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Ashton Kutcher
Ashton-Kutcher.jpg
Name: Christopher Ashton Kutcher
Born: February 7, 1978
Birth Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Occupation: Actor
<Model
Producer
Entrepreneur
Years active: 1998–present

Christopher Ashton Kutcher (/ˈkʊtʃər/; born February 7, 1978) is an American actor, model, and entrepreneur. He began his acting career portraying Michael Kelso in the Fox sitcom That '70s Show (1998–2006). He made his film debut in the romantic comedy Coming Soon (1999), followed by the comedy film Dude, Where's My Car? (2000), which was a box office hit. In 2003, Kutcher moved into romantic comedies, appearing in that year's Just Married and My Boss's Daughter. In 2003, he created and produced the television series Punk'd, also serving as host for the first eight of its ten seasons. In 2004, Kutcher starred in the lead role of the psychological film  The Butterfly Effect.

Kutcher subsequently appeared in more romantic comedies, including Guess Who (2005), A Lot Like Love (2005), What Happens in Vegas (2008), and No Strings Attached (2011). He starred as Walden Schmidt on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2011–2015). In 2013, Kutcher portrayed Steve Jobs in the biographical film Jobs. He also starred as Colt Bennett in the Netflix series The Ranch (2016–2020). Kutcher provided the voice of Elliot in Open Season (2006).

Beyond entertainment, Kutcher is also a venture capitalist. He is a co-founder of the venture capital firm A-Grade Investments. At SXSW in March 2015, Kutcher announced Sound Ventures, the successor to A-Grade Investments, managing a fund backed by institutional funding. Kutcher has also successfully invested in several high technology startups. Kutcher has investments in over 60 companies, the most prominent of which include Skype, Foursquare, Airbnb, Path and Fab.com. Kutcher has invested in five startups as of August 2017: Neighborly, Zenreach, ResearchGate, Kopari Beauty, and Lemonade.

Early life[]

Kutcher was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Diane (née Finnegan), a Procter & Gamble employee, and Larry M. Kutcher, a factory worker. He has Czech, German, and Irish ancestry.

Kutcher was raised in a "relatively conservative" Catholic family. He has an older sister named Tausha and a fraternal twin brother named Michael, who had a heart transplant when the brothers were young children. Michael also has cerebral palsy and is a spokesperson for the advocacy organization Reaching for the Stars.Michael's cardiomyopathy caused Kutcher's home life to become increasingly stressful. He has said he "didn't want to come home and find more bad news" about his brother, stating, "I kept myself so busy that I didn't allow myself to feel." His parents divorced when he was 16.

Kutcher attended Washington High School in Cedar Rapids for his freshman year, before his family moved to Homestead, Iowa, where he attended Clear Creek–Amana High School. During high school, he developed a passion for acting and appeared in school plays. During his senior year, he broke into his high school at midnight with his cousin in an attempt to steal money; he was arrested leaving the scene. Kutcher was convicted of third-degree burglary and sentenced to three years of probation and 180 hours of community service. Kutcher stated that although the experience "straightened him out", he lost his girlfriend and anticipated college scholarships, and was ostracized at school and in his community.

Kutcher enrolled at the University of Iowa in August 1996, where his planned major was biochemical engineering, motivated by the desire to cure his brother's heart ailment. At college, Kutcher was kicked out of his apartment for being too "noisy" and "wild". Kutcher stated, "I thought I knew everything but I didn't have a clue. I was partying, and I woke up many mornings not knowing what I had done the night before. I played way too hard. I am amazed I am not dead." To earn tuition money, Kutcher worked as a college summer hire in the cereal department for the General Mills plant in Cedar Rapids and sometimes sold his blood plasma. While at the University of Iowa, he was approached by a model scout at The Airliner bar in Iowa City, Iowa, and entered the "Fresh Faces of Iowa" modeling competition. Placing first, he won a trip to New York City's International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) Convention. Leaving Iowa for a stay in New York City, Kutcher then returned to Cedar Rapids, before relocating to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.

Career[]

Modeling[]

After participating in an IMTA competition in 1998, Kutcher signed with Next modeling agency in New York, appeared in commercials for Calvin Klein, and modelled in Paris and Milan.

Acting[]

Following his success in modeling, Kutcher moved to Los Angeles after his first audition. He was cast as Michael Kelso in the television series That '70s Show, from 1998 to 2006. Kutcher was cast in a series of film roles; although he auditioned but was not cast for the role of Danny Walker in Pearl Harbor (2001) (replaced by Josh Hartnett), he starred in several comedy films, including Dude, Where's My Car? (2000), Just Married (2003), and Guess Who (2005). He appeared in the 2003 family film Cheaper By The Dozen as a self-obsessed actor. In the 2004 drama film The Butterfly Effect, Kutcher played a conflicted young man who time travels. While the film received negative reviews, it was a box office success.

In 2003, Kutcher produced and starred as the host in his own series, MTV's Punk'd, that involved hidden camera tricks performed on celebrities. He is also an executive producer of the reality television shows Beauty and the Geek, Adventures in Hollyhood (based around the rap group Three 6 Mafia), The Real Wedding Crashers, and the game show Opportunity Knocks. Many of his production credits, including Punk'd, come through Katalyst Films, a production company he runs with partner Jason Goldberg. A 2004 interviewer described Kutcher as a "hunky young actor [who] is heading in all different directions at once", including "the hot L.A. restaurant Dolce".

