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Jack Black

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Also Known As: Thomas Jack Black Died:
Born: August 28, 1969 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Santa Monica, California, USA Profession: actor, musician, writer, comedian

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

While he began his unique double career as a cult figure on the L.A. alternative comedy scene before upgrading to scene-stealing character roles in larger pictures, actor-musician Jack Black eventually took the lead in some of the most quirky and endearing comedies of the early millennium. After playing a series of small roles on television and in film, Black had his breakthrough as an amped-up vintage record store clerk in Stephen Frears' "High Fidelity" (2000). From there, he went on to cultivate his signature persona - that of an overconfident, smart aleck loser with an arsenal of expressive faces and a gung-ho attitude toward the most absurd plans of action. Black gained further celebrity with leading roles in the Farrelly Brothers comedy "Shallow Hal" (2001) and the indie comedy "Orange County" (2002). He reached new heights with the surprise hit, "School of Rock" (2003), which established his presence as one of Hollywood's top comedic draws. Widening his palette, Black took on the Carl Denham role for Peter Jackson's contemporary remake of "King Kong" (2005), though he was knocked for his dismissed performance in "Nacho Libre" (2006). But he bounced back in a big way as the voice of "Kung Fu...

While he began his unique double career as a cult figure on the L.A. alternative comedy scene before upgrading to scene-stealing character roles in larger pictures, actor-musician Jack Black eventually took the lead in some of the most quirky and endearing comedies of the early millennium. After playing a series of small roles on television and in film, Black had his breakthrough as an amped-up vintage record store clerk in Stephen Frears' "High Fidelity" (2000). From there, he went on to cultivate his signature persona - that of an overconfident, smart aleck loser with an arsenal of expressive faces and a gung-ho attitude toward the most absurd plans of action. Black gained further celebrity with leading roles in the Farrelly Brothers comedy "Shallow Hal" (2001) and the indie comedy "Orange County" (2002). He reached new heights with the surprise hit, "School of Rock" (2003), which established his presence as one of Hollywood's top comedic draws. Widening his palette, Black took on the Carl Denham role for Peter Jackson's contemporary remake of "King Kong" (2005), though he was knocked for his dismissed performance in "Nacho Libre" (2006). But he bounced back in a big way as the voice of "Kung Fu Panda" (2008) and the drug-addled Jeff Portnoy in "Tropic Thunder" (2008). Whether he was making audiences laugh in a wide variety of comedic performances or playing to sold-out crowds as front man for the rock comedy due, Tenacious D, Black remained one of Hollywood's most unique and bankable talents.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Tenacious D (1999) Creator

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Kung Fu Panda 3 (2015)
2.
 Goosebumps (2015)
3.
 Frank or Francis (2013)
5.
 Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
6.
 Bernie (2011)
7.
 Big Year, The (2011)
9.
10.
 Year One (2009)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1982:
Made acting debut in a commercial for the Atari videogame Pitfall at age thirteen (date approximate)
1992:
Film debut as an obsessed fan of Tim Robbins' folk-singing politician "Bob Roberts"
1993:
Appeared in the futuristic actioner "Demolition Man"
1993:
Made TV-movie debut with a cameo on the NBC crime drama "Marked For Murder"
1994:
Formed Tenacious D with guitarist Kyle Gass
1994:
Featured in the fantasy sequel "The Neverending Story III"
1995:
Reteamed with Tim Robbins with a role in the director's acclaimed death row-set drama "Dead Man Walking"
1996:
Along with Kyle Gass, appeared as Tenacious D in the inane comedy "Bio-Dome"
1996:
Featured in the sci-fi fantasy film "Crossworlds"; debuted on HBO in 1997
1997:
Acted in the action thriller "The Jackal"
1998:
Had a scene-stealing featured role in the independent thriller "Johnny Skidmarks," aired on HBO in lieu of theatrical release
1998:
Featured as a computer whiz in "Enemy of the State"
1999:
Was creator, executive producer, writer and star of a three-episode series of comedy specials featuring the comedy rock band "Tenacious D" (HBO)
1999:
Had a comedic turn alongside Gass as bumbling aspiring performers in Tim Robbins' "Cradle Will Rock"
1999:
Featured in the acclaimed independent "Jesus' Son"
2000:
Had a memorable supporting role as an obnoxious record store clerk in the feature "High Fidelity"
2000:
Signed to co-star in the comedy "Saving Silverman"; reportedly earned $1 million
2001:
Had leading role opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shallow Hal"
2001:
Released self-titled debut album <i>Tenacious D</i> with co-band member Kyle Gass
2003:
Starred in the comedy "School of Rock"
2004:
Co-starred with Ben Stiller in the comedy "Envy," directed by Barry Levinson
2004:
Voiced Lenny in the animated feature "Shark Tale"
2005:
Cast as Carl Denham, an adventure filmmaker in Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic "King Kong"
2006:
Cast as a Mexican monk who hits the wrestling circuit in "Nacho Libre," a comedy directed by Jared Hess
2006:
Produced (also co-wrote and starred) "Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny," a film about his rock comedy band with Kyle Gass; also released the album <i>The Pick of Destiny</i>
2006:
Played rare romantic lead opposite Kate Winslet in director Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy "The Holiday"
2007:
Portrayed Jennifer Jason Leigh's fiancé in "Margot at the Wedding," directed by Noah Baumbach
2008:
Co-starred with Mos Def in Michel Gondry's eccentric comedy "Be Kind Rewind"
2008:
Voiced the lead character in the animated feature "Kung Fu Panda"
2008:
Co-starred in the Ben Stiller directed action comedy "Tropic Thunder"
2009:
Co-starred with Michael Cera in Biblical comedy "Year One"; directed by Harold Ramis
2010:
Produced and starred in a modern-day remake of "Gulliver's Travels"
2011:
Once again voiced the lead character in "Kung Fu Panda 2"
2011:
Co-starred in "The Big Year" with Owen Wilson and Steve Martin
2011:
Played title role in dark comedy "Bernie" opposite Shirley MacLaine
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California -
Crossroads: Santa Monica , California -

