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Jack Black

Thomas Jacob "JackBlack (born August 28, 1969)[1] is an American actor, producer, comedian, voice artist, writer, and musician. His acting career has been extensive, starring primarily as bumbling and cocky but internally self-conscious outsiders in comedy films, though he has played some serious roles. He is best known for his roles in High FidelitySchool of RockKing KongNacho LibreTropic ThunderBernieKung Fu Panda, andKung Fu Panda 2. Black is a member of the Frat Pack, a group of comedians who have appeared together in several Hollywood films, and has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. He is the lead vocalist of the satirical rock group Tenacious D, which he formed in 1991 with friend and fellow groupmate Kyle Gass.

Early life[]

Black was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of two satellite engineers, Judith (née Cohen), who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, and Thomas William Black.[2][3] His mother was born to a Jewish family, while his father converted to Judaism (Black attended Hebrew school and had a Bar Mitzvah).[4][5] On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he said his surname may have come from the occupational name Blacksmith.[6] Black's parents divorced when he was 10; Black moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother's home. As a child, Black appeared in a commercial for the Activision game Pitfall! in 1982,[7] which was later shown during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and again on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. When Black entered high school, his parents enrolled him at the Poseidon School, a private secondary school engineered specifically for students struggling in the traditional school system.[8] Black also attended the Crossroads School, where he excelled in drama. He later attended UCLA but dropped out during his sophomore year to pursue a career in entertainment, at which point his father discontinued his financial support.[citation needed] Fellow UCLA alumnus Tim Robbins later cast Black in Bob Roberts. He also had recurring roles on the HBO sketch comedyseries Mr. Show.

Acting career[]

Early roles[]

Black first began acting in a television commercial at age 13 for the video game Pitfall!.[9] Black's acting career began with prime time television. He played roles on shows including Life Goes OnNorthern ExposureMr. ShowPicket Fences, and The X-Files. Black appeared in the unaired TV pilotHeat Vision and Jack, directed by Ben Stiller, in which he played an ex-astronaut pursued by actor Ron Silver. He was accompanied by his friend who had merged with a motorcycle, voiced by Owen Wilson.

Black later took on small roles in AirborneJudge DreddWaterworldThe FanThe Cable GuyMars Attacks!, Tim Robbins' Dead Man WalkingEnemy of the State, and others. He had a small role in True Romance as a security guard, but the scene was deleted.

Leading roles[]

In 2000, Black appeared in High Fidelity as a wild employee in John Cusack's record store, a role Black considers his breakout.[10]

His career soon led to leading roles in films such as Shallow HalNacho LibreTenacious D in The Pick of DestinyYear One and Gulliver's Travels. He received particular praise for his starring role in the well-received School of Rock, earning critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Musical Or Comedy.[11]

In a rare move, he starred in a dramatic role as the obsessed filmmaker Carl Denham in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong, a performance he based on Orson Welles. He voiced the title role in Kung Fu Panda, which grossed $20.3 million on its opening day, June 6, 2008, and Kung Fu Panda 2; it is a role he considers his favorite, with a performance enhanced with the tutoring of co-star and two time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman. On September 13, 2009 before nominees for best rock video at MTV Video Music Awards Black led the audience in a Rock & Roll prayer in which he told the audience to throw up their horns.[12] His next film, The Big Year, a competitive birdwatching comedy co-starring Owen WilsonSteve Martin, and JoBeth Williams, was released in October 2011. He is referred to in the media as a member of the Frat Pack,[citation needed] a group of comedy actors who frequently work together, which also includes Owen Wilson,Luke WilsonBen StillerWill FerrellVince Vaughn and Steve Carell.

In 2012, Black starred in Linklater's black comedy Bernie as real-life murderer Bernie Tiede, a funeral director in a small East Texas town, who befriends and eventually murders a rich widow, played by Shirley MacLaine. Black's subdued portrayal, authentic East Texas accent and musical talent – he sings several gospel hymns as well as "Seventy-six Trombones" — have movie reviewers mentioning Black as an Oscar contender, including Roger Ebert, who calls Black's work "one of the performances of the year."[13]

Later television roles[]

Black guest-starred on The Office along with Cloris Leachman, and Jessica Alba in a movie within the show. He also guest-starred in iCarly, in the episode "iStart a Fan War".

