Jack Black: Biography
Born on April 7, 1969, in Santa Monica, California. One of the more popular character actors of recent years, Black's acerbic wit and high-energy antics have made him a standard bearer for the Generation X demographic.
Black attended UCLA where he became a member of Tim Robbins’ Actors Gang, a Los Angeles-based performance troupe that has spawned the likes of John Cusack.
In 1994, Black teamed up with friend and fellow actor Kyle Gass to form Tenacious D, a tongue-in-cheek musical ensemble lovingly, if sarcastically dubbed the “Greatest Band on Earth”. Although the band may be somewhat of an inside joke, its growing popularity certainly is not. Black and Tenacious D have landed a major record deal with Epic Records, opened for the likes of Beck and Pearl Jam, appeared on Saturday Night Live, and recently embarked on a tour of their own.
Jack Black: Career
Black would make his film debut with Robbins and later play opposite Cusack in one of his most memorable roles.
In Robbins’ political spoof Bob Roberts (1992), Black had a small but critically noted role as a fanatical supporter of presidential hopeful Bob Roberts (played by Robbins himself).
Throughout the 1990s, Black managed to land a steady stream of bit parts in feature attractions such as Waterworld (1995), Dead Man Walking (1995), The Cable Guy (1996), Mars Attacks! (1996), The Jackal (1997), Enemy of the State (1998), and Cradle Will Rock (1999).
But it was in more independently oriented projects that Black’s talents were given free rein. His brief turn in HBO’s Mr. Show and his critically acclaimed performance as a pill-popping hospital attendant in Jesus’ Son (1999) increasingly cemented his reputation as a comic force.
Black’s breakthrough came with the 2000 adaptation of the popular Nick Hornby novel High Fidelity. As Barry, a hyper-pretentious record store clerk, Black showcased his knack for brutally acerbic wit. Although only a member of the supporting cast, Black’s performance was one of the most memorable attributes of a film that was both commercially and critically successful.
Capitalizing on his newfound notoriety, Black co-starred opposite Gwynneth Paltrow in the romantic comedy Shallow Hal (2001). The film, directed by the Farrelly brothers of There’s Something About Mary fame, received mixed reviews. Black followed with Orange County (2002), another big-budget comedy in which he played a prototypical slacker figure. Although the films provided Black with added exposure, they strayed from the type of work that had garnered him a determined cult following.
Jack Black: Films
Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006), King Kong: Peter Jackson's Production Diaries (2005), King Kong (2005), Shark Tale (2004), Envy (2004), School of Rock (2003), Ice Age (2002), Run Ronnie Run (2002), Orange County (2002), Shallow Hal (2001), Saving Silverman (2001), Jesus' Son (2000), High Fidelity (2000), Cradle Will Rock (1999), Enemy of the State (1998), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998), Bongwater (1997), Crossworlds (1997), Johnny Skidmarks (1997), The Jackal (1997), The Neverending Story 3 - Escape From Fantasia (1996), Mars Attacks! (1996), The Fan (1996), The Cable Guy (1996), Bio-Dome (1996), Dead Man Walking (1995), Waterworld (1995), Bye, Bye Love (1995), Demolition Man (1993), Airborne (1993), Marked for Murder (1992), Bob Roberts (1992)