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Somehow it feels like Jennifer Lopez is going through a career renaissance, even though she hasn’t really gone anywhere. But the point is, these days she seems to be doing everything. She featured in a Las Vegas residency, currently stars in the NBC cop drama Shades of Blue, produces and co-judges World of Dance, and remains an obsession for the paparazzi on every red carpet she steps. And then, of course, there’s that booty.
Born on July 29, 1969, in the Bronx, NY, the seeds for Jennifer’s career were planted at the age of five when she began taking singing and dancing lessons. At seven, she started touring New York with her school. Notes Wikipedia, “Her parents stressed the importance of work ethic and being able to speak English. They encouraged their three daughters to put on performances at home — singing and dancing in front of each other and their friends so that they would stay out of trouble. [J.Lo] spent her entire academic career in Catholic schools, finishing at Preston High School. In school, [she] did gymnastics, ran track on a national level, and was a member of the school's softball team. She excelled athletically rather than academically, competing in national track championships.”
It was during her senior year of high school that she learned about a film casting that was looking for teenage girls. After auditioning, she was cast in 1986’s My Little Girl. Several years later, in 1991, she was selected as a backup dancer for New Kids On The Block, which led to her being hired as a “Fly Girl” dancer on In Living Color. In 1993, she co-starred with Lindsay Wagner in Lost In The Wild, which was followed by My Family, Money Train, and Jack. But everything moved to the next level in 1997, when she starred in the biopic Selena. After that, the sky was the limit for Jennifer Lopez, moving from film to film, soaring as a recording artist, and blowing away the competition as an overall performer.
During the early days of her career, when success was definitely coming her way, she offered up this explanation to the media: “I have the stardom glow. I work really hard. I’ll just get better as I go along, because I’m open to getting better. If you have the goods, there’s nothing to be afraid of. If somebody doesn’t have the goods, they’re insecure. I don’t have that problem. I’m not the best actress that ever lived, but I know I’m pretty good.”
As it turned out, of course, Jennifer has been very good, with a career that, at this point, has spanned over 30 years and gives absolutely no sign of slowing down. For more on J.Lo, scroll down for a look back at her entire film history.
My Little Girl (1986)
She may have begun it as a means of making herself feel better, but rich socialite Franny Bettinger (Mary Stuart Masterson) finds herself connecting with the teen girls who live at a center for troubled youths (Jennifer among them).
Lost in the Wild (1993)
There's a plane crash in the Mexican jungle, and the film follows doctors and a student nurse as they try to help the survivors. Robert Loggia and Lindsay Wagner star.
My Family (1995)
As a second-generation Mexican immigrant tells the story of his family's history, we meet Jennifer as Maria, who marries the man's father.
Money Train (1995)
Foster brothers played by Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes are drawn into the idea of robbing the New York Transit Authority's "money train" (which carries the proceeds from the public transportation system). Stuck in the middle is Jennifer's transit officer.
A woman gives birth to a child who ages rapidly, coming to the point where at the age of 10, the youngster, Jack, has the appearance of a 40-year-old man (played by Robin Williams). The film follows his attempts to adapt to a life that is quickly passing him by.
Blood And Wine (1996)
Once again, J.Lo finds herself caught in the middle of a criminal situation, this time between Michael Cain's safecracker, Jack Nicholson's philandering husband, and an angry stepson, who convince nanny Gabriella to help them steal a million-dollar diamond necklace.
The role that truly brought J.Lo world-wide fame. A biographical drama, it sees her as singer Selena Quintanilla, whose rising career is tragically cut short when she is murdered by the president of her fan club.
Jennifer leads a film crew into the Amazon jungle in search of a forgotten tribe, when they come across a man stranded on a riverbank. Rescuing him in turn leads them on the hunt for a legendary anaconda that could make all of them rich.
U Turn (1997)
A two-bit criminal (Sean Penn) meets an attractive woman (J.Lo) and her spouse (Nick Nolte), each of whom wants him to murder the other. Hey, it's good to have goals... isn't it?
Out Of Sight (1998)
Here's the studio's official description: "Meet Jack Foley (George Clooney), the most successful bank robber in the country. On the day he busts out of jail, he finds himself stealing something far more precious than money ... Karen Sisco's (Jennifer Lopez) heart. She's smart. She's sexy, and unfortunately for Jack, she's a Federal Marshal. Now, they're willing to risk it all to find out if there's more between them than just the law."
The Cell (2000)
A bit of sci-fi horror for Jennifer playing psychologist Catherine Deanne, who is able to enter the mind of a serial killer in the hopes of finding a final potential victim before it's too late.
The Wedding Planner (2001)
"While celebrating her newest and most lucrative account — the wedding of Internet tycoon Fran Donelly (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras) — Mary (Jennifer Lopez) is rescued from a near-fatal collision with a runaway dumpster by handsome pediatrician Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey)," the film's description reads. "After spending the most enchanting evening of their lives together, Mary thinks she's finally found a reason to believe in love. What she doesn't know is that cupid and her career are about to collide head-on."
