Thomas Jacob Black
August 28, 1969
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Relatives||Judith Love Cohen (mother)|
Neil Siegel (half-brother)
Thomas Jacob "Jack" Black (born August 28, 1969) is an American actor, comedian, musician, and songwriter. Black is known for his roles in the films High Fidelity (2000), Shallow Hal (2001), School of Rock (2003), King Kong (2005), Nacho Libre (2006), Be Kind Rewind (2008), Bernie (2011) and Goosebumps (2015), in addition to his role in the Jumanji franchise. He also voices the giant panda named Po from DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda films. He gained Golden Globe nominations for his work in School of Rock and Bernie, and he was given a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 2018.
Black is also the lead vocalist of the Grammy Award–winning comedy rock duo Tenacious D, which he formed in 1994 with long time friend, Kyle Gass. They have released multiple studio albums including their self titled debut Tenacious D, The Pick of Destiny, Rize of the Fenix, and Post-Apocalypto, in addition to their television series Tenacious D (1997–2000) and film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006).
Thomas Jacob Black was born in Santa Monica, California, on August 28, 1969, the son of satellite engineers Thomas William Black and Judith Love Cohen. He was raised in Hermosa Beach, California. His mother worked on the science ground station for the Hubble Space Telescope and was also a writer.
He has three older half-siblings through his mother: scientist Neil Siegel, Howard Siegel, and Rachel Siegel. His mother was born Jewish, and his father converted to Judaism. Black was raised Jewish, attending Hebrew school and having a bar mitzvah.
Black's parents divorced when he was 10, and his father then stopped practicing Judaism. Black moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother's home. As a child, he appeared in a commercial for the Activision game Pitfall! in 1982. For high school, Black's parents enrolled him at the Poseidon School, a private secondary school designed for students struggling in the traditional school system. He also attended the Crossroads School, where he excelled in drama. He later attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) but dropped out during his sophomore year to pursue a career in entertainment. Fellow UCLA student Tim Robbins later cast Black in Bob Roberts. In 1995 and 1996, he gained recurring roles in the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show.
In 1982, Black's first acting job was in a television commercial at age 13 for the video game Pitfall!. In 1987, Black joined the Actors' Gang, a theater troupe founded by UCLA students including Tim Robbins, and appeared in a variety of stage productions. Black's adult career began with small roles on prime time television, including Life Goes On, Northern Exposure, Mr. Show, Picket Fences, The Golden Palace, and The X-Files. Black appeared in the unaired TV pilot Heat Vision and Jack, directed by Ben Stiller, in which he played an ex-astronaut pursued by actor Ron Silver. He was accompanied by his friend who had merged with a motorcycle, voiced by Owen Wilson.
After Robbins cast him in Bob Roberts, Black began appearing in small film roles such as Airborne (1993), Demolition Man, Waterworld, The Fan, The Cable Guy, Mars Attacks!, Dead Man Walking, The Jackal, Crossworlds, Enemy of the State, and others. He had a small role in True Romance as a security guard, but the scene was deleted.
In 2000, Black co-starred in the film High Fidelity as a wild employee in a record store run by John Cusack. Black considers his role in High Fidelity as his breakout into the Hollywood scene. He quickly gained leading roles in films such as Shallow Hal, Nacho Libre, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Year One, and Gulliver's Travels. He received particular praise for his starring role in the well-received School of Rock, earning critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy.
He starred in one of his few dramatic roles as the obsessed filmmaker Carl Denham in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of King Kong, a performance he based on Orson Welles. He voiced the title role in Kung Fu Panda, which grossed US$20.3 million on its opening day, June 6, 2008, as well as Kung Fu Panda 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3; this is his favorite role and he praises the tutoring of co-star and two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman. His next film, The Big Year, a competitive birdwatching comedy co-starring Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, and JoBeth Williams, was released in October 2011.
Black garnered a second Golden Globe Award nomination, this time in the category Best Actor in a Comedy, for his 2011 starring role in Richard Linklater's black comedy, Bernie. He played as real-life murderer Bernie Tiede, a funeral director in a small East Texas town, who befriends and eventually murders a rich widow, played by Shirley MacLaine. Black's subdued portrayal, authentic East Texas accent, and musical talent – he sings several gospel hymns as well as "Seventy-six Trombones" – had Roger Ebert describing Black's work as "one of the performances of the year."
