Gillian Jacobs

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Gillian Jacobs
Gillian Jacobs 2014 Comic Con (cropped).jpg
Jacobs at San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2014
Born Gillian MacLaren Jacobs
(1982-10-19) October 19, 1982 (age 33)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater Juilliard School
Occupation Actress
Years active 2005–present

Gillian MacLaren Jacobs[1][2] (/ˈɡɪlɪən/; born October 19, 1982)[3] is an American actress and director. She portrayed Britta Perry on the NBC/Yahoo! Screen comedy series Community. Jacobs also appeared in television shows such as Fringe, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Good Wife, and Girls, and in films such as Gardens of the Night (2008), The Box (2009), Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012), and Bad Milo! (2013).

Early life[edit]

Jacobs was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Martina Magenau Jacobs, is the director of alumni relations at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College. Her father, William F. Jacobs Jr., was an investment banker.[1] She was raised in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.[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 to attend the Juilliard School, where she was a member of the Drama Division's Group 33. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts 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 Fringe and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. 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 such as The Fabulous Life of a Size Zero (2007), A Feminine Ending (2007),[12] and The Little Flower of East Orange (2008).[3] Her film work includes Blackbird (2007), Choke (2008), Gardens of the Night (2008), and The Box (2009).[13] In March 2009, Jacobs joined the cast of the NBC sitcom Community as Britta Perry, a high school dropout who aspires to become a psychologist.[14][15] Community was canceled by NBC on May 9, 2014,[16] and later that month, it was reported that Jacobs had landed a recurring role as Mimi-Rose Howard in the fourth season of the HBO series Girls.[17] In June 2014, Yahoo! Screen picked up Community for a sixth season.[18] It was announced on September 16, 2014 that Jacobs had been cast to star as Mickey in the Netflix original comedy series Love, which is set to debut in 2016.[19]

In January 2015, the documentary The Queen of Code about computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral Grace Hopper was directed by Jacobs.[20] Also in 2015 she co-starred in the thriller film Visions with Jim Parsons, Isla Fisher and Anson Mount.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Jacobs is a teetotaler.[22][23] She is a fan of professional wrestling and is a regular at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla shows.[24][25]



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 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 Katie
2013 Incredible Burt Wonderstone, TheThe Incredible Burt Wonderstone Miranda
2013 It's Not You, It's Me Babe Short film
2013 Bad Milo! Sarah
2013 Big Ask, TheThe Big Ask Emily
2013 Made in Cleveland Martha
2013 Crush Shira Short film
2014 Life Partners Paige
2014 Walk of Shame Rose
2014 Lookalike, TheThe Lookalike Lacey / Sadie
2014 Black or White Fay
2015 Queen of Code, TheThe Queen of Code N/A Documentary short; director
2015 Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Jill
2015 No Way Jose Penny
2015 Visions Sadie
2016 Dean Nicky In post-production
2016 Brother in Laws In post-production
2016 Don't Think Twice Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Book of Daniel, TheThe Book of Daniel Adele Congreve 3 episodes
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"
2009–15 Community Britta Perry 110 episodes
2009 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Sonia Episode: "Pilot"
2010 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Carl's wife (voice) Episode: "Larry Miller Hair System"
2012 Robot Chicken Various voices Episode: "Punctured Jugular"
2012 Comedy Bang! Bang! Post-apocalypse woman Episode: "Zach Galifianakis Wears a Blue Jacket & Red Socks"
2013 Venture Bros., TheThe Venture Bros. Marsha Backwood (voice) Episode: "Venture Libre"
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself Episode: "Gillian Jacobs Wears a Red Dress with Sail Boats"
2013–14 Monsters vs. Aliens Sta'abi (voice) 12 episodes
2014 Greatest Event in Television History, TheThe Greatest Event in Television History Sonny Episode: "Bosom Buddies"
2014 American Dad! Christy (voice) Episode: "Introducing the Naughty Stewardesses"
2014 Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories Young patient Episode: "Toes"
2015 Girls Mimi-Rose Howard 5 episodes
2015 Adventure Time Margles (voice) Episode: "You Forgot Your Floaties"
2015 Long Live the Royals Rosalind / additional voices 4 episodes
2016 Love Mickey


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Book Club, TheThe Book Club Penelope 2 episodes
2013 Tiny Commando Mitzi McNeil 8 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2010 Method Fest Award Best Actress Nonames Won
2010 Phoenix Film Festival Award Best Ensemble Acting Nonames Won
2010 Phoenix Film Festival Award Acting Achievement Nonames Won
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Comedy Supporting Actress Community Nominated
2012 TV Guide Award Favorite Ensemble Community Won


  1. ^ a b "A New Generation". Purple. My Fashion Database. Spring–Summer 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2012. What's your full name? - Gillian Maclaren Jacobs ... What are your parents' names? - Martina Magenau Jacobs and William F Jacobs Jr 
  2. ^ "Carol Marie Spiller Magenau." Obituary (December 19, 2006). (and Erie Times-News). Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Silberman, Lucy (August 1, 2008). "Gillian Jacobs". Interview. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  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". 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. ^ "Gillian Jacobs". IMDb. Retrieved August 21, 2008. 
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 23, 2009). "Ormond sails on Eye's 'Rivers'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ Lincoln, Jamie (January 2, 2014). "Gillian Jacobs' Community Values". Interview. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ Snierson, Dan (May 9, 2014). "'Community' canceled". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  17. ^ Swift, Andy (May 21, 2014). "Girls Exclusive: Community's Gillian Jacobs Nabs Recurring Role In Season 4". TVLine. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  18. ^ Hibberd, James (June 30, 2014). "'Community' saved! Yahoo orders sixth season". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 16, 2014). "Netflix Nabs Judd Apatow Comedy Series With 2-Season Order; Paul Rust & Gillian Jacobs To Star, Legendary TV To Produce". Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Signals: The Queen of Code – ESPN News". ESPN Video. January 21, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Visions". ´Dread Central. September 16, 2014. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  22. ^ Community Season 2 DVD commentary (episode: "Mixology Certification")
  23. ^ The Late Late Show. Season 9. Episode 39. March 7, 2013. CBS. 
  24. ^ "Celebrity sightings at wrestling shows". World Wrestling Network. December 8, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 
  25. ^ Breihan, Tom (August 28, 2012). "Inside Indie Wrestling's Garden of Eden". The Classical. Retrieved January 13, 2014. 

External links[edit]