BIO: Zooey Deschanel

NEW GIRL: Zooey Deschanel as Jess in NEW GIRL premiering Tuesday, Sept. 20 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX 50.

By Jason Matthews

Zooey Deschanel
as Jess

Zooey Deschanel is an entertainer in every sense of the word, bringing the classical leading lady back to the modern audience with her old-fashioned charm. Her starring roles in "(500) Days of Summer" opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt and "Yes Man" opposite Jim Carrey cemented her mainstream presence. This summer, Deschanel co-stars in "My Idiot Brother" opposite Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks, and wrote and performed original music for "Disney's Winnie the Pooh."

After making her feature film debut in 1999 in Lawrence Kasdan's "Mumford," Deschanel's breakout performance was in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous." She earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Lead Actress for "All the Real Girls" and lent her voice talents to the animated feature "Surf's Up." Deschanel played the lead in the hit Emmy® Award-nominated mini-series "Tin Man."

Her additional credits include "The Good Girl," "Eulogy," the holiday classic "Elf," "Failure To Launch," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," "Bridge to Terabithia," "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Live Free or Die," "Flakes," "Gigantic," "The Go-Getter," "The Good Life," "Winter Passing," "The Happening," "Abandon," "Big Trouble" and "Your Highness."

In addition to her on-screen work, Deschanel has earned rave reviews and popular acclaim for She & Him, her musical collaboration with M. Ward. The duo's latest album, "She & Him: Volume 2," debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 and was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2010. Music has always been a passion for Deschanel, and she has produced two albums: "Volume 1" and "Volume 2," boasting 21 original songs which she wrote herself and four covers of some of her personal favorites. Additionally, the band has sold out tours in the U.S., U.K. and Europe.

Deschanel is the face of Rimmel Cosmetics and has starred in two campaigns for Cotton, for which she also lent original music. She is co-creator and a frequent contributor to the website

Named after the male character in J. D. Salinger's "Franny and Zooey," Deschanel spent much of her childhood on-location with her actress mother, Mary Jo, and her Academy Award-nominated cinematographer father, Caleb. She credits her father with instilling in her a keen visual sense and great style. Deschanel's older sister, Emily, is also an actress, starring on the FOX drama BONES.

Deschanel resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Death Cab for Cutie musician Ben Gibbard.

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