-----Jared Leto was born December 26, 1971, in Bossier City, Louisiana, and moved around frequently. His mother encouraged his love of art and he grew up in an environment of actors, musicians, photographers, artists and different theatrical persons. His first musical instrument was a broken-down piano.
Leto enrolled at the Philadelphia University of the Arts to study painting. Later he developed an interest for acting and transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
In 1994, Leto also made his television film debut in Cool and the Crazy. Gaining a reputation as a teen idol, Leto landed his first film role in the 1995 drama How to Make an American Quilt. He first received first notable critical praise for his 1997 performance in Prefontaine.
Leto played supporting roles in The Thin Red Line in 1998 followed by Girl, Interrupted, and the lead role in the horror film Urban Legend. He earned critical acclaim after portraying heroin addict Harry Goldfarb in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream. He also appeared in Fight Club (1999) and Panic Room (2002).
Since the 2000s, Leto has been nominated for awards for his work in such films as American Psycho, Highway, Lord of War, Lonely Hearts, Chapter 27, and Mr. Nobody. Leto later co-starred with Christina Ricci in The Last of the High Kings and appeared in Switchback.
In his latest film, Dallas Buyers Club, Leto plays an HIV positive transsexual woman. The movie was released in November 2013.
Leto is also the lead vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and main songwriter for Thirty Seconds to Mars. He formed the rock band in 1998 in Los Angeles along with his older brother Shannon Leto.
The band's name, Leto has said, "has little to do with space, the universe or anything like that. It is a name that works on several different levels. Most importantly, it is a good representation of our sound. It's a phrase that is lyrical, suggestive, cinematic, and filled with immediacy. It has some sense of otherness to it."
In 1998, Thirty Seconds to Mars signed a contract with Immortal and Virgin. In 2001, guitarists Kevin Drake and Solon Bixler and bassist Matt Wachter joined the band.
Signed with Immortal and Virgin, Thirty Seconds to Mars released their self-titled debut album in 2002 to positive reviews. The band's follow-up album, A Beautiful Lie (2005), went platinum in several countries. This Is War, the band's third album, was released in December 2009.
Leto has also directed music videos, including the MTV Video Music Award nominated "The Kill" in (2006, "Kings and Queens" in 2009, and "Hurricane" the next year.
-----For more about Jared, visit his Website -