Saturday, January 23, 2010
The son of Jane Etta (née Hillhouse), a high school counselor, and William Alvin Pitt, a truck company owner, Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Along with his siblings Doug (born 1966) and Julie Neal (born 1969), he grew up in Springfield, Missouri, where the family moved soon after his birth. He was raised as a conservative Southern Baptist throughout his childhood.
Pitt attended Kickapoo High School where he was a member of the golf, tennis and swimming teams. In addition, he participated in the school's Key and Forensics clubs, school debates, and musicals. Following his graduation from high school, Pitt enrolled in the University of Missouri in 1982, majoring in journalism, with a focus on advertising. As a member of theSigma Chi fraternity, he acted in several fraternity shows. In 1985, two weeks prior to earning his degree, Pitt left the university and moved to Los Angeles in order to take acting lessons. When asked why he left the university, Pitt responded with the following: "I had this sinking feeling as graduation approached. I saw my friends getting jobs. I wasn't ready to settle down. I loved films. They were a portal into different worlds for me, and Missouri wasn't where movies were made. Then it hit me: If they didn't come to me, I'd go to them."