Texas-born, Jersey-bred Hawke got a break in 1989 when he appeared as one of Robin Williams's pupils in Dead Poets Society and made a splash as Winona Ryder's moody and misanthropic love interest in Reality Bites, a role that firmly planted him on the Gen-X cultural map and in the hearts of starry-eyed young girls everywhere. A handful of critical favorites followed, like 1995's Before Sunrise and 1997's Gattaca, before he earned an Oscar nod in 2001 for his performance opposite Denzel Washington in the bad-cop thriller Training Day.
Lately, Hawke has primarily focused his attention on indie flicks that have "before" in the title like Before Sunset and Before The Devil Knows You're Dead. Hawke also solidified his highbrow credentials in Tom Stoppard's eight-hour Russian-intellectual-history drama The Coast of Utopia, which earned him a Tony nod. In the annoying tradition of pretty people that need to prove they have something going on upstairs (case study: James Franco) Hawke's a full-blown Man Of Letters: he's published novels, directed the film adaptation of The Hottest State, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 for his script work on Before Sunset.
Hawke was married to Uma Thurman from 1998 to 2004. The couple split after he cheated on her with an "aspiring model." The couple now shares custody of their two children, Maya and Levon. In 2008, Ethan married Maya and Levon's former nanny Ryan Shawhughes. The two have since had a daughter of their own, Clementine Jane Hawke. [Image via Getty]