Born: 26 October 1977
Birthplace: Fort Collins, Colorado
Best known as: The guy who played Napoleon Dynamite
Jon Heder starred as the title character of the low-budget box office hit Napoleon Dynamite (2004). Heder grew up in Salem, Oregon and attended Brigham Young University in Utah. While at BYU he studied animation and began appearing in student-produced short films. One of these films, a comedy called Peluca, was expanded to the feature length film Napoleon Dynamite and earned a screening at the Sundance Film Festival. Its surprising success at the festival led to national distribution, and by the end of 2004 Heder's portrayal of the hapless Napoleon was being imitated across the United States and the film had grossed more than a hundred times what it cost to make. Heder's career as an actor took off. He next appeared in the Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy Just Like Heaven (2005, with Mark Ruffalo), and landed roles in other comedies including the animated feature Monster House (2006, with Maggie Gyllenhaal) and the ice-skating farce Blades of Glory (2007, with Will Ferrell).
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