Later television roles
In 2004, Black guest-starred in the first episode of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim show Tom Goes to the Mayor. He appeared in the post-Super Bowl episode of The Office along with Cloris Leachman and Jessica Alba in a fake movie within the show. In 2010, Black made a guest appearance on Community and also guest-starred on Nickelodeon's TV show iCarly in an episode titled, "iStart a Fan War".
Black has appeared numerous times on the "untelevised TV network" short film festival Channel 101, created by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, starring in the shows Computerman, Timebelt, and Laserfart. He also provided an introduction for the unaired sketch comedy Awesometown, donning a Colonial-era military uniform. In the introduction, he claims to be George Washington and takes credit for the accomplishments of other American Presidents such as Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
Hosting work and appearances
Black took part in the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? celebrity edition along with Denis Leary, Jimmy Kimmel, and others and was handed the prize of US$125,000 in October 2001. On December 14, he hosted the 2008 Spike Video Game Awards. Black has hosted the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards and Acceptable.TV. He presented the tribute to rock legends Led Zeppelin when the band was named as 2012 recipients of Kennedy Center Honors. In 2016, Black joined the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously as one of its celebrity correspondents. In 2018, Black appeared in the music video for Gorillaz song "Humility".
In addition to Kung Fu Panda, Black has voice acted on other occasions, including "Husbands and Knives" from The Simpsons which aired November 18, 2007, portraying Milo, the friendly owner of the rival comic book store. He provided the voice of the main character, roadie Eddie Riggs, in the heavy metal-themed action-adventure video game Brütal Legend. In 2009, at the Spike Video Game Awards, he earned the Best Voice award for the voice of Eddie Riggs in Brütal Legend. In April 2009, Black starred in an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba!, in which he vocalized children songs, such as "It's Not Fun to Get Lost", "Friends", and "The Goodbye Song". He has also had starring voice-overs in animated features, including Zeke in Ice Age (2002) and Lenny in Shark Tale (2004).
Black voiced Darth Vader in Bad Lip Reading's parodies of the Star Wars original trilogy on YouTube. In 2015, Black played a fictional version of real-life author R. L. Stine for Goosebumps, and provided the voices of two of Stine's creations, Slappy the Dummy and The Invisible Boy. He reprised the Stine role in the film's 2018 sequel, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. He also voiced himself and many other additional characters on the animated YouTube series "Tenacious D in Post-Apocalypto”, which he also co-directed and co-wrote, along with his Tenacious D partner Kyle Gass. Black will be providing the voice of Bowser in the upcoming Mario film, schedule to release in December 2022.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2014)
Black is the lead singer and guitarist for the comedy rock/hard rock band Tenacious D along with Kyle Gass. They have released four albums, a self-titled debut, The Pick of Destiny, Rize of the Fenix, and Post-Apocalypto. One of their songs from their album The Pick of Destiny, titled "The Metal," was used in the music video games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Brütal Legend. "Rock Your Socks," from the album Tenacious D, was played in the music video game Rock Band Unplugged as well. "Master Exploder" from The Pick Of Destiny went on to be used in music video games Guitar Hero Van Halen, Rock Band 2, and Brütal Legend, along with their song "Tribute" from Tenacious D. "Master Exploder" and "The Metal" featured in the comedy film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The film, directed by Tenacious D veteran Liam Lynch, featured recurring characters from Black's comedy such as Lee the super-fan and the Sasquatch. Several celebrities had roles in the film; actor Tim Robbins cameos as does Dave Grohl as Satan. Ben Stiller also makes an appearance as a worker at a Guitar Center, even having a role in the music video for "Tribute."
Tenacious D helped the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation raise awareness of these diseases and funds for the organization in Los Angeles on December 20, 2001, and in San Diego, California on June 16, 2007. Tenacious D can be seen performing in the 90s-era Pauly Shore film Bio-Dome where the duo is performing its song "The Five Needs" at a "Save the Environment" party. Black was also a guest star on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show entitled "Ellen the Musical," alongside Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and teenage singer-actress Olivia Olson. On the show, besides singing, he discussed his then-upcoming film Nacho Libre with the host.
