Born: 19 December 1980
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Best known as: The guy who co-starred with Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain
Jake Gyllenhaal's turn as a rocket-loving youngster in 1999's October Sky moved him directly into the Hollywood category of 'hot young actors to watch.' It led to more memorable parts in the spooky sci-fi hit Donnie Darko (2001, co-starring his sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal) and The Good Girl (2002, with Jennifer Aniston). Blue-eyed and with semi-tousled brown hair, Jake Gyllenhaal has a standout gawky charm that makes up for a lack of classical movie-star looks. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal, he has been in and around movies since he was a kid; he played Billy Crystal's son in 1991's City Slickers. Jake Gyllenhaal starred in the drama Moonlight Mile (2002, with Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon) and the global-warming disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow (2004). In 2005 he played a Marine fighting the Gulf War in Jarhead and co-starred with Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, the much-discussed "gay cowboy movie" directed by Ang Lee. Things took a darker turn as he starred in the torture drama Rendition (2007) and the Afghan War-inspired drama Brothers (2009). But he returned to the light in 2010 in the romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs, which reunited him with his Brokeback co-star Anne Hathaway. Jake Gyllenhaal also made news in 2010 by dating country-pop star Taylor Swift.
Extra credit: Gyllenhaal's last name is pronounced "JILL-en-hall." His first name is pronounced "Jake."
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