Emily Deschanel

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Emily Deschanel
Emily Deschanel by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Deschanel at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International
Born Emily Erin Deschanel
(1976-10-11) October 11, 1976 (age 38)[1]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater
  • Actress
  • producer
Years active 1994–present
Spouse(s) David Hornsby (m. 2010)
Children 1
Relatives Zooey Deschanel (sister)

Emily Erin Deschanel (/dʃəˈnɛl/; born October 11, 1976) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for starring in the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama series Bones[2] as Dr. Temperance Brennan.

Early life[edit]

Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, to Academy Award–nominated cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir). Her younger sister is actress and singer Zooey Deschanel.[3] Her paternal grandfather was French, from Oullins, Rhône; her ancestry also includes Swiss, Dutch, English, Irish, and other French roots.[4][5]

Deschanel attended Harvard-Westlake and Crossroads School in Los Angeles[6] before graduating from Boston University's Professional Actors Training Program with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater.[7]


In 1994, Deschanel made her feature film debut in It Could Happen to You. Her next notable role was in Stephen King's Rose Red in 2002. She then appeared in Cold Mountain, The Alamo, and Glory Road and was named one of "six actresses to watch" by Interview Magazine in 2004.

In 2005, Deschanel won the role of Dr. Temperance Brennan on the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama Bones, based on the novels and the career of forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reichs. She has been playing this role for 10 years. For her performance she received a 2006 Satellite Award nomination and a 2007 Teen Choice Award nomination. Deschanel has served as co-producer since the start of the show's third season, and as producer since the middle of the show's fourth season along with her co-star David Boreanaz.

Emily Deschanel at 23rd Genesis Awards, March 2009

Deschanel, with Alyson Hannigan, Jaime King, Minka Kelly, and Katharine McPhee made a video slumber party featured on FunnyorDie.com to promote regular breast cancer screenings for the organization Stand Up 2 Cancer.[8] In recent years, her passion for animal welfare has led her to providing the narration for My Child Is a Monkey and serving as an associate producer on the documentary film How I Became an Elephant.[9] Deschanel ranked number 72 in The 2012 Hot 100 on AfterEllen.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Deschanel is a vegan and a committed supporter of animal rights causes. She can be seen in an Access Hollywood video at the book launch event of Karen Dawn's Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals, discussing how vegetarian and vegan diets help the environment, and a video on the homepage of the book's website talking about the importance of animal rights.[11] She collaborated with PETA on a video encouraging mothers to raise their children as vegans.[12]

Deschanel was raised Roman Catholic, but is no longer practicing, and has expressed agnostic views, saying "I am more of a spiritual person, if anything, and I am of the belief that we don't know, and I'm not going to pretend that I do."[13]

On September 25, 2010, Deschanel married It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor and writer David Hornsby in a small private ceremony in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.[14] On September 21, 2011, Deschanel gave birth to their son Henry Lamar Hornsby.[15][16] On December 5, 2014, Deschanel announced she is expecting her second child.[17]

Deschanel is best friends with her Bones co-star Michaela Conlin, who plays her best friend Angela Montenegro on the show and she is friends with her Bones co-star David Boreanaz with whom she has a strong working relationship.[18]


Year Title Role Notes
1994 It Could Happen to You Animal rights activist
2000 It's a Shame About Ray Maggie Short film
2001 Heart Department, TheThe Heart Department Maude Allyn
2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Cassie Germaine Episode: "Surveillance" Season 3 Episode 17
2002 Rose Red Pam Asbury
2002 Providence Annie Franks Episodes: "Cloak & Dagger" and "The Eleventh Hour"
2003 Dan Show, TheThe Dan Show Sam
2003 Easy Laura Harris
2003 Cold Mountain Mrs. Morgan
2004 Alamo, TheThe Alamo Rosanna Travis
2004 Crossing Jordan Michelle Episode: "All the News Fit to Print"
2004 Spider-Man 2 Receptionist
2004 Old Tricks Woman Short film
2005 Boogeyman Kate Houghton
2005 Mute Claire Short film
2005 That Night Annie Short film
2005–present Bones Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan 200 episodes
2006 Glory Road Mary Haskins
2007 Diagnosis, TheThe Diagnosis Maggie Short film
2009 My Sister's Keeper Dr. Farquad
2009 Tit for Tat Emily
2010 Cleveland Show, TheThe Cleveland Show Julia Roberts (voice)[19] Episode: "Cleveland Live!"
2011 Perfect Family, TheThe Perfect Family Shannon Cleary[20]
2011 Cleveland Show, TheThe Cleveland Show Herself (voice) Episode: "Hot Cocoa Bang Bang"
2014 Unity Narrator Documentary
2014 Drunk History Babe Didrikson Zaharias, pro golfer/LPGA founder Episode: "Sports Heroes"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2006 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Bones Nominated
2007 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Bones Nominated
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Crime Fighter Bones Nominated
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Bones Nominated
2012 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Actress Bones Nominated


  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1176/1177): 34. Oct 14–21, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Bones Star Emily Deschanel". Buddytv.com. October 2, 2007. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  3. ^ Miller, Sarah (April 2007). "Interview with Emily Deschanel". Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ Powell, Kimberly. "Interesting Ancestors of Emily & Zooey Deschanel". Genealogy.about.com. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  5. ^ Olsen, Mark (February 16, 2003). "A scene stealer steps off the sidelines". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Los Angeles natives". thedailytruffle.com. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Emily Deschanel Biography". TV.com. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 
  8. ^ Stanhope, Kate (October 1, 2009). "Deschanel, Hannigan and Others Cop a Feel for a Cause". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  9. ^ "How I Became an Elephant: Film Crew". Rattle the Cage Productions. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Emily Deschanel". AfterEllen.com. 
  11. ^ "Interview with Access Hollywood". 
  12. ^ "Emily Deschanel promotes vegan diet," Winnipeg Free Press, 9 May 2013.
  13. ^ DeSalvo, Robert (May 4, 2012). "Q&A: Emily Deschanel on Playing a 'Perfect' Catholic Lesbian". nextmovie.com. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  14. ^ Zuckerman, Suzanne (September 25, 2010). "Actress Emily Deschanel Weds". Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ Raferty, Liz (September 21, 2011). "Emily Deschanel Has a Baby Boy". People. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  16. ^ Paskin, Willa (November 3, 2011). "Bones Creator Hart Hanson on the Show’s New Season, Booth and Brennan’s Future Make-Outs". nymag. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ Nessif, Bruna (December 5, 2014). "Emily Deschanel Pregnant With Baby No. 2!". E! Online. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ "‘Bones’ Cast Champions David Boreanaz For Directing 200th Episode [INTERVIEW]/". 
  19. ^ "It's Evening in America". Vanity Fair. May 2012. Page 152.
  20. ^ "Emily Deschanel to Star in Perfect Family". PasteMagazine.com. May 7, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2011. 

External links[edit]