JAKE GYLLENHAAL Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » jake gyllenhaal


As the offspring of producer/writer Naomi Foner and director Stephen Gyllenhaal, it is not surprising that Jake Gyllenhaal has been acting since childhood. Raised in Los Angeles, Jake Gyllenhaal acted in school plays and made his winsome screen debut when he was in the fifth grade, playing Billy Crystal’s son in the blockbuster summer comedy City Slickers (1991). Keeping it in the family, while acting with some of the industry’s most notable talents, Jake Gyllenhaal subsequently appeared in his parents’ 1993 adaptation of the novel A Dangerous Woman with Debra Winger, and played Robin Williams’ son in a 1994 episode of TV’s Homicide that was directed by Jake Gyllenhaal’s father.


Poised to make the transition from child to adult actor, Jake Gyllenhaal earned rave reviews heralding him as a star-in-the-making for his emotionally sincere performance as real life rocket builder Homer Hickam in the warmly received drama October Sky (1999). Though he opted to stay in school and attend college at Columbia University, Jake Gyllenhaal continued his creative pursuits, playing in a rock band and starring as the oddball title character alongside Drew Barrymore in the Barrymore-produced Sundance Film Festival entrant Donnie Darko (2001). Jake Gyllenhaal could be seen later that same year in multiplexes everywhere as the titular character in the ill-fated Bubble Boy.


After co-starring on the London stage in This Is Our Youth in spring 2002, Jake Gyllenhaal was declared one half of Entertainment Weekly’s “It Gene Pool” (with sister Maggie Gyllenhaal) for his aversion to taking the easy teen flick route. In keeping with his preference for off-center work, Jake Gyllenhaal coincidentally played the younger love object of choice in two consecutive indie comedies, appearing as Catherine Keener’s sensitive boss in Nicole Holofcener’s slyly witty Lovely & Amazing (2002) and Jennifer Aniston’s enticing yet disturbed co-worker in Miguel Arteta’s sardonic The Good Girl (2002). As further proof that he had the acting chops to go with his sad-eyed good looks, Jake Gyllenhaal subsequently co-starred with Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon as a young man enmeshed in his dead fiancée’s family in Moonlight Mile (2002).


With his star on the rise and his status as a heartthrob cemented, it became impossible for Jake Gyllenhaal to avoid the draw of a big summer blockbuster. In 2004, he starred alongside Dennis Quaid in the mega-budgeted The Day After Tomorrow.