Jack Black at the San Diego Comic-Con International (2014)
Thomas Jacob Black
August 28, 1969
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, singer, record producer|
|Spouse(s)||Tanya Haden (m. 2006)|
|Genres||Comedy rock, heavy metal, hard rock, acoustic rock|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, percussion, keyboards|
|Associated acts||Tenacious D, Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, Probot, Foo Fighters, Meat Loaf, Ronnie James Dio|
Thomas Jacob "Jack" Black (born August 28, 1969) is an American actor, comedian, musician, and producer.
His acting career has been extensive, starring primarily in comedy films. He is known for his roles in High Fidelity, Shallow Hal, School of Rock, King Kong, Nacho Libre, Tropic Thunder, The Holiday, Goosebumps, Bernie and the Kung Fu Panda films. Black is considered a member of the so-called Frat Pack, a loose grouping of comic actors who have appeared together from an early age in various Hollywood films. He has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. Black is the lead vocalist of the comedic rock group Tenacious D, which he formed in 1994 with friend Kyle Gass.
- Early life 1
Acting career 2
- Early roles 2.1
- Leading roles 2.2
- Later television roles 2.3
- Hosting work and appearances 2.4
- Voice acting 2.5
- Music career 3
- Personal life 4
- Film 5.1
- Television 5.2
- Video games 5.3
- References 6
- External links 7
Thomas Jacob Black was born on August 28, 1969, in Santa Monica, California, the son of two satellite engineers, Judith Love (née Cohen), who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope and is also a writer, and Thomas William Black. His mother was born Jewish, and his father converted to Judaism. Black was raised in the Jewish faith, attending Hebrew school and celebrating a Bar Mitzvah. On a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he said his surname may have come from the occupational name of blacksmith.
Black's parents divorced when he was 10; Black moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother's home. As a child, Black appeared in a commercial for the Activision game Pitfall! in 1982. This was shown during his later appearances as an adult actor on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and again on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
For high school, Black's parents enrolled him at the Poseidon School, a private secondary school designed specifically for students struggling in the traditional school system. Black also attended the Crossroads School, where he excelled in drama. He later attended UCLA but dropped out during his sophomore year to pursue a career in entertainment. Fellow UCLA student Tim Robbins later cast Black in Bob Roberts. Black gained recurring roles on the HBO sketch comedy series, Mr. Show.
Black first acted in a television commercial at age 13 for the video game Pitfall!. Black's adult career began with acting on prime time television. He played roles on shows including Life Goes On, Northern Exposure, Mr. Show, Picket Fences, The Golden Palace and The X-Files. Black appeared in the unaired TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack, directed by Ben Stiller, in which he played an ex-astronaut pursued by actor Ron Silver. He was accompanied by his friend who had merged with a motorcycle, voiced by Owen Wilson.
Black later took on small roles in Airborne (1993), Demolition Man, Waterworld, The Fan, The Cable Guy, Mars Attacks!, Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking, The Jackal, Enemy of the State, and others. He had a small role in True Romance as a security guard, but the scene was deleted.
In 2000, Black appeared in High Fidelity as a wild employee in John Cusack's record store, a role he considers his breakout. He soon gained leading roles in films such as Shallow Hal, Nacho Libre, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Year One, and Gulliver's Travels. He received particular praise for his starring role in the well-received School of Rock, earning critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy.
He starred in one of his few dramatic roles as the obsessed filmmaker Carl Denham in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong, a performance he based on Orson Welles. He voiced the title role in Kung Fu Panda, which grossed $20.3 million on its opening day, June 6, 2008, and Kung Fu Panda 2; this is his favorite role and he praises the tutoring of co-star and two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman. His next film, The Big Year, a competitive birdwatching comedy co-starring Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, and JoBeth Williams, was released in October 2011.
The media classifies Black as one of the Frat Pack, a group of comedy actors who frequently work together. It includes Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Steve Carell.
Jack garnered a second Golden Globe Award nomination, this time in the category Best Actor in a Comedy, for his 2011 starring role in Richard Linklater's black comedy Bernie, as real-life murderer Bernie Tiede, a funeral director in a small East Texas town, who befriends and eventually murders a rich widow, played by Shirley MacLaine. Black's subdued portrayal, authentic East Texas accent and musical talent – he sings several gospel hymns as well as "Seventy-six Trombones" — had Roger Ebert describing Black's work as "one of the performances of the year."
