Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Claire Deschanel is an American actress, musician and singer-songwriter. In 1999, Deschanel made her film debut in Mumford, followed by her breakout role as young protagonist William Miller's troubled older sister Anita in Cameron Crowe's 2000 semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous. Deschanel soon became known for her deadpan or "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" supporting roles in films such as Elf (2003), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Bridge to Terabithia (2007), and The Happening (2008). She then began playing lead roles in films, including Yes Man (2008) and (500) Days of Summer (2009). She currently stars in the Fox series New Girl. She has been nominated for Golden Globe and Grammy Awards.

For a few years starting in 2001, Deschanel performed in the jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies with fellow actress Samantha Shelton. Besides singing, she plays keyboards, percussion, banjo and ukulele. She also often sings in her films. Deschanel teamed up with M. Ward to release their debut album Volume One (recorded with M. Ward under the moniker She & Him) which was released in March 2008. The follow-up album Volume Two was released in the U.S. in March 2010. She married Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard in September 2009, and filed for divorce from him in December 2011.

Early life
Born in Los Angeles in 1980, Deschanel is the daughter of cinematographer/director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir). She is of French (from her paternal grandfather) and Irish descent. She was named after Zooey Glass, the male protagonist of J. D. Salinger's 1961 novella Franny and Zooey. Her elder sister, Emily Deschanel, is also an actress and stars in the TV series Bones.

Deschanel lived in Los Angeles, but spent much of her childhood traveling because her father shot films on location; she later said that she "hated all the traveling ... I'm really happy now that I had the experience, but at the time I was just so miserable to have to leave my friends in Los Angeles and go to places where they didn't have any food I liked or things I was used to." She attended Crossroads, a private preparatory school in Santa Monica, California, where she befriended future co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Kate Hudson. She sang throughout high school, planning to pursue a career in musical theatre and attending French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. She attended Northwestern University for seven months before dropping out to work as an actress.

Personal life
In December 2008, Deschanel became engaged to musician Ben Gibbard, lead vocalist for The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie. The couple married on September 19, 2009 near Seattle, Washington. On November 1, 2011, they announced their separation after two years of marriage. Deschanel subsequently filed for divorce on December 27, 2011, citing irreconcilable differences. She became an aunt on September 21, 2011, when her sister Emily gave birth to a son, Henry.

Deschanel—who is allergic to eggs, dairy, and wheat gluten—formerly adhered to a vegan diet. She was featured on episode eight of season one of Bravo's Top Chef Masters, in which the chefs participating in the competition were challenged to cater a vegan lunch party for her family and friends using no eggs, dairy, soy, or gluten. However, according to a March 2010 interview with Health magazine, she had to come off the diet because her food sensitivities made it too difficult for her to stay healthy as a vegan. Deschanel has also stated that she has Attention Deficit Disorder and trouble writing a paragraph without getting up four times.

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