Paul Rudds life – Jennifer Aniston bond, chance meet with wife and sudden loss

Paul Rudd has become one of the most popular men in Hollywood, and it's hardly surprising.

The 52-year-old star is famous for playing the funny man in films like Anchorman and TV shows like Friends, and he's transformed into an action hero for his role as Ant-Man in a handful of Marvel films.

However, its no secret that Paul is something of a heartthrob in the showbiz world, and he was recently named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive 2021.

Despite his good looks and major success, Paul stayed remarkably humble and he joked that he didn't deserve the award.

Paul is set to star in the highly-anticipated reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise – in its latest sequel, Afterlife.

Paul told Digital Spy it's an "honour" to be taking on the beloved supernatural comedy franchise, which first hit screens in 1984 with its first film.

However, he admitted he's tried not to dwell on it too much as the pressure of taking on a hugely popular franchise can be "overwhelming".

To celebrate the release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Daily Star has taken a closer look at Paul Rudd's fascinating life away from the screen.

Meeting his wife

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Fans will be forgiven for being rather upset that handsome Paul is a married man.

Paul has been happily married to publicist-turned-screenwriter Julie Yaeger since they tied the knot back in 2003.

The story of how they met is something out of a romantic comedy too, because they met in surprising circumstances.

Paul met Julie shortly after he worked on Clueless (1995), the teen comedy film which gave him his big break in Hollywood.

The pair met when he visited his publicist's office, where she was working at the time.

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The couple share their two children, Jack and Darby.

Paul revealed his wife's reaction to him being named 2021's Sexiest Man Alive in November.

He told People that although she was "stupefied", she was very sweet about the whole thing.

He went on: "She was stupefied, but you know she was very sweet about it.

"After some giggling and shock, she said 'Oh, they got it right.' And that was very sweet. She was probably not telling the truth, but what's she going to say?"

Surprise venture

Back in 2014, Paul and fellow actor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, known for playing Negan in The Walking Dead, became co-owners of a New York store called Samuel's Sweet Shop.

The Hollywood duo saved the sweet shop from closing when they took it over.

It risked closure as the previous owner, who had been a friend of theirs, tragically died unexpectedly.

Working on Friends

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Paul is best known to some as Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) love interest on Friends, Mike Hannigan.

Rudd made his Friends debut on Episode 3 of Season Nine, called The One With the Pediatrician.

Mike ends up marrying Phoebe during the final season of the series.

However, he admitted that he "felt like a prop" while acting on the hit NBC sitcom.

He told fellow Marvel actor Chris Evans for Variety: "In something like Friends, the show was about them, but it's an interesting thing to be a part of.

"I was only in it for just a blip, I felt, 'I'm like a prop on this show. It's not about Mike Hannigan.' But there's a very interesting feeling to be a part of something that has that kind of profound impact on pop culture."

Hollywood success

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Paul's acting debut came in 1992, when he played the character of Kirby in the drama, Sisters.

After his big break in Clueless, Paul has shot to stardom in Hollywood – and in 2015 he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to prove it.

The New Jersey-born actor has played plenty of comedy roles in his time, and starred with lots of famous faces.

He worked with Elf star Will Ferrell in the Anchorman films, The Office star Steve Carrell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), and Seth Rogan in Knocked Up (2007).

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However, he recently turned his talents to superhero movies as he's played Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He's starred in two Ant-Man films as well as other Marvel movies like Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

Speaking about his latest role in Ghostbusters, Paul told Digital Spy: "I don't really dwell on that kind of stuff [fan pressure] because it can be overwhelming at times. It was good. I mean, we're always aware of the love that a lot of people have for the original.

"I thought, instead of the pressure it was more of an honour, I'd say. And it was a very cool thing to look over to the side and see Jason Reitman sitting there conferring with his dad, Ivan, and knowing what this franchise means to them, and the love and care and passion that they put into it.

Famous friends

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Over the years, Paul has managed to work with a whole league of A-list actors, many of which he's become close pals with.

Paul first worked with Jennifer Aniston on Friends in the noughties, and it looks like they've stayed pals ever since.

They must have worked well together, because they later worked on the comedy Wanderlust in 2012.

When Jennifer found out Paul had been named the Sexiest Man Alive, she shared a sweet message on her Instagram where she said "we've always known this".

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She wrote on Instagram: "This makes me so happy, we've always known this, but Paul is officially people's Sexiest Man Alive!"

She followed up the post with a snap of them in The Object of My Affection with the caption: "You don't age, which is weird. But we still love you."

Paul's also had a close friendship with Seth Rogan, and they've worked together on tons on films including The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

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Seth recently shared a hilarious story of how Paul managed to prank Seth as he received a massage in Las Vegas.

Taking to Twitter to tell the story, Rogan wrote: "Once I was in the spa in a hotel in Vegas getting a massage. When I finished I turned over and to my shock Paul Rudd was massaging me.

"He saw me go in and convinced the masseuse to let him take over, thinking I’d notice immediately. I didn’t, and Paul did the entire rest of it."

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