Jacob "Jake" Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born on December 19, 1980 in Los Angeles, California. He is an Oscar-nominated actor known for his critically acclaimed performances in films such as Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler, and Donnie Darko, among others.
Gyllenhaal's father is film director Stephen Gyllenhaal, and his mother is film producer and screenwriter Naomi Foner, so he began acting at a very young age. He made his debut as Danny Robbins (Billy Crystal's son) in the 1991 film City Slickers. Throughout the 1990s, he continued to appear in films, including A Dangerous Woman (alongside his famous sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal) in 1993 and Homegrown in 1998.
Gyllenhaal attended Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles and went on to study Eastern religions and philosophy at Columbia University in New York City, dropping out after two years to further pursue his career in acting. His big break came in 2001 after landing the titular role in Donnie Darko, which would go on to become a cult favorite and earn great critical acclaim.
He made his stage debut in London's West End in a revival of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth, which played a limited eight-week engagement at the Garrick Theatre in 2002.
After starring in such films as The Good Girl and Moonlight Mile in 2002, he would land the leading role of Sam Hall in the Hollywood blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow. 2005 turned out to be a monumental year for the young actor with Proof and Jarhead, but the year reached a peak for Gyllenhaal with his portrayal of Jack Twist in the highly lauded Brokeback Mountain. His performance earned him his first Academy Award nomination in 2006 along with a win at the BAFTAs in London.
Over the next few years, Gyllenhaal starred in such films as Zodiac (2007), Rendition (2007), Brothers (2009), as Dastan in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (2010), as Jamie Randall in Love & Other Drugs (2010, earning his first Golden Globe nomination in 2011), and End of Watch (2012).
He made his Off-Broadway debut for Roundabout Theatre Company in Nick Payne's If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, which played the Laura Pels Theatre from August through December 2012, resulting in his first Lucille Lortel and Drama League Award nominations. He would make his Broadway debut for Manhattan Theatre Club in another piece by Payne, as he starred alongside Ruth Wilson in Constellations at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre from December 2014 to March 2015. He made his musical theatre debut as Seymour in the New York City Center concert staging of Little Shop of Horrors in the summer of 2015. Gyllenhaal returned to New York City Center in October 2016 to star in a semi-staged production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George, opposite Annaleigh Ashford. Thanks to great critical acclaim and popular demand, the production was granted a Broadway transfer, reopening the Hudson Theatre for a limited run from February to April 2017.
Gyllenhaal's other recent and notable screen credits include Prisoners (2013); a Golden Globe and BAFTA-nominated performance as Louis Bloom in Nightcrawler (2014); Southpaw, Everest, and Demolition (2015); a BAFTA-nominated performance in Nocturnal Animals (2016); and Velvet Buzzsaw (2019). In 2019, he also joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as comic book supervillain Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
He returned to the New York stage for a third collaboration with Payne to star as Abe in Sea Wall / A Life (with Tom Sturridge starring as Sea Wall's Alex) at The Public Theater, which ran from January 1 to March 31, 2019, and transfered to Broadway's Hudson Theatre for a limited run from July 26 through September 29, 2019.
Feb 1, 2019 - Mar 31, 2019