Black has appeared numerous times on the "untelevised TV network" short film festival Channel 101, created by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, starring in the shows ComputermanTimebelt, and Laserfart. He also provided an introduction for the unaired sketch comedy Awesometown, donning a Colonial-era military uniform. In the introduction, he claims to be George Washington (and takes credit for the accomplishments of other American Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln). Black also guest starred in the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim show Tom Goes to the Mayor, as a bear-trap store owner. Black also guest-starred on Dan Harmon's show Community.

Hosting work and appearances[]

Black took part in the Who Wants to Be Millionaire celebrity edition along with Denis LearyJimmy Kimmel and others and was handed the prize of US$125,000 in October 2001.[14] On December 14, he hosted the 2008 Spike Video Game Awards. Black has hosted the Nickelodeon Acceptable.TV.[15]

Voice acting[]

In addition to Kung Fu Panda, Black has voice acted on other occasions, including "Husbands and Knives" from The Simpsons, which aired November 18, 2007, portraying the friendly owner of the rival comic book store Milo. He provided the voice of the main character, roadie Eddie Riggs, in the heavy metal-themed action-adventure video game Brütal Legend. In 2009, at the Spike Video Game Awards, he earned the Best Voice award for the voice of Eddie Riggs inBrütal Legend. In April 2009, Black starred in an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba!, in which he vocalized funny kid songs, such as "It's Not Fun to Get Lost," "Friends," and "The Goodbye Song."

Music career[]

Main article: Tenacious D

Black, also known as JB or Jables, is the lead singer for the rock comedy band Tenacious D. Along with Kyle Gass, they have released three albums, a self-titled debut, the follow-up, The Pick of Destiny, and Rize of the Fenix. One of their songs "The Metal", from their album The Pick of Destiny was used in the music video games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Brütal Legend. "Rock Your Socks" from the album Tenacious D was played in the music videogameRock Band Unplugged, and "Master Exploder" from The Pick Of Destiny went on to be used in music video games Guitar Hero Van Halen and Rock Band 2, along with their song "Tribute" from Tenacious D. "Master Exploder" and "The Metal" featured in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The film, directed by Tenacious D veteran Liam Lynch, features recurring characters such as Lee the superfan and Sasquatch. Tim Robbins cameos as does Dave Grohl asSatanBen Stiller also makes an appearance as a worker at Guitar Center, and also another appearance in the music video for "Tribute".

Tenacious D helped the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation[16] to raise awareness and funds in San Diego on June 16, 2007. Tenacious D can be seen performing in the Pauly Shore film Bio-Dome where the duo is performing its song "The Five Needs" at a "Save the Environment" party. Black was also a guest star on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show entitled "Ellen the Musical", alongside Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and teenage singer-actress Olivia Olson. On the show, besides singing, he discussed his then-upcoming film Nacho Libre with the host.

In 2000 Jack Black (along with partner in crime Kyle Gass) provided backing vocals to The Vandals song "Fourteen" which appears on their album Look What I Almost Stepped In.... Black has also appeared on Dave Grohl's Probot album, providing vocals for the hidden song "I Am The Warlock", and Lynch's Fake Songs album, providing vocals for the song "Rock and Roll Whore". Black performed a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" in the last sequence of High Fidelity. He lent his musical abilities to the Queens of the Stone Age song "Burn the Witch" with rhythmic stomps and claps, some performed with his eyes closed. He also provided vocals for The Lonely Island's track "Sax Man" from the album Incredibad.

Black has also recorded a duet on Meat Loaf's new CD Hang Cool Teddy Bear. The song is called "Like a Rose". Meat Loaf has also played Black's father in the Pick of Destiny movie.