Later television roles
Black has appeared numerous times on the "untelevised TV network" short film Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln). Black also guest starred in the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim show Tom Goes to the Mayor, as a bear-trap store owner. Black also guest-starred on Dan Harmon's show Community.
Hosting work and appearances
Black took part in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? celebrity edition along with Denis Leary, Jimmy Kimmel and others and was handed the prize of US$125,000 in October 2001. On December 14, he hosted the 2008 Spike Video Game Awards. Black has hosted the Nickelodeon Acceptable.TV.
In addition to Kung Fu Panda, Black has voice acted on other occasions, including "Husbands and Knives" from The Simpsons, which aired November 18, 2007, portraying Milo, the friendly owner of the rival comic book store. He provided the voice of the main character, roadie Eddie Riggs, in the heavy metal-themed action-adventure video game Brütal Legend. In 2009, at the Spike Video Game Awards, he earned the Best Voice award for the voice of Eddie Riggs in Brütal Legend. In April 2009, Black starred in an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba!, in which he vocalized funny kid songs, such as "It's Not Fun to Get Lost", "Friends", and "The Goodbye Song".
Black, also known as JB or Jables, is the lead singer for the comedy rock/hard rock band Tenacious D. Along with Kyle Gass, they have released three albums, a self-titled debut, the follow-up, The Pick of Destiny, and Rize of the Fenix. One of their songs from their album The Pick of Destiny, titled "The Metal", was used in the music video games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Brütal Legend. "Rock Your Socks" from the album Tenacious D was played in the music videogame Rock Band Unplugged as well, and "Master Exploder" from The Pick Of Destiny went on to be used in music video games Guitar Hero Van Halen, Rock Band 2, and Brütal Legend along with their song "Tribute" from Tenacious D. "Master Exploder" and "The Metal" featured in the comedic film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
The film, directed by Tenacious D veteran Liam Lynch, featured recurring characters from Black's comedy such as Lee the super-fan and the Sasquatch. Several celebrities had roles in the film; actor Tim Robbins cameos as does Dave Grohl as Satan. Ben Stiller also makes an appearance as a worker at a Guitar Center, also having a role in the music video for "Tribute".
Tenacious D helped the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to raise awareness and funds for the affliction in Los Angeles on December 20, 2001  and in San Diego, California on June 16, 2007. Tenacious D can be seen performing in the 90s-era Pauly Shore film Bio-Dome where the duo is performing its song "The Five Needs" at a "Save the Environment" party. Black was also a guest star on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show entitled "Ellen the Musical", alongside Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and teenage singer-actress Olivia Olson. On the show, besides singing, he discussed his then-upcoming film Nacho Libre with the host.
In 2000 Jack Black (along with Kyle Gass) provided backing vocals to punk rockers The Vandals' song "Fourteen", which appears on their album Look What I Almost Stepped In.... Black has also appeared on Dave Grohl's Probot album, providing vocals for the hidden song "I Am The Warlock", and Lynch's Fake Songs album, providing vocals for the song "Rock and Roll Whore". Black performed a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" in the last sequence of High Fidelity. He lent his musical abilities to the Queens of the Stone Age song "Burn the Witch" with rhythmic stomps and claps, some performed with his eyes closed. He also provided vocals for The Lonely Island's track "Sax Man" from the album Incredibad.
Black has also recorded a duet on Meat Loaf's recently made album Hang Cool Teddy Bear. The song is called "Like a Rose". Meat Loaf also played Black's father in the Pick of Destiny movie.
Black has appeared in music videos of Beck "Sexx Laws"; Foo Fighters "Learn To Fly", "Low", and "The One"; The Eagles of Death Metal's "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)"; Sum 41's "Things I Want"; Dio's "Push"; Weezer's "Photograph"; and "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Tacky." In October 2010, Tenacious D appeared at BlizzCon 2010, a convention hosted by the game designers, Blizzard Entertainment. In 2012, Jack Black joined up with other celebrities to record "Book People Unite", a song sponsored by the Library of Congress, and RIF.
In January 2006, Black became engaged to Tanya Haden. She is one of the triplet daughters of jazz double bassist Charlie Haden, with her sisters being violinist and singer Petra Haden and bass player Rachel Haden. Haden herself is an accomplished cellist. Both attended Crossroads School and met again 15 years after graduating, at a friend's birthday party. Black proposed around Christmas 2005, and they got married on March 14, 2006, in Big Sur, California.
