Rashida Jones

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Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones.jpg
Jones at the 2007 Fox Television Upfronts, Fremont, California
Born Rashida Leah Jones
(1976-02-25) February 25, 1976 (age 39)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Education The Buckley School
Alma mater Harvard University
Occupation Actress, comic book author, screenwriter
Years active 1997–present
Parent(s) Quincy Jones
Peggy Lipton
Relatives Kidada Jones (sister)
Quincy Jones III (half brother)

Rashida Leah Jones (born February 25, 1976)[1] is an American film and television actress, comic book author, screenwriter, and occasional singer. Jones played the role of Ann Perkins on NBC's comedy Parks and Recreation, Louisa Fenn on Fox's Boston Public and Karen Filippelli on The Office. Jones has had film roles in Our Idiot Brother, The Social Network, The Muppets, and I Love You, Man. She co-wrote the screenplay for Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012), in which she starred.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born in Los Angeles, the daughter of Quincy Jones, a musician who became a media mogul and producer, and Peggy Lipton, an actress noted for her role on the TV series The Mod Squad and Twin Peaks. Rashida has an older sister, Kidada Jones. They also have five half-siblings by their father's other relationships. Her father, who is African-American, also has more distant Welsh, English, French, Italian, Huguenot, and Cameroonian Tikar roots.[2][3][4][5][6] Her mother is Ashkenazi Jewish (a descendant of immigrants from Russia and Latvia).[7] Rashida and her sister were raised in Reform Judaism by their mother; she attended Hebrew school, though she left at the age of ten and did not have a Bat Mitzvah.[8] As an adult, Jones practices Judaism.[9]

She grew up in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California. Jones has said of her parents' mixed-race marriage: "It was the 1970s and still not that acceptable for them to be together."[10]

In his autobiography, Quincy Jones recalled how he would often find his six-year-old daughter Rashida under the covers after bedtime with a flashlight, reading five books at a time.[11] She says that she grew up a "straight-up nerd...I had a computer with floppy disks and a dial-up modem before it was cool."[10] Jones displayed musical ability from a young age and can play classical piano.[12] Her mother told Entertainment Tonight that Jones is "also a fabulous singer and songwriter, so she has inherited it (from Quincy), there's no question about it. Her dad's teaching her how to orchestrate and arrange too."[13]

Jones attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where she made the National Honor Society and was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" by her classmates. Jones was involved with theatre at Buckley, with tutelage from acting teacher Tim Hillman. She went to the same school as Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.[10][14] Jones' parents divorced when she was 14 years old; her sister subsequently remained with their father, while Rashida moved with their mother to Brentwood.

In 1994, Jones garnered attention with an open letter responding to scathing remarks made by Tupac Shakur, a rapper, about her parents' interracial marriage.[9] After high school, Jones left California to attend Harvard University.[10]

At Harvard, Jones was a resident of Eliot House and belonged to the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, Harvard Opportunes, Black Students Association, and the Signet Society.[15] She was initially interested in becoming a lawyer but changed her mind after becoming disillusioned by the O. J. Simpson murder trial.[11][14] She became involved in the performing arts and served as musical director for the "Opportunes", an a cappella group, co-composed the score for the 149th annual Hasty Pudding Theatricals performance, and acted in several plays.[16] In her second year at college, Jones performed in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, which she said was "healing" because she had been seen by many blacks as not being "black enough".[17] She studied religion and philosophy[18] and graduated in 1997.[citation needed]


Jones made her professional acting debut in The Last Don, a 1997 miniseries based on the novel by Mario Puzo. She next appeared in Myth America, East of A and If These Walls Could Talk 2. In 2000, she guest starred as Karen Scarfolli on Freaks and Geeks before landing the role of Louisa Fenn on Boston Public. Between 2000 and 2002, she appeared in 26 episodes, earning an NAACP Image Award nomination in her final year.[19] Although she had a minor supporting role in the series, film opportunities quickly surfaced. She had a small role in Full Frontal, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and starred in Now You Know, written and directed by Kevin Smith regular Jeff Anderson. She also starred in the short film Roadside Assistance with Adam Brody.

