Zooey Claire Deschanel, daughter of cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel, was born January 17, 1980, in Los Angeles, California. Her name was inspired by the male character in J.D. Salinger’s novel, Franny and Zooey.
Ever since Zooey was a little girl she knew she wanted to act, by the age of 2 she already talked about her desires of being an actrees.
She used to travel a lot due to her father’s job. After graduating from Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in suburban Los Angeles, she moved on to Northwestern University. She originally planned to get a degree in theater from the well-respected institution, but dropped out during her first year when her film career started going places.
In 1999, she made her silver screen debut in Lawrence Kasdan’s Mumford, as a client of a small-town psychologist. The following year, Zooey Deschanel portrayed the flight attendant sister of lead character William Miller in Almost Famous, working alongside real-life high school classmate Kate Hudson.
In 2002, she could be seen in comedies like Big Trouble and The New Guy, as well as the critically acclaimed The Good Girl, starring Jennifer Aniston, and the flop Abandon, starring Katie Holmes. She also made an appearance on NBC’s Frasier, as Roz’s cousin.
In 2003, she really got noticed for her work in the breakout hit, Elf. Even Zooey said she didn’t expect the flick to be as popular as it was, despite her fine performance as a department store elf who is also the apple of Will Ferrell’s eye. Around the time of Elf’s release, Zooey Deschanel heard that a screen test was being held for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Apparently, Zooey Deschanel was the only one among the filmmakers and cast who had actually read the book. She said that she read it when she was about 10 years old, and consulted the book again to prepare for the screen test.
We’ll be seeing a lot more of Zooey Deschanel in the years to come: she’s set to star in 2005’s Winter Passing and 2006’s Failure to Launch, Live Free or Die and Flakes. She will also be lending her voice to “Lani” in 2007’s Surf’s Up.
These past years have been great to Zooey TV and movie career, she appeared as a special guest in Showtime hit-series Weeds playing the role of Kat and played the leading role in Sci-Fi Channel’s adaptation series of “The Wizard Of Oz”: Tin Man. In 2007 she also acted in great number of movies, such as: Raving, Flakes, Bridge To Terabithia, The Go-Getter. The Good Life, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and more
• Height 5′ 6″ / 168 cm
• She attended the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, an elite performance summer camp located in New York. Zooey attended Northwestern University before dropping out to pursue her acting career.
• She wrote a screenplay titled “Circus Girl” with friend Jackson Nash. Circus Girl involves a witch, evil flying red ballons, and a giant diamond. Zooey Deschanel plans to star in the film as the nerdy main character.
• She is a big fan of actress Parker Posey. When she is not on set filming, she enjoys: jazz music, philosophy, fashion, and photography. In fact she did her own singing in the movie Elf (2003).
• She plays the piano and the baritone ukulele.One of her favorite songs is “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
• She is part of the cabaret group called If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies.
• She shares her birthday with James Earl Jones and Jim Carrey.
• Named for the male character in J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey”.
• Daughter of Caleb Deschanel and Mary Jo Deschanel.
• Went to high school with her Almost Famous (2000) co-star Kate Hudson.
• Sister of actress Emily Deschanel.
• Graduated from Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica.
• She spent several summers at camp upstate New York at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. She was also featured in the video for The Offspring’s song “She’s Got Issues” and the accompanying MTV documentary The Offspring Complete Music Video Collection (2005) (V). She also played ukulele for the band ‘If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies’.
• Attended Northwestern University.
• Wrote a screenplay titled “Circus Girl” with friend Jackson Nash. “Circus Girl” involves a witch, evil flying red balloons and a giant diamond. Zooey plans to star in the film as the nerdy main character.
• Is a big fan of actress Parker Posey.
• Interests include jazz singing, philosophy, fashion and photography.
• Did her own singing in the movie Elf (2003).
• Plays the piano and the baritone ukulele.
• One of her favorite songs is “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
• Has performed with Jackson Nash’s comedy group, Manifest Destinyfest.
• Turned down a role in Bully (2001) to star in Big Trouble (2002).
• Loves Ella Fitzgerald.