Emily Deschanel

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Emily Deschanel
Emily Deschanel by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Deschanel at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International
Emily Erin Deschanel

(1976-10-11) October 11, 1976 (age 43)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater
  • Actress
  • Producer
Years active1994–present
David Hornsby (m. 2010)
RelativesZooey Deschanel (sister)

Emily Erin Deschanel (/ˌdʃəˈnɛl/; born October 11, 1976)[1] is an American actress, director and producer. She is best known for her role as Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan in the FOX crime procedural series Bones (2005–2017).

Early life[edit]

Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California,[2] to cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir). Her younger sister is actress and singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel.[3] Her paternal grandfather was French, from Oullins, Rhône; her roots also include Swiss, Dutch, English, Irish, and other French ancestry.[4][5]

Deschanel attended Harvard-Westlake School 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 the romantic comedy-drama It Could Happen to You, on which her father worked as chief cinematographer. Her next notable role was as Pam Asbury in Stephen King's horror miniseries Rose Red in 2002. Then she 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 was cast as Dr. Temperance Brennan with David Boreanaz as FBI agent Seeley Booth on the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama Bones, based on the novels and the career of forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reichs, created by Hart Hanson. The series ran for 12 seasons from September 13, 2005 to March 28, 2017. For her performance, she received a 2006 Satellite Award nomination and a 2007 Teen Choice Award nomination. Deschanel and Boreanaz served as co-producers at the start of the show's third season, before becoming producers in the middle of the show's fourth season. While Bones was still in production, Deschanel also played the Brennan character on a 2015 episode of Sleepy Hollow and a 2016 episode of BoJack Horseman.

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 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] In September 2014, she joined the board of directors at Farm Sanctuary.[13][14]

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."[15]

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.[16] On September 21, 2011, Deschanel gave birth to their first son.[17][18] In June 2015, she gave birth to their second son.[19][20] Both pregnancies were written into Bones.

Deschanel is best friends with her Bones co-star Michaela Conlin, who played her best friend Angela Montenegro on the show; she is also friends, and has a strong working relationship with her Bones co-star David Boreanaz.[21]

In 2015 Boreanaz, Deschanel, Bones executive producer Barry Josephson and Kathy Reichs, who wrote the books upon which the series was based, filed suit against Fox, claiming they were cheated out of their share of series profits.[22] In February 2019, an arbitrator awarded them $179 million: $128 million in punitive damages, $32 million in compensatory damages, $10 million in prejudgment interest and more than $9 million in fees and costs. In May 2019, the Los Angeles Superior Court voided the punitive damages, with the plaintiffs' attorneys saying they would appeal.[23]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 It Could Happen to You Animal rights activist
2000 It's a Shame About Ray Maggie Short film
2003 Easy Laura Harris
Cold Mountain Mrs. Morgan
2004 The Alamo Rosanna Travis
Spider-Man 2 Receptionist
Old Tricks Woman Short film
2005 Boogeyman Kate Houghton
Mute Claire Short film
That Night Annie Short film
2006 Glory Road Mary Haskins
2007 The Diagnosis Maggie Short film
2009 My Sister's Keeper Dr. Farquad
2011 The Perfect Family Shannon Cleary[24]
2014 Unity Narrator Documentary


Year Title Role Notes
2001 The Heart Department Maude Allyn Television movie
2002 Rose Red Pam Asbury 3 episodes; Miniseries
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Cassie Germaine Episode: "Surveillance"
Providence Annie Franks 2 episodes
2003 The Dan Show Sam Television movie
2004 Crossing Jordan Michelle Episode: "All the News Fit to Print"
2005–2017 Bones Temperance Brennan Main role
2009 Tit for Tat Emily Episode: "The Booby Scare"
2010–2011 The Cleveland Show Julia Roberts (voice) Episode: "Cleveland Live!"
Herself (voice) Episode: "Hot Cocoa Bang Bang"
2012 American Dad! Temperance Brennan (voice) Episode: "Less Money, Mo' Problems"
2014; 2019 Drunk History Babe Didrikson Zaharias / Marina Raskova 2 episodes
2015 Sleepy Hollow Temperance Brennan Episode: "Dead Men Tell No Tales"
2016 BoJack Horseman Temperance Brennan Episode: "Love And/Or Marriage"
2018 The Simpsons Herself (voice) Episode: "Bart's Not Dead"
2019 Animal Kingdom Angela Recurring (Season 4) Main (Season 5)[25]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award 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
2012 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Actress Bones Nominated
2013 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic TV Actress Bones Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Duo: David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel Bones Nominated
Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress Bones Nominated
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress Bones Nominated


  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1176/1177): 34. Oct 14–21, 2011.
  2. ^ "Emily Deschanel". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on February 14, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  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. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  10. ^ "Emily Deschanel". AfterEllen.com. Archived from the original on 2012-08-15.
  11. ^ "Interview with Access Hollywood".
  12. ^ "Emily Deschanel promotes vegan diet," Winnipeg Free Press, 9 May 2013.
  13. ^ "In the News". Farm Sanctuary. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  14. ^ MacVean, Mary (September 30, 2014). "L.A.'s Crossroads restaurant hosts Farm Sanctuary event". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  15. ^ DeSalvo, Robert (May 4, 2012). "Q&A: Emily Deschanel on Playing a 'Perfect' Catholic Lesbian". nextmovie.com. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  16. ^ Zuckerman, Suzanne (September 25, 2010). "Actress Emily Deschanel Weds". Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  17. ^ Dyball, Rennie; Raferty, Liz (September 21, 2011). "Emily Deschanel Has a Baby Boy". People. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Emily Deschanel Gives Birth, Welcomes Second Son With Husband". usmagazine.com. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  20. ^ "A Heart to Heart with Bones Star Emily Deschanel". Organic Spa Magazine. 24 September 2015. Archived from the original on 2015-09-25.
  21. ^ "'Bones' Cast Champions David Boreanaz For Directing 200th Episode [INTERVIEW]/".
  22. ^ "Fox "Cheated" 'Bones' Stars Out Of More Than $100M, New Profit-Participation Suit Claims/".
  23. ^ "'Bones': Fox Lawsuit Overturned, Reversing Original $128 Million Decision". TV. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  24. ^ "Emily Deschanel to Star in Perfect Family". PasteMagazine.com. May 7, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  25. ^ Iannucci, Rebecca (February 7, 2019). "Bones' Emily Deschanel Tapped for Major Animal Kingdom Season 4 Arc". TVLine. Retrieved February 7, 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Emily Deschanel at Wikimedia Commons Quotations related to Emily Deschanel at Wikiquote