Black has appeared in music videos of Beck "Sexx Laws"; Foo Fighters "Learn To Fly", "Low", and "The One"; The Eagles of Death Metal's "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)"; Sum 41's "Things I Want"; Dio's "Push"; and Weezer's "Photograph." In October 2010, Tenacious D appeared at BlizzCon 2010, a convention hosted by the game designers, Blizzard Entertainment. In 2012, Jack Black joined up with other celebrities to record "Book People Unite", a song sponsored by the Library of Congress, and RIF.

Personal life[]

In January 2006, Black became engaged to Tanya Haden. She is one of the triplet daughters of jazz double bassist Charlie Haden, with her sisters being violinist and singer Petra Haden and bass player Rachel Haden. Haden herself is an accomplished cellist. Both attended Crossroads school and met again 15 years after graduating, at a friend's birthday party. Black proposed marriage around Christmas 2005. They married on March 14, 2006, in Big Sur, California.[17] Their son, Samuel Jason "Sammy" Black, was born on June 10, 2006, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.[18] On May 23, 2008, Black and his wife had their second son, Thomas David Black.[19] Black is an atheist, but is still considering sending his children to a Jewish school.[20][21]



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Bob Roberts Roger Davis
1993 Airborne Augie
1993 Demolition Man Wasteland Scrap
1994 The NeverEnding Story III Slip
1995 Bye Bye Love DJ at party
1995 Dead Man Walking Craig Poncelet
1995 Waterworld Pilot
1996 Bio-Dome Tenacious D
1996 The Cable Guy Rick Legatos
1996 The Fan Broadcast technician
1996 Mars Attacks! Billy Glenn Norris
1997 Bongwater Devlin
1997 Crossworlds Steve
1997 The Jackal Ian Lamont
1998 Enemy of the State Fiedler
1998 I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Titus Telesco Uncredited
1998 Johnny Skidmarks Jerry
1999 Cradle Will Rock Sid
1999 Jesus' Son Georgie
1999 The Love Letter Fisherman Uncredited
2000 High Fidelity Barry Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Comedy/Romance

Nominated – American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Music Moment Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Male Performance Nominated – Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor

2001 Frank's Book Performance hipster Short film
2001 Saving Silverman JD McNugent
2001 Shallow Hal Hal Larson Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Film- Choice Actor, Comedy
2002 Ice Age Zeke Voice
2002 Orange County Lance Brumder
2002 Run Ronnie Run Lead chimney sweep DVD Exclusive Award for Best Original Song in a DVD Premiere
2003 Melvin Goes to Dinner Mental patient Phoenix Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Acting

Nominated – DVD Exclusive Award for Best Supporting Actor in a DVD Premiere

2003 School of Rock Dewey Finn MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance

Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor(3rd place) Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor- Comedy Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Liar

2004 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Motorcyclist Cameo
2004 Envy Nick Vanderpark Nominated – People's Choice Award for Favorite Funny Male Star
2004 Laser Fart Elegant hunter
2004 Shark Tale Lenny Voice
2005 King Kong Carl Denham Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Movies – Choice Sleazebag
2005 Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie Carl Denham Voice

Spike Video Game Award – Best Leading Male Performance

2006 Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Orson

Booker Wolf

2006 The Holiday Miles
2006 Nacho Libre Nacho Nominated – Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Male Movie Star

Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Fight Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Movies – Choice Actor: Comedy Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Movies – Choice Chemistry Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Movie – Choice Rumble

2006 Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Jack "Jables" Black
2007 Margot at the Wedding Malcolm Nominated – Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Cast
2007 Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story Paul McCartney Uncredited
2008 Be Kind Rewind Jerry Gerber
2008 Kung Fu Panda Po Voice

Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie Nominated – Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Animated Character in a Motion Picture

2008 The Secrets of the Furious Five Po Voice

Short film

2008 Prop 8: The Musical Jesus Christ Viral video
2008 Tropic Thunder Jeff "Fats" Portnoy Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
2008 Tropic Thunder: Rain of Madness Jeff "Fats" Portnoy
2009 Brütal Legend Eddie Riggs Voice