After Jones left Boston Public, she appeared in Death of a Dynasty, directed by Damon Dash, and two episodes of Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central. In 2004, she was cast in Strip Search, an HBO film directed by Sidney Lumet, but her scenes were cut from the final broadcast version. Later that year, she played Dr. Rachel Keyes in Little Black Book and starred as Edie Miller in British drama series NY-LON. In 2005, Jones played Karen in the Stella pilot on Comedy Central and special government agent Carla Merced in the TNT police drama Wanted.

Jones was considering leaving the acting profession and pursuing a graduate degree in public policy before she was offered the part on The Office. She joined the ensemble cast in September 2006, playing the role of Karen Filippelli. She appeared regularly during the third season, returning as a guest star for two episodes in season four and another in season five.[20]

Jones also played Karen in the February 2007 Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Rainn Wilson, appearing briefly in the opening monologue's Office parody. Jones filmed cameo roles in The Ten and Role Models, both directed by David Wain, with the latter appearing on the Blu-ray release.[21] She co-starred in Unhitched, the short-lived 2008 comedy series produced by the Farrelly brothers. She also appeared as the love interest in the Foo Fighters' music video "Long Road to Ruin".

Jason Segel, Rashida Jones, and Paul Rudd at the Austin, Texas premiere of I Love You, Man

In January 2009, Jones voiced several characters in an episode of the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken.[22] She played Hannah in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, an independent film by John Krasinski that screened during the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She co-starred as Zooey Rice in I Love You, Man, a DreamWorks comedy with Paul Rudd and Jason Segel.

Jones accepted a role in Parks and Recreation, a mockumentary-style sitcom on NBC. The show was created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, with whom she previously worked on The Office. She has played nurse Ann Perkins since its primetime debut in April 2009.

Jones had a small role in the Kevin Smith film Cop Out. She appeared in The Social Network (2010), alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, which is set at Harvard. She played Marylin Delpy, a second-year legal associate assisting with the defense of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Jones starred opposite Chris Messina in Monogamy (2010), a drama directed by Dana Adam Shapiro. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010 and was released theatrically in March 2011.[23][24]

Jones' other 2011 films were Friends with Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis; The Big Year, with Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black; The Muppets, with Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Chris Cooper; and Our Idiot Brother, with Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks and Emily Mortimer.[25] In the latter she played a lesbian lawyer named Cindy, the caring girlfriend of a flaky bisexual played by Zooey Deschanel.[26] Jones also has a cameo in the Beastie Boys' short film Fight For Your Right Revisited, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.[27] Additionally, Jones appeared on an episode of Wilfred as Lisa, a hospice volunteer. The episode aired on July 21, 2011 on FX.

In 2012, she starred opposite Andy Samberg in the film Celeste and Jesse Forever, which she co-wrote.

Along with Danny DeVito, she was a voice guest star in The Simpsons episode "The Changing of the Guardian" (season 24, episode 11).

In 2015, she produced the documentary film Hot Girls Wanted, which examines the role of teenage women in pornographic films.[28]

Other work[edit]


Jones created Frenemy of the State, a comic book series about a socialite who is recruited by the CIA. The comics are published by Oni Press and co-written with husband-and-wife writing team Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir.[29] In October 2009, before the first issue had been released, Jones sold the screen rights to Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Brian Grazer and Eric Gitter produced the film and Jones co-wrote the screenplay with writing partner Will McCormack.[30] Jones sold her first screenplay, a comedy titled Celeste and Jesse Forever, in March 2009. She co-wrote the script with McCormack and was attached to star in the film.[31] It was released in 2012. Jones and Will McCormack are writing Toy Story 4 for Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Studios for a June 2017 release.[32]

Jones' has published in Teen Vogue magazine, where she worked as a contributing editor.[33] She wrote chapter 36 of her father's biography, Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones (2001).

