Full Name: Zooey Claire Deschanel

Birthdate: June 17, 1980

Birthplace: Laketown Jackson, Texas, USA

Status: Divorced

Known for: American actress, model, musician, and songwriter.

Family: Caleb Deschanel (Father), Mary Jo Deschanel (Mother), Emily Deschanel (Sister), Elsie Otter Pechenik (Daughter), Charlie Wolf Pechenik (Son).

Zooey Deschanel is an American actress, songwriter, musician, and model. She is the daughter of a cinematographer, Caleb Deschanel, and an actress, Mary Deschanel. Her paternal grandfather was French, and her paternal grandmother came from a Quaker family. In addition, she also has Swiss, Dutch, English, Irish, and French ancestry. Here is the biography of Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel Biography

Zooey Claire Deschanel Movies

She has appeared and starred in several films such as The Happening (2008), Yes Man (2008), Your Highness (2011), Our Idiot Brother (2011), The Good girl (2002), among many others. Between 2011 and 2018, Zooey Deschanel starred in the Fox sitcom titled New Girl, playing the role of Jessica Day. The performance helped her receive nominations for three Golden Globe Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award.

For some years, starting in 2001, Deschanel was a member of the jazz cabaret act known as If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies, together with actress Samantha Shelton as her partner. In 2006, she teamed up with M. Ward to create She & Him, and the pair subsequently released their debut album in 2008, which they titled Volume One. They have since released five albums. She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media for “So Long,” which appeared on the soundtrack of the 2011 film Winnie the Pooh. Zooey Deschanel also plays percussion, keyboards, banjo, and ukulele.

In addition, she is a co-founder of HelloGiggles, a female-focused website acquired by Time, Inc. in 2015.

Zooey Deschanel in New Girl

Zooey Deschanel Childhood

Zooey Deschanel was born in the city of Los Angeles, California, on January 17, 1980. Her parents are cinematographer Heto Caleb Deschanel and Mary Jo Deschanel, an actress. Emily Deschanel, Zooey Deschanel’s older sister, is also an actress. Emily played a major role in the Fox crime comedy-drama show Bones. Zooey was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist in J.D Salinger’s novella Franny and Zooey.

Although Zooey Deschanel lived in Los Angeles, she spent most of her childhood on the road because her father filmed on location.  She attended ‘Crossroads,’ a high school in Santa Monica, California. She met Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson when she was there, and they became friends.

After choosing to pursue a career in musical theatre, she went to the ‘French Woods Festival Of The Performing Arts. Then, she studied at Northwestern University for nine months before dropping out to pursue her dream of acting.

Zooey Deschanel Acting and Music Career

Zooey Deschanel has had a remarkable career so far and continues to excel in her acting and musical career. Here is a timeline of her acting career so far. She made her television debut in ‘Veronica’s Closet,’ and subsequently appeared in her first feature film debut in 1999 in the movie as a girl actress ‘Mumford.’ She was also part of the music video for the hit song ‘She’s Got Issues’ for ‘The Offspring’ in the same year.

Her second movie, ‘Almost Famous,’ was an autobiographical one that came out in 2000. Although critics gave favorable reviews, it performed poorly at the box office. Deschanel appeared in Jimmy Fallon’s music video for the song “Idiot Boyfriend” the same year.

In the two years that followed, she acted as a supporting actress in a number of films, including ‘Manic,’ ‘Abandon,’ and ‘The Good Girl.’  Around the same period, she co-founded the jazz cabaret act ‘If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies’ with Samantha Shelton. Deschanel founded If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies, a jazz cabaret act with fellow actress Samantha Shelton, in 2001, and the two performed throughout Los Angeles.

In 2002, she featured in an episode of the tenth season of ‘Frasier.’ That year, she appeared in ‘The New Guy,’ a film about the band ‘Suburban Funk.’ In 2003, she made her feature film debut as Noel, a sexually curious 18-year-old virgin who embarks on a life-changing romantic experience with an aimless 22-year-old. She went on to star in the box office blockbuster ‘Elf,’ for which she also performed ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside.’ In 2004, she had a lead role in the film Eulogy. She played ‘Trillian’ in ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ a cinematic adaptation of a sci-fi novel, in 2005.

The following year in 2006, Deschanel appeared in the film ‘Failure to Launch’. She appeared in four episodes of the television series ‘Weeds.’ The same year, she was cast to play Janis Joplin in the singer’s autobiographical movie titled ‘The Gospel According to Janis.’ However, the movie was shelved, and the film was never completed. The film was supposed to start shooting in 2006, but it was postponed indefinitely; it was subsequently revived with a 2012 release date before being shelved entirely in 2011. She also contributed vocals to two tracks, “Slowly” and “Ask Her to Dance,” on Jason Schwartzman’s band Coconut Records’ album Nighttiming in March 2007.