In 2000, Jack Black (along with Kyle Gass) provided backing vocals to punk rock band The Vandals' song "Fourteen," which appears on their album Look What I Almost Stepped In.... Black has also appeared on Dave Grohl's Probot album, providing vocals for the hidden song "I Am The Warlock," and Lynch's Fake Songs album, providing vocals for the song "Rock and Roll Whore". Black performed a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" in the last sequence of High Fidelity. He lent his musical abilities to the Queens of the Stone Age song "Burn the Witch" with rhythmic stomps and claps. He also provided vocals for two tracks on the 2006 album Death by Sexy by Eagles of Death Metal, and on The Lonely Island's track "Sax Man" from the album Incredibad.
Black has appeared in music videos of Beck's "Sexx Laws"; Foo Fighters' "Learn To Fly," "Low," and "The One"; The Eagles of Death Metal's "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)"; Sum 41's "Things I Want"; Dio's "Push"; Weezer's "Photograph"; The Mooney Suzuki's "In a Young Man's Mind"; "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Tacky," and Die Antwoord's "Ugly Boy". In October 2010, Tenacious D appeared at BlizzCon 2010, a convention hosted by the game designers, Blizzard Entertainment. In 2012, Jack Black joined up with other celebrities to record "Book People Unite," a song sponsored by the Library of Congress and RIF.
Black, as a member of Tenacious D, won the award for Best Metal Performance at the 57th Grammy Awards. The song "The Last in Line" won the award, a cover of the song of the same name by Dio that appeared on the tribute album This Is Your Life.
On December 21, 2018, Black created a YouTube channel called Jablinski Games. Within one week of its launch, it had amassed over 1 million subscribers. The videos published on the channel are typically either candid vlogs involving Black and his two sons, or gaming content. Jack created the channel largely in order to bond with his son, who serves as videographer and editor of the channel. On July 21, 2019, Black took part in a Minecraft stream with popular YouTuber PewDiePie in order to raise money for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), in the wake of the suicide of Etika in June 2019. After two days of streaming, they raised $30,479 with the stream being broadcast live both on YouTube and on the streaming platform DLive. As of May 2021, Jablinski Games has over four million subscribers and 172 million video views.
Awards and nominations
Electric Dynamite Productions, Inc.
In August 2006, Black registered his own production company, Electric Dynamite Productions, Inc. The company's first work produced was the 2009 mockumentary Branson, which was a co-production with BranMo Productions and Perfect Weekend. In 2011, the company would produce two TV-movies, My Life As an Experiment and Shredd. In 2013, the company notably produced TV series Ghost Ghirls for the now-defunct Yahoo! Screen, as well as obtained the rights to adapt the UK mockumentary Wizard's Way into a feature film. The company would also be a producer credit on The D Train (2015) and The Polka King (2017), both of which featured Black in the starring role. The company produced The Aquabats! RadVentures! in 2018, the dark-comedy film Happily in 2021.
At the age of 14, Black struggled with cocaine use. He said, "I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine... I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school because one of them wanted to kill me. I wanted to get out of there."
In January 2006, Black became engaged to singer Tanya Haden, a daughter of jazz bassist Charlie Haden. They had both attended Crossroads School and, after graduation, met again 15 years later at a friend's birthday party. They married on March 14, 2006, in Big Sur, California. Their first son, Samuel Jason Black, was born in June 2006 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Their second son, Thomas David Black, was born on May 23, 2008. Although an atheist, Black identifies as nominally Jewish, and fatherhood influenced his decision to raise his children in the Jewish faith.
Black is an outspoken critic of Donald Trump. On the day of Trump's presidential inauguration, he and Tenacious D bandmate Kyle Gass performed their 2006 protest song "The Government Totally Sucks". Black said to the audience beforehand, "We haven't played [this song] for years, because it just never felt appropriate—but now, we're happy to unleash the beast. The government totally sucks."
