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One of the crop of obscenely attractive young stars to pop up during the late 1990s, Josh Hartnett has the kind of strong-jawed, puppy-eyed looks that make him equally suited for both movie stardom and Tommy Hilfiger ads.

Born in San Francisco on July 21, 1978, Hartnett was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. Following his high school graduation, he attended New York's SUNY-Purchase, but his time there ended after he was offered a role on the short-lived TV series Cracker. He also did a number of TV commercials and plays, and in 1998 he got his screen break with the plum role of Jamie Lee Curtis' son in Halloween: H20. Although the film received poor reviews, it did moderately well at the box office, and that same year Harnett's profile further increased when he starred in The Faculty. One of a number of films to exploit the current trend in teen horror movies, it featured Hartnett fighting off alien teachers alongside the likes of fellow up-and-comers Elijah Wood and Shawn Hatosy. Although the film didn't do as well as expected, thanks in part to the fact that the teen horror craze was beginning to lose steam, it in no way interfered with the increasing number of opportunities available to the young actor.

Hartnett could subsequently be seen in a number of diverse films; among his projects in 2000 alone, he played an Iago-like character in O, the teen re-telling of Othello; the son of Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton in the comedy-drama Town and Country; and the paramour of the eldest of the ill-fated Lisbon sisters in Sofia Coppola's adaptation of The Virgin Suicides. -- Rebecca Flint, All Movie Guide

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