Jones in March 2009

Music and related videos[edit]

As a singer, Jones has provided backing vocals for the band Maroon 5. She appears on the tracks "Tangled", "Secret" and "Not Coming Home" from their debut record, Songs About Jane, and on "Kiwi" from the follow-up album It Won't Be Soon Before Long. Jones was a guest vocalist on the Tupac Shakur tribute album, The Rose That Grew from Concrete, released in 2000. The track, "Starry Night", also featured her father's vocals, Mac Mall's rapping, and her half-brother QD3's production. Jones contributed vocals to songs on The Baxter, The Ten and Reno 911!: Miami soundtracks. She sang in some episodes of Boston Public and for charitable events such as the What A Pair Benefit in 2002 to raise money for breast cancer research.[34]

Jones has appeared in music videos for Aaliyah, The Boy Least Likely To song "Be Gentle With Me", and the Foo Fighters' single "Long Road to Ruin". In the latter she was credited as Racinda Jules and played the role of Susan Belfontaine.[35]

In 2013, Jones directed the music video for Sara Bareilles' song "Brave". It marked her debut as a director.

Online comedy series[edit]

Jones has appeared in several online comedy series projects. She starred in Funny or Die's Speak Out series with Natalie Portman[36] and guest starred in two episodes in the first webseason Web Therapy with Lisa Kudrow. Due to other commitments, Jones was unable to reprise her role for the second, third and fourth seasons, provided voiceover work for an off-screen appearance in the show's first TV season (containing her appearance from the first webseason) and was able to make time to reprise her role on-screen for an exclusive appearance in the second season finale of the show. She also played David Wain in disguise for an episode of My Damn Channel's Wainy Days. In 2008, Jones appeared with several other celebrities in Prop 8 – The Musical, an all-star video satirising California's anti-gay marriage initiative, written by Marc Shaiman.

Modeling and advertising[edit]

In 2011, Dove selected Jones as its spokeswoman for its Dove Nourishing Oil Care Collection.[37]

Personal life[edit]

Jones had a 2 and a half year relationship with actor Tobey Maguire, ending in 2000.[38] She became engaged to music producer Mark Ronson in February 2003. He proposed on her 27th birthday, using a custom-made crossword puzzle spelling out "Will you marry me?" Their relationship ended approximately one year later.[39][40] In 2009, she was dating Jon Favreau, who had become the Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama.[41][42][43]

Though raised Jewish, Jones began practicing Hinduism in her early teens with her mother after the two visited an ashram in India.[11] As an adult, she practices Judaism.[9] She told a reporter,

"In this day and age, you can choose how you practice and what is your relationship with God. I feel pretty strongly about my connection, definitely through the Jewish traditions and the things that I learned dating the guy that I dated. My boyfriends tend to be Jewish and also be practicing ... I don't see it as a necessity, but there's something about it that I connect with for whatever reason."[8]

On her multi-racial identity, she remarked, "I have gone through periods where I only feel black or Jewish. Now I have a good balance".[10]

Philanthropic efforts[edit]

Jones has worked to promote Peace First (formerly Peace Games), a nonprofit that teaches children to resolve conflict without violence. She has been a board member since 2004 and holds several annual benefits to raise money for the organization.[44] Jones has participated in Stand Up to Cancer events, EDUN and ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History, and The Art of Elysium's volunteer program, which runs artistic workshops for hospitalized children.[45][46][47][48] In 2007, she was honorary chair of the annual Housing Works benefit, which fights AIDS and homelessness in New York City.[49] She has helped fundraise for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the EB Medical Research Foundation, and New York's Lower Eastside Girls Club.[50][51][52][53]

Political work[edit]