Because of scheduling conflicts with the filming of The Guardian, Kutcher was unable to renew his contract for the eighth and final season of That '70s Show, although he appeared in its first four episodes (credited as a special guest star) and returned for the series finale. Kutcher produced and starred in the 2010 action comedy, Killers, in which he played a hitman. In May 2011, Kutcher was announced as Charlie Sheen's replacement on the series Two and a Half Men.

Kutcher's contract was for one year and was believed to be worth nearly $20 million. His debut as the character Walden Schmidt, entitled "Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt", was seen by 28.7 million people on September 19, 2011. The Nielsen ratings company reported that figure was more than any episode in the show's first eight seasons, when Sheen starred in it. Kutcher earned $750,000 an episode on the show. The show ended with a forty-minute series finale "Of Course He's Dead" on February 19, 2015.

Kutcher appeared as a guest Shark during the seventh season of reality TV show Shark Tank, which premiered on September 25, 2015.

In 2016, he appeared in the "Candy, Quahog Marshmallow" episode of Family Guy. From 2016 to 2020 Kutcher co-starred in the Netflix series, The Ranch, alongside Danny Masterson, Elisha Cuthbert and Debra Winger, playing the role of Colt Bennett, the son of a Colorado rancher (Sam Elliott) returning home from a semi-pro football career to run the family business on the ranch.

Venture capital[]

Beyond the entertainment world, Kutcher has invested in several high technology startups. Kutcher has invested in five startups as of August 2017: Neighborly, Zenreach, ResearchGate, Kopari Beauty, and most recently, Lemonade.

He is a co-founder of the venture capital firm A-Grade Investments with Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle and fund manager Chris Hollod. Kutcher, Oseary & Burkle started by initially investing $30m of their own funds in 2010 when they founded the firm, by 2016 Forbes valued the firms holdings at $236m. At SXSW on March 14, 2015, Kutcher announced Sound Ventures, the successor to A-Grade Investments managing a fund backed by institutional funding.

On October 29, 2013, Lenovo announced that it hired Kutcher as product engineer. Kutcher was part of the management team for Ooma, a tech start-up launched in September 2007. Ooma is in the Voice over Internet Protocol business and Kutcher's role was as Creative Director. He spearheaded a marketing campaign and produced viral videos to promote this service. Kutcher also created an interactive arm of Katalyst called Katalyst Media, with his partner from Katalyst Films, Jason Goldberg. Their first site was the animated cartoon Blah Girls. Ooma revamped its sales and marketing strategy with a new management team in the summer of 2008, replacing Kutcher as their creative director. Rich Buchanan, from Sling Media, became Ooma's Chief Marketing Officer.

Kutcher has invested in an Italian restaurant, Dolce (other owners include Danny Masterson and Wilmer Valderrama) and a Japanese-themed restaurant named Geisha House with locations in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York City. Geisha House went out of business on June 1, 2013. In 2019 Ashton Kutcher, Mark Cuban, Steve Watts, and Watts' wife Angela, invested a 50% stake in Veldskoen shoes fledgling US business.

Other work[]

In 2009, Kutcher established an international human rights organization with his then-wife Demi Moore. DNA Foundation, later known as Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, works to address the sexual exploitation of children and the proliferation of child pornography on a global scale. On March 23, 2011, Kutcher launched his own Twitter client with UberMedia called A.plus. While the app was initially available exclusively for desktop computers with Adobe Air installed, it eventually became available on mobile platforms, for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. In order to download on one of the 3 mobile platforms, users must first have the UberSocial client installed on their device and then proceed to the device's browser to download A.plus.

In 2013, Kutcher teamed up with Evan Beard and Kendall Dabaghi to launch A Plus, where Kutcher is currently Chairman of the Board. Initially a product discovery service, it morphed in April 2014 to a social media-driven content platform focused on upbeat stories. It was officially launched in that incarnation in January 2015.It has reported 27.5 million monthly uniques in the United States, has an Alexa rank of about 11787 (4019 in the US), and is ranked by Quantcast as a top 50 site in the US in terms of unique visitors.

Controversy[]

Ashton Kutcher received widespread criticism for his appearance in a Popchips ad campaign in May 2012. The campaign featured Kutcher as an Indian man "looking for love" in a dating ad-style spoof. Kutcher's use of brown face paint and a stereotypical Indian accent received backlash from online viewers and members of the Indian-American community.

Personal life[]

Relationships[]

The woman Kutcher dated in 2001, Ashley Ellerin, was brutally murdered. In 2019 Kutcher, never a suspect, testified at the trial of Michael Gargiulo that he had been at her home the night that she was murdered. Gargiulo was found guilty and sentenced to death on July 16, 2021, for her murder.

Kutcher and actress Demi Moore married on September 24, 2005. Six years later, on November 17, 2011, Moore announced her intention to end the marriage. After more than a year of separation, Kutcher filed for divorce from Moore on December 21, 2012, in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. The divorce was finalized on November 27, 2013.

Kutcher began dating his former That '70s Show co-star Mila Kunis during the first half of 2012. After they became engaged in February 2014, she gave birth to their daughter Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher in October 2014. Kunis married Kutcher in July 2015. She gave birth to their son Dimitri Portwood Kutcher in November 2016. The family resides in a sustainable farmhouse, designed by the couple and architect Howard Backen, in Beverly Hills.

Shows appeared[]

Show judged[]

Shows produced[]

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