Gillian Jacobs

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Gillian Jacobs
Gillian Jacobs by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Born (1982-10-19) October 19, 1982 (age 31)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Gillian McLaren Jacobs[1] (/ˈɡɪlɪən/; born October 19, 1982)[2] is an American actress. She is known for her role as Britta Perry on the NBC comedy series Community.

Early life[edit]

Jacobs was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Martina Magenau Jacobs, was a Carnegie Mellon University director of alumni relations at the Heinz College. Her father, William F. Jacobs Jr., was an investment banker.[3] She was raised in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon.[4] She is of French, German, Irish, and Scottish descent.[5] Her family owned the Jackson Koehler Eagle Brewery, established in 1847 in Erie, Pennsylvania, where her grandfather, John Martin Magenau Jr., served as President and CEO until its closure in 1978.[6]

Jacobs began studying acting at the age of eight, and attended acting classes on Saturdays at the Pittsburgh Playhouse while growing up.[4] She performed with the Pittsburgh Public Theater, where she was a perennial contender in the Public's Shakespeare Monologue Contest, leading her to be cast as Titania in its production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.[7] After graduating from Mt. Lebanon High School in 2000, Jacobs moved to New York City, New York to attend the Juilliard School, where she was a member of the Drama Division's Group 33. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2004.[4]


Jacobs at Wondercon in March 2012

Jacobs' first acting role came as Adele Congreve on the television series The Book of Daniel. Although she played Kim in the pilot of Traveler, the role was given to Pascale Hutton when ABC acquired the series. Jacobs subsequently made guest appearances on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Fringe. In 2006, she starred in an Off-Off-Broadway production of Chris Denham's cagelove. While overall critical reaction to the play was negative, Jacobs earned praise in several reviews.[8][9][10] The New York Times advised readers to "remember the name of Gillian Jacobs, a stunning Juilliard graduate who has the glow of a star in the making".[11]

Jacobs has appeared in theatrical productions of The Fabulous Life of a Size Zero (2007), A Feminine Ending (2007),[12] and The Little Flower of East Orange (2008).[13] Her film work includes Gardens of the Night (2007), Blackbird (2007), Choke (2008), and The Box (2009).[14] In 2009, she began playing Britta Perry on Community, which became her best known role to date.

Personal life[edit]

Jacobs is teetotal.[15][16] She is a fan of professional wrestling and is a regular at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla shows.[17][18]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Building Girl Katie
2007 Blackbird Froggy
2008 Choke Cherry Daiquiri / Beth
2008 Gardens of the Night Leslie
2009 Box, TheThe Box Dana
2009 Solitary Man Tall Girl
2010 Helena from the Wedding Helena
2010 Nonames CJ
2010 Coach Zoe
2011 Let Go Darla DeMint
2012 It's Not You, It's Me Babe Short film
2012 Watching TV with the Red Chinese Suzanne
2012 Revenge for Jolly! Tina
2012 Adventures in the Sin Bin Lauren
2012 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Waitress / Katie
2013 Incredible Burt Wonderstone, TheThe Incredible Burt Wonderstone Miranda
2013 Teddy Bears Emily
2013 Made in Cleveland Martha
2013 Bad Milo! Sarah
2014 Life Partners Paige
2014 Walk of Shame Rose
2014 Hot Tub Time Machine 2
2014 Lookalike, TheThe Lookalike Lacey
2014 Black and White
2014 No Way Jose Penny
2014 Visions


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Book of Daniel, TheThe Book of Daniel Adele Congreve 3 episodes
2007 All-Nighters Marni Unsold CBS pilot
2007 Traveler Kimberly Episode: "Pilot"
2008 Fringe Joanne Ostler Episode: "The Equation"
2009 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Sue Smith Episode: "Rock Star"
2009 Royal Pains Tess Frimoli Episode: "There Will Be Food"
2009 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Sonia Episode: "Pilot"
2009–present Community Britta Perry 97 episodes
2010 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Carl's Wife (voice) Episode: "Larry Miller Hair System"
2012 Robot Chicken Polly Pocket / Kelly Frears / Snow White / Lisbeth Salander (voices) Episode: "Punctured Jugular"
2012–2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Post-Apocalypse Woman / Herself 2 episodes
2013 Venture Bros., TheThe Venture Bros. Marsha Backwood (voice) Episode: "Venture Libre"
2013–2014 Monsters vs. Aliens Sta'abi (voice) 16 episodes
2014 The Greatest Event in Television History Sonny Episode: "Bosom Buddies"
2014 American Dad! Christy (voice) Episode: "Introducing The Naughty Stewardesses"


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Funny or Die Linka Episode: "Don Cheadle Is Captain Planet"
2011 CollegeHumor Britta Perry Episode: "Save Greendale"
2012 Book Club, TheThe Book Club Penelope 2 episodes
2013 Tiny Commando Mitzi McNeil 7 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2012 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Supporting Actress Community Nominated
2012 TV Guide Award Favorite Ensemble Community Won


  1. ^
  2. ^ Silberman, Lucy. "Gillian Jacobs". Interview. Accessed January 6, 2010.
  3. ^ "Purple Editorial A New Generation, Spring/Summer 2009". Gillian Maclaren Jacobs's Portfolio. My Fashion Database. Spring–Summer 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2012. "What's your full name? - Gillian Maclaren Jacobs ... What are your parents' names? - Martina Magenau Jacobs and William F Jacobs Jr" 
  4. ^ a b c Randall, Reese (April 2010). "Gillian Jacobs". Pittsburgh Magazine. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Joel McHale "hijacks" Gillian Jacobs: 'Community' Stars on Diversity" on YouTube
  6. ^ "John Martin Magenau Jr.". Erie Times-News. July 22, 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "OnStage". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 1, 2006.
  8. ^ Les Gutman (May 14, 2006). "cagelove, A CurtainUp Review". Retrieved August 21, 2008. 
  9. ^ Siegel, Barbara; Siegel, Scott (May 16, 2006). "cagelove, Review on TheaterMania". Retrieved August 21, 2008. 
  10. ^ Murray, Matthew. "cagelove Theater Review". Talkin' Broadway. Retrieved August 21, 2008. 
  11. ^ Zinoman, Jason (May 17, 2006). "In 'Cagelove,' a Triangle (Sort of), Including a Man Offstage (Sort Of)". The New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2008. 
  12. ^ Isherwood, Charles (October 18, 2007). "Torn Between Two Loves: The Oboe and the ‘Hot Mess'". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ Silberman, Lucy (August 2008). "Gillian Jacobs". Interview. p. 28. 
  14. ^ "Gillian Jacobs IMDb Page". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 21, 2008. 
  15. ^ Community Season 2 DVD commentary (episode: "Mixology Certification")
  16. ^ Jacobs confirmed her teetotalism in an appearance on The Late Late Show in March 2013.
  17. ^ "Celebrity sightings at wrestling shows". World Wrestling Network. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Inside Indie Wrestling's Garden of Eden". The Classical. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]