|July 17, 1975|
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Born July 17, 1975 in Las Vegas, NV, Cary Jason Hart was raised in Seal Beach, CA. His father bought him a motocross bike when Hart was only four, and the youngster was immediately hooked on the sport. He first competed at six, and turned pro at 18, racing on the AMA Supercross circuit. A passionate daredevil, Hart helped birth the sport of freestyle motocross (FMX) in 1998, which focused on jumps and stunts. He created a trick called the Hart Attack, where a rider jumps a gap while doing a completely vertical handstand on the bike, and nailed the sport's first backflip, which he pulled off on a 250cc motorcycle at the 2000 Gravity Games. Although the trick became standard for a rider's arsenal, Hart's innovation caught the world's attention at the time, appearing on Ripley's Believe It or Not! and bolstering the athlete's growing reputation.
As FMX's popularity exploded across the globe, Hart's followed, and he notched many colorful and impressive career highlights, including jumping over a trailer park in Kid Rock's 1999 video "Bawitdaba" and playing bass with the band Pennywise on the 2000 Australian Warped Tour. Commercial campaigns for Ford, Dunkin Donuts, Fox, DVS and Mountain Dew as well as mainstream media attention followed, with Hart joining Tony Hawk as one of the most visible ambassadors of the growing cult of extreme sports by appearing on "Late Show with David Letterman" (CBS, 1993- ) and "The Today Show" (NBC, 1952- ).
Hart met the pop/rock singer Pink at the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia, PA and later appeared in several of her music videos. The two shared the same punk-inspired, living-out-loud ethos, and so commenced a turbulent, on-again, off-again relationship. Around the same time, Hart made a cameo in the Vin Diesel action pic "xXx" (2002) as well as appeared as himself on "Punk'd" (MTV, 2003-07), in the feature film "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (2003) alongside Pink, and enjoyed a stint on the fifth season of "The Surreal Life" (The WB, 2003-04; VH1, 2004-06).
Hart's success, creativity and elite-level reputation came at a price, leaving him with two broken vertebrae from a fall directly after that historic first backflip. Sixty-three broken bones, life-threatening blood loss, scars and metal replacement rods all served as physical reminders of just how demanding and grueling the sport truly was and how fully Hart was committed to giving his all. An entrepreneur as well as an athlete, Hart's recovery downtime helped inspire him to start his own business empire, turning his passion for tattoos into the Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company, which opened in the Palms Casino in Las Vegas in 2004.
The reality show "Inked" (A&E Network, 2005-06) followed the workings of the shop, and additional chains opened in Honolulu, Orlando, Cabo San Lucas and Niagara Falls, Canada. Promoter John Huntington sued Hart in 2006, but they settled in meditation. Several years later, Hart, along with several friends including Good Charlotte band members/brothers Benji and Joel Madden, created the club Wasted Space in Las Vegas, but it closed in 2010. Ever the businessman, Hart also added a clothing line and a truck team to his growing empire.
In 2005, Pink proposed to Hart by holding up a "Will You Marry Me?" sign during one of his races in Mammoth Lakes, CA. They married in Costa Rica in 2006, but their often rocky romance was dogged with press speculation as to an impending divorce. In 2008, Pink announced the two had separated, although they remained close friends, especially when Hart's younger brother Tony died after being injured during practice for a motocross competition. After marriage counseling, coordinating their busy touring schedules, and a lengthy reconciliation process, they officially reunited sans divorce in 2009. A year later, Pink announced she was expecting their first child in 2011.