- "About JablinskiGames". YouTube.
- "Jack Black starts a gaming YT channel, hits it big". Gamepressure.com. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
- "Jack Black Starts A Gaming Channel On YouTube, And It's Already Massively Popular". GameSpot. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
- Wired (December 16, 2019). "Jack Black & Awkwafina Answer the Web's Most Searched Questions". Event occurs at 03:45. Retrieved January 31, 2020 – via YouTube.
What's Jack Black's real name?"
"Thomas Jacob Black.
- Feinberg, Scott (October 13, 2012). "'Bernie' Star Jack Black Says He's a 'Clown' Who Also Wants to Be Taken Seriously (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
- "Jack Black Rocks 'School'". CBS News. October 3, 2003. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
Black was born in Santa Monica, Calif. on Aug. 28, 1969
- Kevin Nealon (September 20, 2018), JACK BLACK AND THE PRICE OF FAME!, retrieved September 27, 2018
- Potton, Ed (February 16, 2008). "Jack Black does Hollywood on the cheap in Be Kind Rewind". The Times. UK. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
- "Jack Black—Graduate of the School of Hard Rocks". Moviecrazed. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- Siegel, Neil (July 26, 2016). "In Memory of Judith Love Cohen: Mother, Wife, Friend, Author, Engineer". USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- Siegel, Neil (July 26, 2016). "In Memory of Judith Love Cohen: Mother, Wife, Friend, Author, Engineer". USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
- Murray, Rebecca (November 15, 2006). "Kyle Gass and Jack Black Discuss "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny"". About.com. Retrieved November 20, 2006.
- Lipworth, Elaine (May 13, 2011). "Jack Black: My family values". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
- "Interfaith Celebrities". Interfaith Family. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- "Jack Black Talks About Being Jewish". H3 Podcast. December 11, 2018.
- "1982 Pitfall! Commercial". Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- "Jumpin' Jack Black". Sydney Morning Herald. November 3, 2003. Retrieved November 20, 2006.
- "Notable alumni actors". UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved September 29, 2014.
- Radar, Dotson (October 8, 2015). "Thrills & Chills with Jack Black". Parade.com. Parade Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- "Mr. Show with Bob and David - Cast". IMDb. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Biography: Jack Black
- "Production History". The Actors' Gang. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- Stiller, Ben (January 1, 2000), Heat Vision and Jack, retrieved September 28, 2016
- Scott, Tony (September 10, 1993), True Romance, retrieved September 28, 2016
- "Jack Black: On Music, Mayhem And Murder". NPR. Fresh Air. April 23, 2012. The interviewer (Gross) states that High Fidelity was his breakout role, which he (Black) agrees to with an audible 'uh-huh' (back-channel). Occurs at approximately 31:45 on the interview timecode. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "School of Rock". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
- Kung Fu Panda Blu-ray Trivia Track, 2011
- Ebert, Roger. "The Big Year Movie Review & Film Summary (2011) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
- "Bernie" Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, May 16, 2012
- "Tim Heidecker Is in the Comedy Business". Maxim. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- "The Office: Truly Special Super Bowl Episode". Vulture. February 2, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
- "'Community' recap: Jack Black attacks!". EW.com. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- "Jack Black to Appear in iCarly Movie!". Seventeen. October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- Ross, Robyn. "Exclusive: Watch Jack Black Sing in His iCarly Debut". TVGuide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". TVGuide.com.
- "Acceptable.tv". Archived from the original on January 6, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- "The Kennedy Center Honors 2012". Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- "Letterman, Jack Black 'Living Dangerously' This Season". September 17, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
- "Sneak peek: 'Panda 3' amps up bear count". USA TODAY. June 10, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- "The Simpsons". RadioTimes. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- "Amazon.com: Brutal Legend: Xbox 360: Artist Not Provided: Video Games". amazon.com. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- "Jack Black Presents Spike TV Award". cbsnews.com. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- "Jack Black – 'Yo Gabba Gabba'". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 6, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Molly Mulshine (December 17, 2015). "Jack Black in Star Wars lip reading parody – Business Insider". Business Insider. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- "Jack Black". Hollywood.com. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
- Fernández, Alexia (September 23, 2021). "Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jack Black and More Join Animated Super Mario Bros. Movie". People. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
- "VIDEO: What does the D Tenacious D stand for?". Radio X. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Video Game 2007) - IMDb, retrieved March 27, 2020
- "The most metal game soundtrack ever unveiled | BRUTAL! The Legendary Fan Site". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- Makuch, Eddie (May 18, 2009). "Rock Band Unplugged tracklist and DLC unveiled". Blast Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- "A Deep Dive Into Tenacious D's Tribute Video". Kerrang!. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
- "UMP". Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- "Charity Event". Retrieved November 9, 2014.
