Zooey Deschanel

Actor / Singer

Born: 17 January 1980
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Best known as:

The doe-eyed star of (500) Days of Summer and New Girl

Zooey Deschanel is the bright-eyed brunette whose turn as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's object of affection in (500) Days of Summer (2009) led to her own TV show in 2011, New Girl. She grew up in a film family: her father is cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (The Natural, The Passion of the Christ), her mother is actor Mary Jo Deschanel (Eileen Hayward in Twin Peaks) and her sister is actor Emily Deschanel (TV's Bones). Zooey made her film debut in 1999's Mumford (co-starring Jason Lee) and was a stand-out as the older sister in Almost Famous (starring Billy Crudup). Since then she's been busy appearing in films and singing, in a cabaret stage act and a folk duo (with M. Ward). Her films include The Good Girl (2002, with Jake Gyllenhaal) Elf (2003, with Will Ferrell) and Failure to Launch (2006, starring Sarah Jessica Parker). In 2007 she seemed to be just about everywhere, appearing in more than half a dozen films, including Raving, the drama written and directed by actress Julie Stiles, the children's films Bridge to Terabithia and Surf's Up (Deschanel was the voice of Lani) and the Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. She also starred as DG (the Dorothy Gale character) in Tin Man (the 2007 cable TV miniseries inspired by the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), and in M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening (2008, with Mark Wahlberg).

Extra credit:

In 2008 Deschanel and M. Ward released an album under the name of She & Him, titled Volume One... She married Ben Gibbard, of the rock band Death Cab for Cutie, in September of 2009; they announced in November 2011 that they had split up and would divorce.

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More on Zooey Deschanel from Fact Monster:

  • Zooey Deschanel - Biography of Zooey Deschanel, The love interest in (500) Days of Summer
  • Sam Rockwell - Biography of Sam Rockwell, Star of the 2009 sci-fi film Moon
  • Jason Lee - Biography of Jason Lee, The title character from TV's My Name is Earl
  • Minka Kelly - Biography of Minka Kelly, Cheerleader Lyla Garrity on the TV show Friday Night Lights
  • Surf's Up - Starring Jeff Bridges, Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel, James Woods, Jane Krakowski
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