Notes

Black is a member of the Los Angeles theater troupe The Actors Gang which was formed by Tim Robbins.

Various starring vehicle TV pilots have been developed for Black including the failed "Heat Vision and Jack", a spoof of "The Six Million Dollar Man" directed by Ben Stiller.

Black on an impending record deal for Tenacious D: "The main thing is we don't want someone telling us what's funny and what songs can be on the album and no fucking control and then bullshit people that are like father figures touching our privates behind closed doors." --quoted in The Onion, 1999

Black on playing someone not named Jack in "High Fidelity": "It was a tough stretch, sure. I had to wake up every day and look in the mirror and say, 'Hey Barry, how ya doing? Let's go get some chow. Do you like the kind of food I do? Because I could go for a QP with cheese.' And Barry would look back and say, 'No, dude. I'm into Big Macs.'" --quoted in Entertainment Weekly, March 31, 2000

Talking about his million-dollar contract to star in "Saving Silverman": "I didn't want anyone to know that I was going to be a millionaire, because as soon as that was printed, I felt like, 'Okay, someone's already started the plot to kidnap me, kill me, take all my millions.' But whatever -- I like the script." --Jack Black to Entertainment Weekly, March 31, 2000

Jack Black describing how reaction to Tenacious D's live show has changed since their short-lived HBO series: "The power of television has been really evident. When they see you on television and then they see you in person, something weird happens, like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe I just saw them on the magic box! And now I'm seeing them in person and the same things are coming out of their mouths!' The children . . . were moved." --quoted in Vanity Fair, April 2000

John Cusack on working with Black in "High Fidelity": "It might be the first time that his talent and a great role have come together with the right director. It's rare to see someone get as broad and as explosively bizarre as you could possibly want and also break it down and do subtle, discreet naturalism with the best of them. That kind of range is dramatic and great." --quoted in Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2000

Black on playing a romantic lead in "Shallow Hal": "It's definitely easier for me to be the jackass sidekick. All my friends are gonna say I've gone soft." --quoted in Time Out New York, September 27-October 4, 2001.

"Besides the smog, why would I ever leave? Los Angeles is the undisputed entertainment capital of the universe. Everyone says, 'L.A. sucks because everyone's phony.' I've got a news flash: There are phonies in every city in the world. In Uzbekistan, there are phonies. You just avoid them. That's what I do."-Black on living in Los Angeles Interview October 2002

"I don't read the newspaper; I just look at the news on Yahoo! Gore was ripping Bush today and it was kind of awesome, even though its weird to talk shit about Bush, because in these tender, terrorist times, we're suppose to support him no matter what the fuck lame shit he does."- Black Interview October 2002

"A lot of actors want to stretch and find roles farther from themselves," says Jack. "Not me. I like roles that get closer to who I really am. It gives me more time to hang out!"---Black InTouch April 5, 2004

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Laura Kightlinger. Actor, comedian. Reportedly dating.

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