- "Discover hidden connections || GRAMMYconnect". Discover hidden connections || GRAMMYconnect. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- "Thomas Jack Francis Black, Jr. (Tenacious D)- Profil muzyka". www.spirit-of-metal.com. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- "1007 KSLX Classic Rock Live Stream". KSLX. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- "Dethklok: Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem - A Klok Opera Review". www.ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- "Best Metal Performance". grammy. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
- Saed, Sherif (January 2, 2019). "Jack Black launches YouTube gaming channel, already has over 2 million subscribers". VG247. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- Sands, Mason (January 12, 2019). "Jack Black Bucks YouTube Conventions, But Can He Outlast Them?". Forbes. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- Asarch, Steven (January 11, 2019). "Jack Black's Jablinski Games breaks the rules of what a celebrity is supposed to do on YouTube". Newsweek. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- Schwartz, Terri (December 27, 2018). "Jack Black Launches a New YouTube Channel For Gaming, Jablinski - IGN". IGN. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- Greenwald, Morgan (January 9, 2019). "Jack Black Launched a Video Gaming YouTube Channel and It's Going Viral". finance.yahoo.com. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
- "PewDiePie donates $10,000 to mental health charity in Etika's memory". GamerRevolution. July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- "PewDiePie & Jack Black Team Up For "Minecraft" Mental Health Charity". bleedingcool. July 20, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
- "Walk of Fame Stars-Jack Black". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- Branson, June 18, 2009, retrieved March 23, 2020
- "With Electric Dynamite (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)". IMDb. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- Corriea, Alexa Ray (January 15, 2014). "Jack Black to remake MMO mockumentary 'Wizard's Way'". Polygon. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- "Jack Black on His Struggle With Drugs and His Brother's Death". October 9, 2015.
- "Neil Siegel, awards".
- The Independent article: "Jack Black: Hey dude, party's over".
- Today Show article: "Laura Kightlinger goes ‘Minor’ in a major way".
- LA Times article: "Screenwriters Laura Kightlinger, Mike White fight like cats and dogs over script".
- E Entertainment article: "Jack Black Elopes."
- Weigle, Lauren (February 22, 2015). "Tanya Haden – Jack Black's Wife". Heavy.com. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
- "Jack Black Elopes with Tanya Haden". People. November 8, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Stephen M. Silverman (November 8, 2008). "It's a Boy for Jack Black, Wife". People. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- "Report: Jack Black Welcomes Son". Us Weekly. June 1, 2008. Archived from the original on June 6, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- Freeman, Hadley (April 18, 2013). "Jack Black: 'I was getting tired of the frat-guy comedies'". The Guardian. London.
- "Jack Black: On Music, Mayhem And Murder". NPR. Fresh Air. April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
I don't have any real spirituality in my life – I'm kind of an atheist – but when music can take me to the highest heights, it's almost like a spiritual feeling. It fills that void for me.
- "Jack Black Will Do Anything To Get Into Hebrew School". Conan. TBS. April 27, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
And there's a Hebrew school that we really liked. And I feel a little hypocritical cause I'm an atheist. But I am a Jew and my wife is, too.
- Tinsley, Anna (September 30, 2012). "Stars shine again in 2012 campaigns". Retrieved October 10, 2012.
- Elizabeth Murray. "Jack Black breaks promise not to cry during Red Nose trip". TODAY. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- Jack Black (August 31, 2017). "The Government Totally Sucks" – via YouTube.