Angel Eyes (2001)
When Jim Caviezel's Catch saves Jennifer's Chicago police officer Sharon Pogue from an ambush that could have cost her her life, the two start to fall in love, though secrets from their past threaten to destroy everything.
This one sounds like a big screen version of a Lifetme TV movie. Describes Google, "Working-class waitress Slim (Jennifer Lopez) finds her life transformed when she marries wealthy contractor Mitch (Billy Campbell)... [But] her dream is shattered when she discovers her husband is anything but perfect." See what we mean?
Maid In Manhattan (2002)
A case of mistaken identity leads to a romance between a New York maid and single mother (J.Lo) and the wealthy heir to a political dynasty (Ralph Fiennes), though their stations in life threaten to tear them apart.
Another love story filled with complications: Ben Affleck's Gigli is assigned to kidnap the younger brother of a federal prosecutor, but when he blows it, a gangster named Ricki (Jennifer) is sent in to provide assistance.
Jersey Girl (2004)
Music promoter Ollie Trinke (Ben Affleck) meets book editor Gertrude Steiney (Jennifer — c'mon, can you imagine her as someone named Gertrude?), who (you guessed it) fall in love. It's a romance that has a profound impact on the workaholic Ollie.
Shall We Dance? (2004)
Miramax films describes this one as follows: "Despite having a great career and a loving family, lawyer John Clark (Richard Gere) is missing something in his life as he meanders listlessly from day to day. On his commute back home one night, Clark notices a stunning woman (Jennifer Lopez) in a dance studio and decides on a whim to join a class for ballroom dancing. While Clark finds a new spark in his life, his wife, Beverly (Susan Sarandon), grows suspicious of his frequent absences, since he decides to keep his dancing a secret." There's definitely An Officer and a Gentleman vibe to parts of the film, particularly the ending.
Jane Fonda is the title character, who is less than thrilled when her doctor son (Michael Vartan) proposes to a woman named Charlotte (J.Lo), and is willing to do whatever is necessary not to lose her son.
An Unfinished Life (2005)
Despite blaming his daughter-in-law (J.Lo) for his son's accidental death, a rancher (Robert Redford), who's also a recovering alcoholic, agrees to let her and his granddaughter stay with him to provide refuge from an abusive relationship she's in. The more time they spend together, the more healing starts to take place between them.
Jennifer is Chicago reporter Lauren Adrian, who is investigating the unsolved murders of hundreds of Mexican women at a factory owned by the US. Reunited with colleague and former lover Alfonso Diaz (Antonio Banderas), they attempt to uncover the truth.
El Cantante (2006)
A love story between a Puerto Rican singer (Marc Anthony) and a New Yorker (J.Lo) is threatened as his lucrative career in salsa music begins to collapse under the weight of his drug addiction.
The Back-Up Plan (2010)
Fearing the ticking of her biological clock, Jennifer's Zoe decides to try artificial insemination, finding herself pregnant with twins. On the same day as her procedure, she meets Stan (Hawaii 5-0's Alex O'Loughlin) and there is an instant connection, particularly when he learns of her pregnancy. Always wanting to be a father, he commits to her fully, but as time goes on, there's a growing fear that the only thing that keeps them united is the unborn children.
What To Expect When You’re Expecting (2012)
A look at the impact of impending parenthood on five different couples, some of whom seem ready and others not so much.
When one of his robberies goes wrong due to a reckless crew member, Parker (Jason Statham) refuses his next assignment, and he's left for dead by the other crooks. After surviving, he seeks vengeance, which leads him to Palm Beach. Once there, he meets and connects with J.Lo's character, and together they attempt to steal the gang's next heist.
The Boy Next Door (2015)
Claire Peterson (J.Lo), a high school teacher who's newly-separated, likes the attention she's getting by teenager Noah (Ryan Guzman), who has moved in next door. This leads to seduction and eventually sex, but when Claire tries to call things off, Noah grows increasingly violent.
Lila & Eve (2015)
After the senseless murder of her son (Aml Ameen), a grief-stricken mother (Viola Davis) joins forces with another woman (J.Lo) for vigilante justice.
Shades Of Blue (TV Series, 2016-)
Marking her first dramatic television series, Jennifer stars as NYPD detective and single mother Harlee Santos. Describes NBC, "She runs with a crew of dirty cops willing to do anything to keep their precinct and each other safe. At the head of the table sits Matt Wozniak [Ray Liotta] — their unit's lieutenant and Harlee's surrogate father. After Harlee is caught taking a bribe by the FBI, she's asked to betray her cop family to save herself and her daughter. When she decides to play both sides, she finds herself at the center of a far-reaching corruption case and must toe a dangerous line between loyalty and self-preservation."
This post originally appeared on our sister site, FHM.