Black's first son, Samuel Jason "Sammy" Black, was born on June 10, 2006, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. On May 23, 2008, Black and his wife had their second son, Thomas David Black.
Black described himself as an atheist; but now that he is a father, he has decided to raise his children in the Jewish faith and has also started going to a synagogue with them.
Black endorsed Barack Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.
|1993||The Golden Palace||Taxi driver||Episode: "Seems Like Old Times: Part 2"|
|Life Goes On||Skinhead||Episode: "Incident on Main"|
|Northern Exposure||Kevin Wilkins||Episode: "A River Doesn't Run Through It"|
|1995||All-American Girl||Tommy||Episode "A Night at the Oprah"|
|Pride & Joy||Man||Episode: "Brenda's Secret"|
|The Single Guy||Randy||Episode: "Sister"|
|Touched by an Angel||Monte||Episode: "Angels on the Air"|
|The X-Files||Bart "Zero" Liqouri||Episode: "D.P.O."|
|1995–1996||Mr. Show with Bob and David||Various characters||4 episodes|
|Picket Fences||Curtis Williams||2 episodes|
|1997–2000||Tenacious D||JB||6 episodes; also co-creator, writer, producer|
|1999||Heat Vision and Jack||Jack||Television short|
|2001||Space Ghost Coast to Coast||Himself||Episode: "Sweet for Brak"|
|2002||2002 MTV Movie Awards||Host||Television special|
|The Andy Dick Show||J.D.||Episode: "Flipped"|
|Clone High||Pusher/Larry Hardcore (voice)||Episode: "Raisin the Stakes"|
|Crank Yankers||Tenacious D||Episode: "#1.3"|
|2003||Player$||Episode: "Tenacious D a la Mode"|
|Will & Grace||Dr. Isaac Hershberg||Episode: "Nice in White Satin"|
|2003–2004||Computerman||Computerman||6 episodes; Also executive producer|
|Time Belt||Computerman||2 episodes|
|2004||Cracking Up||Brian||Episode: "Scared Straight"|
|Tom Goes to the Mayor||Trapper JB (voice)||Episode: "Bear Traps"|
|2006||2006 Kids' Choice Awards||Host||Television special|
|2006 MTV Video Music Awards|
|The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show||Jables||Episode: "Break-Up"|
|The Simpsons||Milo (voice)||Episode: "Husbands and Knives"|
|2008||Sesame Street||Himself||Episode: "The Golden Triangle of Destiny"|
|2008 Kids' Choice Awards||Host||Television special|
|2008 Spike Video Game Awards|
|2009||The Office||Sam||Episode: "Stress Relief"|
|Yo Gabba Gabba||Himself||Episode: "New Friends"|
|2010||Community||Buddy||Episode: "Investigative Journalism"|
|iCarly||Aspartamay||Episode: "iStart a Fanwar"|
|2011||2011 Kids' Choice Awards||Host||Television special|
|2013–2015||Drunk History||Elvis Presley / Orson Welles / Benjamin Franklin / William Mulholland||4 episodes|
|2013||Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem||Dethklok's original manager / Fat Blogger (voices)||Television special|
|2015||Workaholics||Pritchard DeMamp||Episode: "Gramps DeMamp is Dead"|
|Comedy Bang! Bang!||Himself||Episode: "Jack Black Wears an Embroidered Cowboy Shirt and Ox Blood Sneakers"|
|The Brink||Alex Talbot||Main Role|
|Documentary Now!||Jamison Friend||Episode: "Dronez: The Hunt for El Chingon"|
|2005||Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie||Carl Denham (voice)||Spike Video Game Award for Best Performance by a Male|
|2009||Brütal Legend||Eddie Riggs (voice)||Spike Video Game Award for Best Voice|
|2014||Broken Age||Harm'ny Lightbeard (voice)|
- Jack Black at the Internet Movie Database
- Jack Black at AllMovie
- Jack Black at AllMusic
- Jack Black collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Suicide Girls interview
- The Tao of Jack Black, Steve Ramos, Cincinnati CityBeat, October 8, 2003
Kirsten Dunst and Jimmy Fallon
MTV Movie Awards host
2002 (with Sarah Michelle Gellar)
Seann William Scott and Justin Timberlake
MTV Video Music Awards host