Jeremy Lee Renner was born on Jan. 7, 1971 to Valerie and Lee Renner of Modesto, California. Raised with four younger siblings, Renner had a happy and stable childhood in spite of his parents' divorce when he was ten. He graduated from Beyer High School and began his college career at Modesto Junior College. Through his early years he did not show much of an interest in acting or theater.
That changed when Renner entered college. He studied a variety of fields before discovering a love for theater. Interestingly, his first paid acting gig was not with a theater group, but rather with the local police academy. He earned $50 to role-play in a domestic disturbance. Apparently his role as the perpetrator gave him the acting bug, because he soon switched form the junior college to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. After finishing his studies there he moved to Hawaii. In 1993 he relocated to Los Angeles, where he began his acting career in earnest.
Renner's early professional career was in the theater, not film, industry. He co-directed and starred in "Search and Destroy," a critically acclaimed play that gave him a name in the industry. Not long after that he made the transition to film fairly seamlessly with a role in "National Lampoon's Senior Trip" in 1995.
As many actors before him, his next few forays into film and T.V. were in commercials and minor television movie or series guest roles. Among these were guest roles in "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Angel," "Jack and Jane," "Duncan," and "Zoe." As he established himself as an actor, he also took on work as a makeup artist to make ends meet.
Film critics first took notice of Renner in 2002 when he starred as a serial killer in "Dahmer." This performance portrayed the disturbing title character as amazingly complex and even humane, and it earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. It also caused him to get noticed by director Kathryn Bigelow, who would later give him one of his most famous roles.
While these early roles earned him the attention of critics, they were not particularly successful commercially. That changed in 2003 when he worked on "S.W.A.T." with Colin Farrell. Two years later he landed the lead in "Neo Ned," a film about a white supremacist. The Palm Beach International Film Festival awarded him the best actor award for his role this film.
From there his career took off. He landed supporting roles in "Twelve and Holding" and "North Country," both in 2005, and then landed California's Independent Film Festival's best actor award for his work in "Take" in 2007. Other work in 2007 included the leading role in the zombie film "28 Weeks Later" and a supporting role alongside Casey Affleck and Brad Pit in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."
In 2008, Kathryn Bigelow called on Renner to play Sergeant First Class William James in "The Hurt Locker." This amazing performance landed the actor a best actor nomination at the Academy Awards, the Screen Actors Guild and the Independent Spirit Awards. This established him as a prominent name in the film world.
In 2008 Renner took to the television screen in a short T.V. series called "The Unusuals." The next year he played next to Ben Affleck in "The Town," while also beginning filming on the 2011 "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." "The Town" earned the maturing actor an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2011 he also had a cameo as Clint Barton in "Thor," a role he would revisit in 2012 in "The Avengers." "The Bourne Legacy" was added to his repertoire in 2012 as well. In 2013 he starred in "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters."
In 2011 a change to his family life occurred when he welcomed a baby brother into his life. Renner was 40 at the time, and the baby's birth made him the eldest of six siblings.
While all of this film work has kept Renner busy, he also plays a role as a United Nations Goodwill Peace Ambassador. He received the Distinguished Alumnus award from Modesto Junior College in 2010 and headlined at a benefit for the school that same year.
When he is not traveling the world for the United Nations or working on a new film project, he enjoys restoring old homes in the Hollywood area with fellow actor Kristoffer Winters. He also dabbles in music as a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist.