all book about their relationship.
In 1999, Jennifer launched her music career, releasing her first album, “On the 6,” which referred to the subway line she used to take home to Castle Hill while growing up. The album made it to the top ten and featured the hit songs “If You Had My Love” and “Waiting for Tonight.”
From 1999 to 2001, Jennifer had a much-publicized relationship with rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs. Both were arrested in conjunction with a nightclub shooting in New York City in 1999. They had possession of a stolen gun, but the charges against Jennifer were eventually dropped. That same year, Jennifer married her former backup dancer, Cris Judd, but they divorced in 2002.
In 2001, Jennifer released “J.Lo,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The singles “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny” both hit No. 1. Then, Jennifer asked Murder Inc. to remix the songs, and they included raps from Ja Rule in both.
This began to give Jennifer credibility in the rap world and brought her a new audience of fans. She re-released the album on July 24, 2001, her 32nd birthday, and included the remixed version of “I’m Real.”
Because of the success of the remix, Jennifer released a whole album of remixes entitled, “J to Tha L-O!: The Remixes,” which also debuted at No. 1.
In November 2002, Jennifer released her third album, “This is Me…Then,” which hit No. 2 on the charts and produced several popular singles.
Jennifer has been praised for her shapely figure, and in 2001 she won the title of Best Female Body in the British magazine “Celebrity Bodies.” She also won “Sexiest Woman” in the FHM polls of 2000 and 2001. Her buttocks, which she reportedly insured for millions, were cited as the main reason.
In October 2002, Jennifer and actor Ben Affleck announced their engagement. Ben gave her a pink diamond ring reportedly worth over $3 million. The marriage was called off just days before the event, and the couple split officially in 2004.
Later that same year, Jennifer married singer Marc Anthony in a secret ceremony, right after his divorce was final.
Jennifer created her own clothing line, J-Lo. She also has a perfume line that has produced several scents, including “Glow by J-Lo,” “Still” and “Miami Glow.” She also has another clothing line called “Sweetface.”
After some time away from music, Jennifer released her fourth album, “Rebirth,” in 2005. It debuted at No. 2, but fell quickly.
In 2007 she released the albums "Como Ama una Mujer" and "Brave." She co-starred with Anthony in "El Cantante," which was released on Aug. 3.
In November 2007, Jennifer confirmed rumors that she was pregnant. She and Anthony welcomed 6-pound Max and 5-pound, 7-ounce Emme on Feb. 22, 2008.
In April, The Learning Channel announced that Lopez and Anthony had signed on to do a reality show. The show, which is under development and has no launch date yet, will "deliver a slice of [Lopez's] life that audiences have never seen before, as she takes on her career and launches a new fragrance while trying to juggle her new responsibilities as a first-time mom," TLC President Angela Shapiro-Mathes said.
The actress, 39, is next set to star in "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lisa Kudrow, and "The Governess."
"On the 6" (1999)
"J. Lo" (2001)
"J to tha L-O!: The Remixes" (2002)
"This Is Me... Then" (2002)
"Como Ama una Mujer" (2007)
"El Cantante" (2006) — Puchi
"Bordertown" (2006) — Lauren Adrian
"An Unfinished Life" (2005) — Jean Gilkyson
"Monster-in-Law" (2005) — Charlotte 'Charlie' Cantilini
"Shall We Dance" (2004) — Paulina
"Jersey Girl" (2004) — Gertrude Steiney
"Gigli" (2003) — Ricki
"Maid in Manhattan" (2002) — Marisa Ventura
"Enough" (2002) — Slim Hiller
"Angel Eyes" (2001) — Sharon Pogue
"The Wedding Planner" (2001) — Mary Fiore
"The Cell" (2000) — Catherine Deane
"Antz" (1998) — Azteca (voice)
"Out of Sight" (1998) — Karen Sisco
"U Turn" (1997) — Grace McKenna
"Anaconda" (1997) — Terri Flores
"Selena" (1997) — Selena Quintanilla-Pérez
"Blood and Wine" (1996) — Gabriela "Gabby"
"Jack" (1996) — Miss Marquez
"Money Train" (1995) — Grace Santiago
"My Family" (1995) — Young Maria
"My Little Girl" (1987) — Myra
"Second Chances" (1993-1994) — Melinda Lopez
"Hotel Malibu" (1994) — Melinda Lopez
"South Central" (1994) — Cashier
"Nurses on the Line: The Crash of Flight 7" (1993) — Rosie Romero
"In Living Color" (1991-1993) — Fly Girl