Spike Video Game Award – Best Voice

2009 Year One Zed
2010 Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special Po Voice

Short film

2010 Gulliver's Travels Gulliver Nominated – Razzie Award for Worst Actor

Nominated – Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards for Favorite Male Movie Star

2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 Po Voice

Nominated – Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Animated Voice Nominated – People's Choice Award for Favorite Animation Movie Voice

2011 Bernie Bernie Tiede Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated – Gotham Award for Best Ensemble Performance Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Nominated - New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor (runner-up)

2011 The Big Year Brad Harris
2011 The Muppets Himself
2013 Bailout Matt Prior
2013 Frank or Francis Francis[22]
2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 Po


Year Title Role Notes
1991 Our Shining Moment Teenage boy TV Movie
1993 The Golden Palace Taxi driver Episode: "Seems Like Old Times: Part 2"
1993 Life Goes On Skinhead Episode: "Incident on Main"
1993 Marked for Murder Car thief television film
1993 Northern Exposure Kevin Wilkins Episode: "A River Doesn't Run Through It"
1994 Blind Justice Private television film
1994 The Innocent Marty Prago television film
1995 All-American Girl Tommy episode "A Night at the Oprah"
1995 Pride & Joy Man Episode: "Brenda's Secret"
1995 The Single Guy Randy Episode: "Sister"
1995 Touched by an Angel Monte Episode: "Angels on the Air"
1995 The X-Files Bart "Zero" Liqouri Episode: "D.P.O."
1995–1996 Mr. Show with Bob and David Various characters 4 episodes
1995–1996 Picket Fences Curtis Williams 2 episodes
1997–2000 Tenacious D JB
1999 Heat Vision and Jack Jack
2001 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself Episode: "Sweet for Brak"
2002 2002 MTV Movie Awards Host
2002 The Andy Dick Show J.D. Episode: "Flipped"
2002 Clone High Pusher / Larry Hardcore Episode: "Raisin the Stakes"
2002 Crank Yankers Tenacious D Episode: "#1.3"
2002 Jack Black: Spider-Man Spider-Man MTV Movie Awards segment
2002 Lord of the Piercing Jack the elf
2002 MADtv Tenacious D Episode: "#7.22"
2002 Panic Room with Will Ferrell Himself MTV Movie Awards segment
2003 Player$ Tenacious D Episode: "Tenacious D a la Mode"
2003 Will & Grace Dr. Isaac Hershberg Episode: "Nice in White Satin"
2003–2004 Computerman Computerman 6 episodes
2003–2004 Time Belt Computerman 2 episodes
2004 Cracking Up Brian Episode: "Scared Straight"
2004 Tom Goes to the Mayor Trapper JB Episode: "Bear Traps"
2005 Awesometown George Washington television film
2006 2006 Kids' Choice Awards Himself Host
2006 Howard Stern Himself With Kyle Gass as Tenacious D
2007 The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show Jables Episode: "Break-Up"
2007 The Simpsons Milo Episode: "Husbands and Knives"
2008 Sesame Street Himself Episode: "The Golden Triangle of Destiny"
2008 2008 Kids' Choice Awards Himself Host
2009 The Office Sam Episode: "Stress Relief"
2009 Yo Gabba Gabba Himself Episode: "New Friends"
2010 Community Buddy Episode: "Investigative Journalism"
2010 iCarly Aspartamay[23] Episode: iStart a Fanwar
2010–2011 Take Two with Phineas and Ferb Himself Episodes: "Jack Black" and "Neil Patrick Harris"
2010 "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" Himself Special gag ad episode
2011 Fish Hooks Chief Episode: "Labor Day"
2011 Big Time Rush Cupid Episode: "Big Time Crush"
2011 2011 Kids' Choice Awards Himself
2011 American Idol Himself Performed "Fat Bottomed Girls" with contestant Casey Abrams
2012 Conan Himself With Kyle Gass as Tenacious D