One of the Hollywood's greatest assets whose dedication in performing arts are visible enough to see if looking through his consistently outstanding enactments that often leave such deep impression to everyone who watches them, Edward Harrison Norton certainly is one remarkable thespian hard to miss of. The oldest son of a teacher and an environmental lawyer who formerly was a federal prosecutor under the Carter administration, Edward in fact has long nurtured his love for acting through extensive trainings also performances since he was still a mere little child. Born on August 18, 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts but grew up in Columbia, Maryland, he initially planted an interest in the field at the age of 5 upon watching his babysitter, Betsy True, performing onstage in "If I Were a Princess" to then eagerly develop his skills at Columbia School for Theatrical Arts where he later encountered his stage debut in "Annie Get Your Gun" by age eight.
As the growing fondness gradually rooted within him, Edward's efforts in compiling either acting knowledge or experience subsequently got heavier when he attended Yale University after finishing his study at Wilde Lake High School in 1987. Not only joined many theater classes without abandoning his history major, the guy also enthusiastically involved himself in several productions of its theatrical society, including those of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Don't Drink the Water", plus "The Cherry Orchard." However, these all apparently did not yet quench his thirst to learn more about performing for he tirelessly continued the endeavor in New York at Terry Schreiber Studio following his graduation from Yale by 1991 though he at that time had already managed to appear in handful of off-off Broadway plays like "Italian American Reconciliation" and "Lovers."
With the persistent attempts he had carried out to enrich his knack, it was not really difficult for Edward to build his way in the professional field afterwards as he shortly landed the lead part in a Signature Theater Company production of Edward Albee's "Fragments" in 1994. Around this time, there also came a casting call for a male supporting role in a Hollywood film feature and perceiving the audition to be a good chance to make a transition into cinematic world, he thus decided to give it a try. Competing against more than 2,000 hopefuls, the actor fantastically made his way to perform his best during the test screenings that the casting directors without any single hesitation willingly included him in the line-up. Though the part was his first experience in the industry, he surprisingly nailed it down very brilliantly to deliver an astounding film debut when the picture, titled "Primal Fear", hit the theaters in 1996.
All the keen observation and hard work Edward had carried out to portray maniacal murderer Aaron Stampler in the movie were really paid off when he successfully nabbed triple nods of Oscar, BAFTA Film Award, plus Golden Globes for the best supporting actor category by the following year. Winning the latter one, this attainment sure catapulted him to vast recognition around the States in turn, even leading the star to another propitious stint in "American History X" (1998) through which he later gloriously received one more Oscar nomination in 1999, this time for Best Actor in a Leading Role category. No doubt became one of the hottest properties in Hollywood thereafter, he in turn easily walked on his path to again obtain huge praise through Brad Pitt's 1999 vehicle of "Fight Club" before boldly ventured into directing field in "Keeping the Faith" (2000), a pleasing rom-com flick that delightfully resulted well in the worldwide box-office.
Continued to shine for the first half of 2000s, Edward wisely utilized his growing status to explore a wide array of characters as seen in a series of high-profile pictures he was cast in like "The Score" (2001), "Death to Smoochy" (2002), "Red Dragon" (2002), "The Italian Job" (2003), and "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005). Next joined Evan Rachel Wood also David Morse to film romantic Western drama "Down in the Valley" (2006), the road ahead indeed runs smoothly for him with the coming of more star-studded movies which included "The Illusionist" (2006), "The Painted Veil" (2006), and "Pride and Glory"(2008). Big publication followed later when he got selected to play the titular character in "The Incredible Hulk" (2008), Marvel Studios' reboot of the green superhero franchise that he also penned, while reuniting with Pitt to film Kevin Macdonald-helmed "State of Play" (2008).
Amidst the quite hectic shooting schedule, Edward wonderfully still managed to return to the director's chair in "Motherless Brooklyn", a crime drama focusing on Lionel Essrog, a detective with Tourette's Syndrome. Set for a 2008 release as well, the project would also find him as the producer, co-writer, and, certainly, Essrog. On particular note about his love life, the actor has been known to once date Courtney Love from 1996 to 1998 before falling into the arms of Mexican beauty Salma Hayek whom he began romancing in 1999. Though later nicely worked hand in hand to bring up biopic drama of "Frida" on theaters in 2002, the bond between them sadly was broken after 4 years for the couple ultimately concluded to go their separate ways by the following year.