Jones has campaigned in the last three cycles for Democratic Party presidential candidates, including for Barack Obama during the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. In 2008, along with Kristen Bell, she visited college campuses in Missouri to discuss the candidates and to encourage voter registration for the Democratic Party.[54][55] In 2012, she campaigned in Iowa along with co-star Adam Scott.[56] Jones previously campaigned for Democratic candidate John Kerry during the 2004 election, speaking at student rallies and a public gallery in Ohio.[57][58]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 Myth America
2000 East of A Emily
2001 Roadside Assistance Lucy
2002 Full Frontal
2002 Now You Know Kerri
2003 Death of a Dynasty Layna Hudson
2004 Little Black Book Dr. Rachel Keyes
2007 The Ten Hostess Rebecca FornierM
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Hannah
2009 I Love You, Man Zooey
2010 Cop Out Debbie
2010 The Social Network Marylin Delpy
2010 Monogamy Nat
2011 The Big Year Ellie
2011 Friends with Benefits Maddison Uncredited[citation needed]
2011 Our Idiot Brother Cindy Harris
2011 The Muppets Veronica Martin
2012 Celeste and Jesse Forever Celeste Also co-screenwriter
2013 Decoding Annie Parker Kim
2014 Cuban Fury Julia
TBA B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations Moss' ex-wife Voice role


Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Last Don Johanna Miniseries
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Feminist Television movie; segment: "1972"
2000 Freaks and Geeks Karen Scarfolli Episode: "Kim Kelly Is My Friend"
2000–2002 Boston Public Louisa Fenn 26 episodes
2003–2004 Chappelle's Show Pam/Woman in 'Love Contract' 2 episodes
2004 Strip Search Movie; scenes deleted[citation needed]
2004 NY-LON Edie Miller 7 episodes
2005 Stella Karen Episode: "Pilot"
2005 Wanted Detective Carla Merced 13 episodes
2005 Our Thirties Liz Movie
2006–2011 The Office Karen Filippelli 24 episodes
2008 Unhitched Kate 6 episodes
2009–2014, 2015 Parks and Recreation Ann Perkins 99 episodes
2011 Wilfred Lisa Episode: "Respect"
2011–12, 2014 Web Therapy Hayley Feldman-Tate 4 episodes
2012 Who Do You Think You Are? Herself
2012 The Cleveland Show Daisy (voice) Episode: "All You Can Eat"
2013 The Simpsons Portia (voice) Episode: "Changing of the Guardian"
2013–present The Awesomes Hotwire (voice)
2014–2015 A to Z Executive producer; Episode: "M is for Meant to Be"
2014 Key & Peele Colin's Wife Episode: "Dying Wife"
2015 Angie Tribeca Angie Tribeca Upcoming series

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2001: contributed to the audio version of Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones, which won a Grammy Award for Spoken Word
  • 2002: NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Boston Public
  • 2011: Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay nomination for Celeste and Jesse Forever
  • 2012: NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Parks and Recreation
  • 2012: NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Parks and Recreation


