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Born on June 21, 1979 in Virginia, Minnesota, Chris Pratt was discovered by actress/director Rae Dawn Chong and eventually established a successful TV career, starring in series like Everwood, The O.C. and Parks and Recreation. He ventured onto the big screen as well with supporting roles in Wanted, Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty before having huge box office success as the lead actor in Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the Marvel Comics series. Pratt also starred in 2015’s Jurassic World.

Chris Pratt was born on June 21, 1979 in Virginia, Minnesota, the youngest of three siblings. He and his family later moved to Lake Stevens, Washington, and Pratt eventually did a small amount of acting in plays and at a dinner theater. He moved to Maui, Hawaii at one point and was working as a waiter at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company when he met actress and director Rae Dawn Chong. She liked his look and energy and cast him in the 2000 short film Cursed Part 3. This opened the door for Pratt to pursue more acting work, and he landed a role in 2002 in the series Everwood as athlete Bright Abbott, remaining with the show until its 2006 ending.

Pratt went on to join the cast of The O.C. for its last season in 2006-07, and would become known for a certain type of comedic performance for a good chunk of his screen career. He joined the Amy Poehler sitcom Parks and Recreation in a multi-episode guest spot as bumbling musician Andy Dwyer during its 2009 debut season, becoming a regular in the series’ second season. Pratt stayed with the series until its finale in 2015.

Pratt has done a number of film projects as well, including Strangers With Candy (2005), Wanted (2008), Jennifer’s Body (2009) and Bride Wars (2009). After playing a first baseman in Brad Pitt’s Moneyball (2011), Pratt was seen portraying a Navy SEAL in Zero Dark Thirty (2012), the Kathryn Bigelow film starring Jessica Chastain about the mission to find terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Pratt’s acceptance of more stark dramatic fare allowed him to see himself in a new light and think about different possibilities as an actor.

After supporting roles in 2013 fare like Delivery Man and Her, 2014 became a banner year. Pratt was heard voicing the main character in the animated The Lego Movie and then found blockbuster success with the release of the humorous sci-fi adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name. With co-stars like Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, Pratt plays Peter Quill, introduced as a space-faring scavenger who also goes by the name Star Lord. Though focusing on comic characters not previously widely known, the film earned more than $770 million worldwide in its initial release.

After Guardians, Pratt moved on other lead actor work. He spent part of 2014 filming the next installment of the Jurassic Park film series in Louisiana and Hawaii. The movie is dubbed Jurassic World and hit theaters in June 2015. Next up for the rising star, the remake of the western The Magnificent Seven. This version has many impressive actors among the cast, including Denzel Washington and Vincent D’Onofrio.