Shia LaBeouf

Actor Shia LaBeouf's screen career arced from child star on the Disney Channel series "Even Stevens" (2000-03) to Hollywood leading man in "Transformers" (2007) and later, an intense and committed staple of indie features like "American Honey" (2017) and "The Peanut Butter Falcon" (2019). Born Shia Saide LaBeouf in Los Angeles, California on June 11, 1988, he was raised primarily by his mother, Shayna Saide, due to drug dependency and financial issues forced her separation from his father, Jeffrey LaBeouf. He fell into performing primarily as a means of providing money for his family, and as a ten-year-old, reportedly worked as a comedian at various Los Angeles clubs. Minor roles on television series preceded his breakout role as the precocious Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel series "Even Stevens." LaBeouf netted a Daytime Emmy for his rambunctious performance, which led to appearances on other television series, including "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000), and his feature film debut in the quirky youth-oriented comedy "Holes" (2003). Supporting turns in major features like "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (2003) and "Constantine" (2005), with Keanu Reeves, blossomed into starring roles, beginning in 2005 with the Disney feature "The Greatest Game Ever Played," with LaBeouf as golfer Francis Ouimet, who became the first amateur to win the U.S. Open in 1913. A modest hit, it was followed by the thriller "Disturbia" (2007), but its success at the box office was quickly eclipsed by "Transformers" (2007), a live-action, big-budget take on the popular toy line and animated series. LaBeouf was reportedly recommended for the film's lead by its executive producer, Steven Spielberg, who then cast him as Harrison Ford's son in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (2008). But LaBeouf's ascent to stardom was an uneasy one: critical and audience response to his performances in both films was mixed, and the actor himself appeared to struggle with the media attention, preferring instead to focus his energies on a burgeoning directorial career. He had co-helmed a short, "Let's Love Hate," in 2004, but his solo efforts arrived in a flurry in 2011, beginning with videos for rapper Kid Cudi and Marilyn Manson and soon expanding to a satirical horror film, "Maniac" (2011) and "Howard" (2013), with comic Jim Gaffigan as a scabrous film critic. The latter project attracted negative attention when several journalists and bloggers noted a slew of similarities to "Justin M. Damiano," a 2007 comic by Daniel Clowes of "Ghost World" fame. The incident - and LaBeouf's response, which was perceived as insincere - did little to appease his detractors or cull the actor's creative urges, which continued unabated with appearances in two more "Transformers" films ("Revenge of the Fallen" in 2010 and "Dark of the Moon" in 2011), as well as starring roles for Oliver Stone in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" (2011) and Robert Redford in "The Company You Keep" (2012). Determined to maintain a foot in the art world, he also appeared in Lars von Trier's controversial and explicit "Nymphomaniac" (2013) and embarked on a series of public performance art projects with British author Luke Turner and Finnish artist Nastja Sade. The first of these was a 2014 appearance at the Berlin Film Festival, where LaBeouf walked the red carpet with a paper bag over his head, on which was written "I am not famous anymore." Subsequent efforts found the actor weeping for hours in front of visitors, skipping rope and screening footage of his beating heart online, and watching all of his movies consecutively with an audience while his reactions were live streamed to viewers. Critics were divided in their response to these efforts, while media outlets had a field day reporting on them, which they lumped into a growing list of LaBeouf's public eccentricities that included his fractious departure from a 2013 Broadway production of Lyle Kessler's Orphans and arrests for disorderly conduct and public drunkenness in 2014 and 2017. He emerged from this tumultuous period not only sober but with apparent new focus on his acting talents. He earned solid reviews as a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in "Man Down" (2015) and as the freewheeling leader of a magazine sales crew in Andrea Arnold's "American Honey" (2016). After winning critical praise as volatile tennis player John McEnroe in the Swedish drama "Borg vs. McEnroe" (2017), LaBeouf drew on his own childhood to write and co-star in the indie "Honey Boy" (2019), about a young man's relationship with his eccentric father (played by LaBeouf), before earning more critical praise as a troubled fisherman who aids a young man with Down Syndrome on his quest to become a professional wrestler in the indie "Peanut Butter Falcon" (2019).