Full name: Zooey Claire Deschanel (“ZOH-ee day-shuh-NELL”)
Date of birth: January 17, 1980
Hometown: Los Angeles
Education: Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences; dropped out of Northwestern University after one year
Husband: Death Cab for Cutie front man Benjamin Gibbard (married since September 2009)
Bet you didn’t know... Zooey went to high school with her Almost Famous co-star Kate Hudson.
Zooey Deschanel was born into a show biz family — so she really had no choice but to become an actress. Her father, Caleb, is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer; her mother, Mary Jo, is an actress; and her sister, Emily Deschanel, stars on a little FOX procedural called Bones. And with a name like Zooey — borrowed from the J.D. Salinger short story collection Franny and Zooey — it’s no wonder she’s known for playing quirky characters.
Zooey is best known for her roles in the movies Almost Famous, Elf, Failure to Launch, Yes Man, (500) Days of Summer, Our Idiot Brother, and Your Highness. She’s also guest-starred on Bones and Weeds, and she captured Mary Todd Lincoln’s true essence in a Funny or Die "Drunk History" short.
When not acting, Zooey writes and records music as one-half of the indie duo She & Him. (M. Ward is the “Him.”) They have two albums, aptly titled Volume One and Volume Two. (Betcha can’t guess which one came first... ) She also plays piano, baritone ukulele, and banjo, and she once performed in the jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies.
Zooey has been married to Death Cab for Cutie vocalist Ben Gibbard since September 19, 2009.