Jack Black biography
Jack Black was born on August 28, 1969, in Santa Monica, California. His breakthrough role was in High Fidelity (2000). He co-starred opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal in 2001. His animated film project, Kung Fu Panda, scored big at the box office in 2008—the same year that Black appeared in the comedy Tropic Thunder. In 2009, he starred in Year One. More recently, he appeared in Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Big Year.
Actor, musician and comedian Jack Black was born Thomas Jacob Black on August 28, 1969, in Santa Monica, California. One of the more popular character actors of recent years, Black's acerbic wit and high-energy antics have made him a standard bearer for the Generation X demographic.
Black attended UCLA where he became a member of Tim Robbins' Actors Gang, a Los Angeles-based performance troupe that has spawned the likes of John Cusack. Black would make his film debut with Robbins and later play opposite Cusack in one of his most memorable roles.
A Variety of Roles
In Robbins' political spoof Bob Roberts (1992), Black had a small but critically noted role as a fanatical supporter of presidential hopeful Bob Roberts (played by Robbins himself). In 1994, Black teamed up with friend and fellow actor Kyle Gass to form Tenacious D, a tongue-in-cheek musical ensemble lovingly, if sarcastically dubbed the "Greatest Band on Earth." Throughout the 1990s, Black managed to land a steady stream of bit parts in feature attractions such as Waterworld (1995), Dead Man Walking (1995), The Cable Guy (1996), Mars Attacks! (1996), The Jackal (1997), Enemy of the State (1998) and Cradle Will Rock (1999).
But it was in more independently oriented projects that Black's talents were given free rein. His brief turn in HBO's Mr. Show and his critically acclaimed performance as a pill-popping hospital attendant in Jesus' Son (1999) increasingly cemented his reputation as a comic force.
Black's breakthrough came with the 2000 adaptation of the popular Nick Hornby novel High Fidelity. As Barry, a hyper-pretentious record store clerk, Black showcased his knack for brutally acerbic wit. Although only a member of the supporting cast, Black's performance was one of the most memorable attributes of a film that was both commercially and critically successful.
Capitalizing on his newfound notoriety, Black co-starred opposite Gwynneth Paltrow in the romantic comedy Shallow Hal (2001). The film, directed by the Farrelly brothers of There's Something About Mary fame, received mixed reviews. Black followed with Orange County (2002), another big-budget comedy in which he played a prototypical slacker figure. Although the films provided Black with added exposure, they strayed from the type of work that had garnered him a determined cult following.
On May 14, 2008, Black let the news slip that co-star Angelina Jolie was pregnant with twins during a joint interview at the Cannes Film Festival in France to promote their animated movie Kung Fu Panda.
Since that accidental revelation, Black has expanded his own family. He and his wife Tayna Haden welcomed a son named Thomas Jack. The couple has another child, Samuel, who was born in 2006.
Jolie and Black's animated film project, Kung Fu Panda, went on to score big at the box office, earning approximately $60 million in its opening weekend. Later this summer, Black appeared in Tropic Thunder with Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. In 2009, he starred in the comedy Year One with Michael Cera. He also provided the voice of Eddie Rigs in the video game, Brütal Legend.