  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1248). Mar 1, 2013. p. 25. 
  2. ^ Riley, Shay (2010-09-19). "DID YOU KNOW? The Ancestry Of Quincy Jones". Booker Rising. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  3. ^ Interview with Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Airdate July 30th, 2012
  4. ^ "Quincy Jones Interview -". Academy of Achievement. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  5. ^ "Quincy Jones on his Welsh roots". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-07-04. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  6. ^ "New DNA test results trace Oprah Winfrey's ancestry to Liberia / Zambia : Zambia News". Zambia News. 2006-02-06. 
  7. ^ Stated on Who Do You Think You Are?, 4 May 2012
  8. ^ a b Miller, Gerri (2007). "The Daughter of Q". American Jewish Life Magazine. Genco Media LLC. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  9. ^ a b c Williams, Kam (2009-03-09). "Rashida's Rhapsody". The Sly Fox. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
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  12. ^ Jones, Quincy. "Q Notes: It's A Family Affair". The Official Website of Quincy Jones. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  13. ^ "The Women of Twin Peaks," Interview with Peggy Lipton, Entertainment Tonight. Airdate November 1990
  14. ^ a b Quine, Oscar (February 8, 2014). "The Conversation: Rashida Jones on school bus rides with Kim Kardashian, how OJ Simpson put her off law, and hating Valentine's Day". The Independent. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ "1997 Candidates for Harvard & Radcliffe Class Marshals". The Harvard Crimson, October 1, 1996. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  16. ^ Schaffer, Sarah J. (1997-03-11). "Drinks Before, Not After". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  17. ^ Bardin, Brantley (2008). "A Conversation With Rashida Jones". Women's Health (Rodale, Inc.) (April): 88. 
  18. ^ Freeman, Hadley (15 February 2014). "Rashida Jones: "There's more than one way to be a woman andn be sexy"". The Guardian. 
  19. ^ Awards for Rashida Jones @ IMDb
  20. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (March 26, 2011). "Rashida Jones knows her comedy stats". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  21. ^ Role Models – Unrated Review, DVD Talk. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  22. ^ Episode: "Tell My Mom", The Robot Chicken Wiki. Retrieved on 2009-06-04.
  23. ^ "Monogamy". Tribeca 2010 Film Guide. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  24. ^ "Exclusive: Poster for Indie Drama 'Monogamy' Starring Chris Messina Rashida Jones & Meital Dohan". IndieWire. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  25. ^ "Rashida Jones Joins The Big Year". Empire Online. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  26. ^ "Sundance Review: My Idiot Brother". The Film Stage. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  27. ^ "Does Adam Yauch's 'Fight For Your Right Revisited' Contain The Most Epic Cast Ever?". IndieWire. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  28. ^ "Sundance Quick Quote: Rashida Jones on Porn, Sex and Women". The New York Times. Associated Press. 2015-01-27. Retrieved 2015-01-29. 
  29. ^ Frenemy of the State, Oni Press. Retrieved on 2010-09-17.
  30. ^ Fleming, Michael (2009-10-13). "Universal and Imagine make 'Frenemy'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  31. ^ "Fox Atomic nabs 'Celeste and Jesse'", Variety, March 25, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-06-04
  32. ^ "Rashida Jones is Co-Writing Toy Story 4", The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - YouTube, November 28, 2014. Retrieved on 2015-02-24
  33. ^ Fierman, Daniel (2007-02-16). "Paper Doll". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  34. ^ "What a Pair! Cast 2002". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  35. ^ "Video for "Long Road to Ruin" on MTV". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  36. ^ Natalie Portman and Rashida Jones Speak Out, FunnyOrDie.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  37. ^ "Rashida Jones stars in latest Dove Hair campaign". breitbart.com. breitbart.com. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  38. ^ Miller, Samantha (2002-05-20). "Web Master". People. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  39. ^ "Rashida Jones: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  40. ^ Abel, Olivia (2003-03-17). "Passages". People. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  41. ^ Mullins, Anne Schroeder (2009-07-15). "Shenanigans: "Yep, they're dating"". Politico. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  42. ^ Hochman, David (2011-10-11). "20Q: Rashida Jones". Playboy. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  43. ^ Kamen, Al (2012-12-04). "Favreau, Obama speechwriter, weighing White House exit". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  44. ^ About Peace First: Board & Committees, Peace First. Retrieved on 2011-03-30.
  45. ^ First-look video: Rashida Jones' 'Stand Up 2 Cancer' PSA, Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2011-02-15.
  46. ^ EDUN and ONE (Slide 13), Edun Online. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  47. ^ EDUN ONE Auction, ONE.org. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  48. ^ Celebrity Supporters, The Art of Elysium. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  49. ^ Housing Works Fashion for Action, TFI. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  50. ^ Celebrity Involvement: News, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  51. ^ EB Medical Research Foundation, Look To The Stars. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  52. ^ Events: GivEBig, EBMRF. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  53. ^ "Doing Good for Downtown Girls", Fashion Week Daily: FWD, Retrieved on 2009-06-26
  54. ^ Kotyk, KC (2008-10-04). "State urges voter registration". The Rolla Daily News. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  55. ^ Livengood, Chad (2008-10-05). "Battle for votes goes to Springfield streets". Springfield News-Leader. 
  56. ^ 'Parks and Rec' stars stump for Obama at UI
  57. ^ White, Christopher (2004-10-31). "Clout concerns". INF Magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  58. ^ Mozzocco, J. Caleb (2004-09-29). "The Kerry camp's so-called outreach to young professionals". Columbus Alive. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 

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