Deschanel and M. Ward, who had previously performed on stage with Deschanel, were reported to be producing music under the alias She & Him. Their first album was titled Volume One and released in 2008. It was highly rated and was voted the No.1 album of 2008 by Paste Magazine.

Deschanel appeared in Bridge to Terabithia, where she played a quirky music instructor, and Surf’s Up, in which she voiced a penguin. She played Dorothy Evans in the revisionist Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. She performed in the B comedy Flakes, which was only released in one theater. Deschanel played DG in the Syfy Channel series Tin Man, a science fiction reimagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It first aired in December of 2007. She also provided narration for the children’s book Players in Pigtails.  She has played Mary, Cletus’s daughter, in three episodes of The Simpsons after debuting on April 27, 2008 episode, “Apocalypse Cow.” She co-starred with Mark Wahlberg in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller The Happening (2008) as a couple attempting to flee an unexplainable natural calamity. Despite receiving mostly unfavorable reviews, critic Roger Ebert noted that Wahlberg and Deschanel’s performances “bring a quiet dignity to their characters,” and the picture grossed $163 million worldwide. She starred in the independent comedy titled Gigantic in 2008, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was exclusively released in certain areas of the United States. In the 2008 comedy Yes Man, she plays an unconventional singer and Jim Carrey’s character’s lover. Deschanel sang several songs featured in the film and on the film soundtrack. The film grossed US$223.1 million worldwide.

Zooey Deschanel New Girl
Zooey Deschanel New Girl

She was cast in one of her most popular films to date, ‘(500) Days of Summer,’ 2009 and contributed to the soundtrack. The movie grossed a remarkable $60, 722, 734 at the box office and was nominated for a number of awards. The film was named one of the greatest films of 2009 by critics. She also made her first appearance on screen with her sister in the series ‘Bones.’ Volume Two, the second She & Him album, was released on March 23, 2010. Both Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward appeared on the album The Place We Ran From (2010) by Snow Patrol member Gary Lightbody’s side project, Tired Pony.  Deschanel starred as ‘Belladona’ in the 2011 film ‘Your Highness.’ She stars as Jessica Day, or ‘Jess,’ in the hit American television series ‘New Girl,’ which premiered in 2011. The 1st Critics’ Choice Television Accolades named it one of the “most exciting new series,” and the show went on to be nominated for a number of significant awards. The pilot episode alone attracted 10.28 million views.

Deschanel’s cover of Buddy Holly’s “It’s So Easy” was included on the tribute album Listen to Me: Buddy Holly, which was released on September 6, 2011. She had previously performed on the June 2011 release of Rave On Buddy Holly, with She & Him performing “Oh, Boy!.” In September 2011, announced A Very She & Him Christmas. Merge Records released the 12-track Christmas album on October 25, 2011. On December 28, 2011, She and Joseph Gordon-Levitt recorded an unofficial version of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” for Zooey’s HelloGiggles YouTube channel. It was extremely popular, with over 6 million views in four days. Deschanel is on M. Ward’s sixth solo album, A Wasteland Companion (2012).

Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt at Sundance Film Festival
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt at Sundance Film Festival

Merge Records released She and Him’s third album, Volume 3, in May 2013. Deschanel composed eleven songs for the 15-track album, with three others being cover songs. Deschanel wrote eleven of the album’s fifteen tracks, while three others were cover songs. The album debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200. Classics, the band’s fifth studio album, was released by Columbia Records in December 2014, and it comprises 13 live covers of classic songs complemented by a 20-piece orchestra. The album received a favorable reception. She also sang on Brian Wilson’s album titled No Pier Pressure as a guest vocalist in 2015. Christmas Party, She & Him’s second Christmas album and sixth overall, was released in 2016.

Zooey Deschanel Husband, Relationship and Marriage

Zooey Deschanel Husband, Relationship and Marriage

On September 19, 2009, she married Ben Gibbard, an American Singer & Musician. The couple was separated in 2011 and was officially divorced on December 12, 2012. Then she remarried a film producer, Jacob Pechenik, on June 21, 2015. The couple was divorced on June 1, 2020. With her second husband, Jacob, she has two children, including a daughter named Elsie Otter Pechenik and a son named Charlie Wolf Pechenik.

Zooey Deschanel Boyfriend
Zooey Deschanel Boyfriend

Zooey Deschanel Boyfriend

She has been in a relationship with a Canadian TV Personality Jonathan Scott since 2019, after separation from Jacob. Deschanel has converted to Judaism, her second husband’s faith.

Zooey Deschanel Awards

She won the ‘Best Actress award at the ‘Mar del Plata Film Festival’ in 2003 for her work in ‘All the Real Girls.’ Deschanel won an award at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards in 2012, the first in the ‘Best Comedy Actress’ category and another at the TV Guide Awards in the ‘Favourite Actress Category’ for ‘New Girl.’ She has also been nominated for several of her works.