1. Zooey Claire Deschanel was born on January 17, 1980.
2. She is an American actress, singer-songwriter, model, and producer.
3. In 1999, Deschanel made her film debut in Mumford, followed by her role as Anita Miller in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous.
4. Deschanel soon became known for her deadpan comedy roles in films such as The Good Girl (2002), The New Guy (2002), Elf (2003), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Yes Man (2008), and (500) Days of Summer (2009).
5. She also did dramatic turns in the films Manic (2001), All the Real Girls (2003), Winter Passing (2005) and Bridge to Terabithia (2007).
6. Since 2011, she has played Jessica Day on the Fox sitcom New Girl, for which she has received an Emmy Award nomination and three Golden Globe Award nominations.
7. USA Today described her performance as “Given a role tailored to launch her from respected indie actor to certified TV star, Deschanel soars, combining well-honed skills with a natural charm.”
8. For a few years starting in 2001, Deschanel performed in the jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies with fellow actress Samantha Shelton.
9. Besides singing, she plays keyboards, percussion, banjo, and ukulele.
10. In 2006, Deschanel teamed up with M. Ward to release their debut album Volume One, under the name She & Him which was released in March 2008.
11. Their follow-up album Volume Two was released in the U.S. in March 2010, with their Christmas album A Very She & Him Christmas being released in 2011, Volume 3 in 2013, and Classics in 2014.
12. She also received Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media nomination for her song “So Long” which featured in Winnie the Pooh soundtrack.
13. Deschanel is also a co-founder of the female-focused website HelloGiggles, which was acquired by Time, Inc. in 2015.
14. She is the younger daughter of cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir).
15. Her paternal grandfather was French, from Oullins, Rhône; her ancestry also includes Swiss, Dutch, English, Irish, and other French roots
16. She was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of J. D. Salinger’s 1961 novella Franny and Zooey. Her older sister is actress Emily Deschanel, who stars in the Fox crime comedy-drama series Bones.
17. Deschanel lived in Los Angeles, but spent much of her childhood traveling because her father shot films on location; she later said that she “hated all the traveling … I’m really happy now that I had the experience, but at the time I was just so miserable to have to leave my friends in Los Angeles and go to places where they didn’t have any food I liked or things I was used to.”
18. She attended Crossroads, a private preparatory school in Santa Monica, where she befriended future co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson.
19. She sang throughout high school, planning to pursue a career in musical theatre and attending French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts.
20. She attended Northwestern University for nine months before dropping out to pursue acting.
21. Deschanel had a guest appearance on the television series Veronica’s Closet before making her film debut in Lawrence Kasdan’s 1999 comedy Mumford, and later in the year she appeared (non-singing) in the music video for The Offspring’s single “She’s Got Issues”.
22. Deschanel co-starred in Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical Almost Famous (2000) where she played Anita Miller, the protagonist’s rebellious older sister. The film received critical praise, but was not a box office success. She also appeared as Jimmy Fallon’s girlfriend in the music video for his single, “Idiot Boyfriend”.
23. Deschanel’s subsequent film credits include Manic (2001), with Don Cheadle and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Big Trouble (2002), with Tim Allen and Rene Russo, Abandon (2002) alongside Katie Holmes, Benjamin Bratt and Melanie Lynskey, and The Good Girl (2002) alongside Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal.
24. In late 2002, The New York Times reported that Deschanel was “one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young stars,” and the Los Angeles Times wrote in early 2003 that Deschanel had become a recognizable type, due to “her deadpan, sardonic and scene-stealing [film] performances” as the protagonist’s best friend. Deschanel objected to her typecasting, arguing, “A lot of these roles are just a formula idea of somebody’s best friend, and it’s like, I don’t even have that many friends. In high school, I stayed home all the time, so I don’t know how I’m everybody’s best friend now.”
25. In 2002, Deschanel appeared in Frasier, in the season ten episode titled “Kissing Cousin” as Roz Doyle’s out-of-control cousin, Jen. That year, she also appeared in the film The New Guy as Nora, the guitar player in the lead character’s band Suburban Funk.
26. After turning down several supporting roles, Deschanel made her leading debut in All the Real Girls (2003) as Noel, a sexually curious 18-year-old virgin who has a life-changing romance with an aimless 22-year-old,. Her performance received critical praise, and she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress. Later in 2003, Deschanel co-starred opposite Will Ferrell in the comedy Elf as a deadpan department store worker, which became a box office hit.
27. In 2004, Deschanel starred in Eulogy. In 2005, she played Trillian in the film adaptation of Douglas Adams’ science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and starred as Reese Holden in Winter Passing, with supporting role from Will Ferrell. Then Deschanel played Sarah Jessica Parker’s neurotic roommate in Failure to Launch (2006) and had a recurring role in four episodes of the Showtime television series Weeds from 2006 to 2007 where she played Kat, Andy Botwin’s quirky ex-girlfriend. In September 2006, it was announced that Deschanel had signed on to play 1960s singer Janis Joplin in the film The Gospel According to Janis, to be co-written and directed by Penelope Spheeris. The film was scheduled to begin shooting in 2006, but was then postponed indefinitely; it was then resurrected again, with a planned release date of 2012, before being cancelled altogether in 2011. Deschanel expressed frustration with the cancellation, saying she had spent three years working on imitating Joplin’s scratchy singing voice.
