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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Bio

Mar 08, 2012

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt began his career at the age of 6 and went on to star in one of the most popular alien sitcoms to hit TV. Since then the 31-year-old actor has re-branded himself as the leading man of inventive, thoughtful and complex films that almost always manage to capture the imagination. Find out more about this Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his Kidzworld Bio!

Political Parents

Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt, or Joe to his friends, was born in Los Angeles, California. Both his parents were members of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, and his mother Jane Gordon ran for the Unites States Congress in the '70s as part of the Peace and Freedom Party. When Jane started working at a [kwlink 26303]radio[/kwlink] station she met Joseph’s dad Dennis Levitt, the news director of the station at the time. But Joseph’s family wasn’t all politics and news, his grandfather was famous Hollywood director Michael Gordon who was best known for his Doris Day & Rock Hudson classic Pillow Talk.

Commercial Kid

Joseph was discovered when he was just four years old while performing in a school production of The Wizard of Oz. Soon after he started showing up in commercials for everything from peanut butter and shoes to Pop Tarts and Cocoa Puffs!

By the time he was just six years old Joseph started landing roles for made-for-TV movies, and got his big break when he was cast in Disney’s feel-good family film Angels in the Outfield as an orphan who can see angels. He also appeared in the Robert Redford’s critically acclaimed American classic A River Runs Through It.

From 3rd Rock to 10 Things

In 1996 a sitcom was launched with a premise that was truly “out of this world”- 3rd Rock from the Sun! The show instantly captured the hearts and imagination of the American public with a lovable but zany cast that included Joseph as alien/teenager Tommy Solomon. He even won two Young Star Awards for his role in 3rd Rock. Despite the success of the show, Joseph has admitted he was a little uncomfortable with being in the spotlight. But shyness didn’t stop him from starring in a Shakespeare-inspired high school hit in 1999. The play Taming of the Shrew turned teen in 10 Things I Hate About You, and Joseph starred as the new kid at school who only has eyes for the most popular girl in school, who unfortunately also has the strictest dad who won’t let either of his daughters date.

Indie Darling to Leading Man

After wrapping up 3rd Rock Joseph decided it was time to take a break from acting and moved to New York City to attend Columbia University. He studied French language and poetry but by 2004 decided to drop out and return to acting. He also decided to only take on films he was passionate about, even if they were not popular. He starred in a string of independent films and garnered high praise from critics, entering mainstream cinema again with movies like the bittersweet romantic film 500 Days of Summer (playing opposite off-beat beauty Zooey Deschanel) and the elegant and unforgettable psychological dream-reality thriller Inception.

Most recently Joseph appeared in the cancer comedy based on a true story 50/50 alongside Seth Rogen, and will star in the upcoming Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, set to be released later this year!

Have Your Say

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