Jonah Hill
Photo: Vera Anderson/WireImage

Jonah Hill

Biography
(1983–)
Updated:
Original:
Actor and writer Jonah Hill rose to fame through comedies like 'Superbad,' before earning award nominations for roles in 'Moneyball' and 'The Wolf of Wall Street.'

Who Is Jonah Hill?

Jonah Hill grew up in Los Angeles and moved to New York to study drama at The New School. While writing and performing plays in college, he was given his first film role in I Heart Huckabees (2004). More high-profile film and TV roles followed until he landed a starring role in the comedy hit Superbad (2007). He received Oscar nominations for his performance in Moneyball (2011), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), and a Golden Globe nomination for War Dogs (2016).

Early Life

Born on December 20, 1983, in Los Angeles, Jonah Hill Feldstein is the son of Richard Feldstein, a Guns N' Roses tour accountant, and Sharon Lyn, a fashion stylist and costume designer. He is the older brother of actress Beanie Feldstein and also had an older brother, Jordan. Raised in a creative atmosphere, Hill had dreams of becoming a writer, wanting to join the writing teams of The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live. Hill attended Brentwood School and ultimately graduated from Crossroads, a college preparatory school in Santa Monica. He then moved to New York to study drama at The New School, where he began writing and performing in plays.

Movies

'I Heart Huckabees,' 'Knocked Up'

While in college, Hill performed his plays at the Black and White bar in the East Village. He became friends with actor Dustin Hoffman's children, Rebecca and Jake, who introduced him to their father. Hoffman asked Hill to audition for a role in I Heart Huckabees, which Hill landed, making his film debut in 2004. A number of high-profile film and TV parts followed, including a brief appearance in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and supporting roles in Knocked Up and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

In 2007 Hill was given a starring role in the comedy hit Superbad, for which he was nominated for a Teen Choice Award. He was ranked No. 21 on Entertainment Weekly's "30 Under 30" actors list in 2008, performing on a number of popular television shows in the years to follow, including Reno 911! and Saturday Night Live. He also made a guest voice appearance on the show he loved as a child, The Simpsons.

'Moneyball,' '21 Jump Street,' 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

In 2010 Hill tackled his first dramatic role in the film Cyrus, and in 2011, he co-starred alongside Brad Pitt in Moneyball, for which he received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. That same year he wrote for and starred in the short-lived animated series Allen Gregory. He then co-wrote, produced, and starred in the film 21 Jump Street (2012), a film adaptation of the 1980s television show. The year 2013 also proved to be fruitful for Hill, who not only played himself in the comedy This Is the End, but also starred as Leonardo DiCaprio's sidekick in The Wolf of Wall Street, which garnered him another Oscar nomination. 

'22 Jump Street,' 'Hail, Caesar!,' 'War Dogs'

The ensuing years brought both standard comedic roles as well as dramatic ones that exemplified Hill's versatility as an actor. He appeared in 22 Jump Street (2014), as well as the mystery-thriller True Story (2015), in which he played New York Times journalist Michael Finkel. In 2016 he had a role in The Coen brothers' comedy Hail, Caesar!, played a sausage in the adult animation comedy Sausage Party and starred in the biographical war dramedy War Dogs, in which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor.

'Maniac,' 'Mid90s'

In 2018 Hill co-starred in the Netflix dark comedy-drama Maniac, in which he undergoes a mind-bending pharmaceutical trial alongside Emma Stone's character. He also made his feature film directing debut with Mid90s, about a troubled teen who seeks acceptance with a group of skateboarders. The following year Hill voiced characters in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, while also appearing with Matthew McConaughey in Beach Bum.

Weight Loss

In July 2011, Hill made an appearance at ESPN's ESPY awards, showing off his new, forty-pounds-slimmer physique. He had changed his diet, mostly eating sushi. He also saw a nutritionist and got a personal trainer. Hill explained in interviews that the lifestyle change reflected his desire to get more serious roles in his career.

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