28. After the success of her HelloGiggles YouTube channel, Deschanel, along with producer, Sophia Rossi, and writer, Molly McAleer, founded a website, HelloGiggles.com. HelloGiggles.com was acquired by Time, Inc. in 2015.
29. On September 27, 1999, Deschanel starred as herself in the music video “She’s Got Issues” for The Offspring. Deschanel was a judge for the ninth Independent Music Awards.
30. In 2005, she modeled for Chanel and Clements Ribeiro. She has signed on to represent Rimmel. In May 2011, she launched HelloGiggles, an entertainment website geared towards women, with producer Sophia Rossi and writer Molly McAleer. In 2012, she was featured in a commercial for the iPhone 4S (Siri).
31. During a May 2012 performance at the Ryman Auditorium, country music singer Loretta Lynn announced that she was in the development stages of creating a Broadway musical from her autobiography and Deschanel would play the title role. Lynn said, “…there’s a little girl back stage that’s going to do the play of ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ on Broadway.” She then brought Deschanel onstage and the two sang a duet of the title song.
32. On September 21, 2012, it was announced that Deschanel was producing the comedy Must Be Nice, written by New Girl consulting producer J. J. Philbin.
33. Deschanel is allergic to eggs, dairy, and wheat gluten.
34. She used to be a vegan which, according to a March 2010 interview with Health magazine, she had to give up because her food sensitivities made it too difficult for her to stay healthy on a vegan diet.
35. A year prior to giving up her vegan diet, she was featured on episode eight of season one of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, in which the chefs participating in the competition were challenged to cater a vegan lunch party for her family and friends using no eggs, dairy, soy or gluten.
36. A year prior to giving up her vegan diet, she was featured on episode eight of season one of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, in which the chefs participating in the competition were challenged to cater a vegan lunch party for her family and friends using no eggs, dairy, soy or gluten.
37. They married on September 19, 2009, near Seattle, Washington.
38. On November 1, 2011, they announced their separation. Deschanel subsequently filed for divorce on December 27, 2011, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The divorce was finalized on December 12, 2012
39. In 2014, Deschanel began dating producer Jacob Pechenik. In January 2015, she confirmed their engagement.
40. In July that same year, she gave birth to their daughter Elsie Otter.
41. Named for the male character in J.D. Salinger’s “Franny and Zooey”.
42. Went to high school with her Almost Famous (2000) co-star Kate Hudson.
43. Graduated from Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica.
44. 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). She also plays ukulele for the band ‘If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies’.
45. Attended Northwestern University for one year, but dropped out.
46. 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.
47. Has performed with Jackson Nash’s comedy group, Manifest Destinyfest.
48. Did her own singing in the movie Elf (2003).
49. Interests include jazz singing, philosophy, fashion and photography.
50. Is a big fan of actress Parker Posey.
51. Turned down a role in Bully (2001) to star in Big Trouble (2002).
52. Loves Ella Fitzgerald.
53. Is part of the cabaret group called ‘If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies’.
54. She pronounces her name “ZOH-ee” (not “Zoo-ee”).
55. Her last name is pronounced “day-shuh-NELL”, with “day” slightly more accented than the middle syllable.
56. Is part of indie duo called She & Him with M. Ward. Their debut album is called Volume One.
57. Ranked #95 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 Women of 2008 list.
58. Was ranked #73 on Maxim magazine Hot 100 Women of 2010 list.
59. Sister-in-law of David Hornsby.
60. Ranked #39 in the 2011 FHM Australia list of “100 Sexiest Women in the World”.
61. Good friends with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
62. Voted #12 on Ask men’s top 99 ‘most desirable’ women of 2012.
63. Ranked #17 on Askmen’s list of the top 99 “most desirable” women for 2013.
64. Has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and takes medication for it.
65. She is a registered Democrat.
66. Her paternal grandfather was French. Her ancestry also includes English, German, Irish, Northern Irish (Scots-Irish), other French roots, Swiss, and Dutch.
67. Had six years of tap dancing lessons.
68. Ranked #6 on Maxim’s “Hot 100” of 2014 list.
69. Has a nephew named Henry Lamar Hornsby (b.September 21, 2011).
70. Has a nephew named Henry Lamar Hornsby (b.September 21, 2011).
71. Was 7 months pregnant with her daughter Elsie when she took maternity leave from filming the 5th season of New Girl (2011).
72. Returned to work 6 months after giving birth to her daughter Elsie to resume filming the 5th season of New Girl (2011).