Zooey Claire Deschanel was born on January 17, 1980, in Los Angeles, California, to Caleb, an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer, and Mary Jo, an actress. Zooey grew up alongside her older sister Emily, also an actress, and spent most of her childhood traveling with her father to movie sets worldwide. She first began honing her acting skills at the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences (Santa Monica, CA) with her future fellow-actors Kate Hudson and Jake Gyllenhaal. After a brief stint at Northwestern University in 1998, Zooey decided to pursue a professional career in acting.
In that same year, Zooey made her on-screen debut as a guest star on the TV sitcom Veronica's Closet alongside Kirstie Alley. Zooey began to gain attention when she landed a supporting role in the dramedy Mumford (1999), followed by a memorable performance in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous (2000).
Heightening her status as an independent film favorite, Zooey co-starred alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the drama Manic (2001) and Jennifer Aniston in the dramedy The Good Girl (2002) prior to receiving critical acclaim for her role in the dramedy All the Real Girls (2003).
Zooey's popularity gained additional momentum when she landed a role opposite Will Ferrell in the box-office triumph Elf (2004), which gave her the chance to show off her musical talent. Over the next couple of years, she continued making appearances in blockbuster hits, including the romantic comedy Failure to Launch (2006) with Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker, followed by the romance comedy Yes Man (2008) with Jim Carrey and the thriller The Happening (2007) alongside Mark Wahlberg.
In 2009, Zooey reunited with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the romance dramedy (500) Days of Summer, a critically praised performance that earned her a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actress and the respect of Hollywood.
Recognized for playing the shy, awkward, quirky character, Zooey continued pleasing her audience with a supporting role opposite Paul Rudd in the dramedy Our Idiot Brother (2011). Later that year, Zooey's celebrity status multiplied immensely as she played an offbeat character, named Jess, in Fox's sitcom The New Girl. Premiering on September 20, 2011, the show was an immediate hit with Zooey's portrayal of a goofy, naïve woman earning her a 2012 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and a 2012 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series. She most recently acquired a 2013 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance.
Zooey Deschanel Boyfriend & Dating History Timeline
2003 - 2005
Zooey and fellow-actor Jason Schwartzman's relationship was kept on the down low during the two years they were together. Their romance was so undercover that when they eventually broke-up, it went unnoticed.
Zooey and AFI's bassist Hunter Burgan were first labeled a couple when rumors that they were engaged started circulating. But, it was later revealed that Zooey was actually engaged to Death Cab for Cutie's front man Ben Gibbard.
2008 - November 2011
Zooey was first introduced to Death Cab for Cutie's front man Ben Gibbard by their mutual manager in 2008. In December of that year, Ben proposed to her with a 3-carat diamond and platinum ring. They eventually tied the knot on September 19, 2009, in Seattle, Washington, but later separated in November 2011.
On December 27, 2011, Zooey filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences as the cause. The divorce was ultimately finalized on December 12, 2012.