Ben Affleck has been in the business for nearly 20 years and while his career is still alive and well, he's taken more than his fair share of bumps along the way.
After coming to prominence as a writer with Matt Damon and receiving the Oscar for Best Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, he became a leading man who eventually starred in some of the worst films of this century. (Gigli, anyone?) But after retreating and getting married to Jennifer Garner, he's now found his niche as a director. His latest film Argo, which hits theaters tomorrow, has Oscar buzz surrounding it for both his acting and directing work. Check out our roundup of the rise and fall (and rise again) of Ben!
1995 - The Kevin Smith Years Begin
Ben first gained Hollywood attention by acting in a boatload of flicks directed by Kevin Smith, including co-starring with Shannon Doherty in the 1995 film Mallrats. He also appeared in Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001).
1997 - Good Will Hunting
The Kevin Smith flicks varied in their box office and critical success, but Ben's first real smash came as a co-writer and actor alongside Matt Damon for the 1997 flick Good Will Hunting. The film made over $220 million at the box office and won them the Oscar for Best Screenplay, turning him from a relative unknown into an A-list celebrity.
1998-2001 - The Leading Man Years
Ben parlayed his success from that movie into a career as a Hollywood leading man, starring or co-starring in a number of blockbusters including Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and Shakespeare in Love. Armageddon made $553 million at the box office while Pearl Harbor made $449 million. However, his acting was panned by critics and many believed that his buddy Matt had all the talent in their friendship.
2002 - Relationship with Jennifer Lopez
Ben began dating Jennifer Lopez in 2002 and was quickly dubbed "Bennifer" by the tabloids after quickly getting engaged. The couple seemed to be in the tabloids on a daily basis and even South Park had a field day lampooning them. Despite having a wedding date planned, the couple broke up in 2004 and both blamed the media for contributing to their demise.
2003-2004 - The Razzie Years
Maybe it was the relationship to Jennifer or just a really bad manager. Either way, throughout 2003 and 2004, Ben couldn't stop starring in some of the worst movies of the last 10 years including Daredevil, Gigli and Jersey Girl. He won the Worst Actor Award three times and Bennifer also won Worst Screen Couple for Gigli.
2004 - Relationship to Jennifer Garner Begins
At least there was one benefit to starring in Daredevil: meeting his co-star Jennifer! The pair began dating in 2004 and were engaged after just nine months. The new Bennifer married in 2005 and wasted no time having kids. They now have three in total: six-year-old Violet, three-year-old Seraphina and eight-month-old Samuel.
2007 - Ben Goes Behind the Camera
Ben declared that he did not want to be part of the tabloid fodder of Hollywood living and retreated to becoming a writer and director. His first venture behind the camera was the 2007 film Gone Baby Gone, which he also wrote the script for. Not only did the film nearly double the $19 million it spent at the box office, but it was one of his first critically praised movies in almost a decade. He also directed and starred in the commercially and critically acclaimed The Town in 2010.
2012 - Oscar Buzz for Argo
Nearly 15 years after winning his first Oscar, many believe he's primed to do it again as both an actor and director with his latest flick. The film is about the rescue of six US diplomats from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. George Clooney is also a producer for the movie.
What's your favorite Ben Affleck moment?
Photos courtesy of Getty Images, Warner Bros. Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures and View Askew Productions