Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal aka Jake Gyllenhaal born on December 19, 1980 in Los Angeles, California is an American actor. The actor whose name is pronounced Jill-en-hall, has a sister named Maggie Gyllenhaal who is also known as an actress. Both Jake and Maggie were appeared as brother and sister in "Donnie Darko," a story about a boy named Donnie Darko who has the visions of a giant rabbit who can predict the end of the world. Jake, who is of Swedish and Russian-Jewish ancestry, graduated from Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles, California in 1998. Later on, he attended Columbia University in New York before alas dropped out from college in order to pursue acting career.
At age 10, Jake has started his debut role as Billy Crystal's son in the 2001's runaway summer comedy "City Slikers." Coming from a family where movies are everyday issue, it was not surprising that the young-talented Jake has performed in numerous movies. Though, his memorable role was Homer Hickam, the one he played in the 1999's "October Sky." By means of which Hickam is portrayed as a coal miner's son who alongside friends try to use rockets to escape from the coal-mining life. Also made a deep impression in his heart was the role of Donnie Darko he played in the science fiction thriller movie of the same name.
Born as the son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and producer and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Jake is familiar with many celebrities. When he was little, he attended a local school with Maroon 5 band members and with 1999's "Freak and Geeks" star Jason Segel. He even received his first driving lesson from screen legend, Paul Newman. And off screen, Jake is close friend to actress Natalie Portman and Bryce Dallas Howard. His another friend, the Phantom Planet lead singer Alex Greenwald, who played alongside him in "Donnie Darko," also mentioned Jake's name in his credit in his 2002's "The Guest" album.
In 2004, Jake was listed as one of People Magazine's "50 Hottest Bachelors." Becoming one hottest in the industry didn't guarantee a good luck in romance though. His romance with actress Kirsten Dunst ended in 2004 after three years together. Not only Jake suffered from losing her sweetheart, but also losing the 'Peter Parker' role in "Spider-Man 2" (2004) which was first set for him to replace Tobey Maguire's position. Following the break-up, he later on involved in romantic relationship with several women, like Oscar-nominated actress Catalina Sandino Moreno, snowboard starlet Gretchen Bleier, also Argentinean actress Mia Maestro.
The 2002 Young Hollywood Award winner for Breakthrough Performance - Male, seems unstoppable. Although his audition for the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins" (2005) was unsuccessful, Jake continued his acting career as his several up-coming movies are primed to rock the world. His persistence finally got rewarded when he successfully took home a BAFTA Award while landing an Oscar nod in Best Supporting Actor category for his stunning portrayal in "Brokeback Mountain" (2005) by the year 2006.
Also appeared in two more flicks of "Proof" and "Jarhead" during the same year "Brokeback" hit the theaters, Jake kept striving high after taking a brief pause on the big screen as he returned in 2007 through a pair of high-profile features namely "Zodiac" and "Rendition." Both were thriller films, the former found the hunk played a political cartoonist investigating a murder case while the latter one saw him star opposite Reese Witherspoon as a CIA analyst in Cairo who witnesses an unorthodox interrogation of a foreign national by the Egyptian secret police. Very much together during the filming of the flick brought the co-stars closer and they were officially couple even before it hit the theater.