Jake Gyllenhaal

Despite his pedigree as a child of show biz, actor Jake Gyllenhaal earned his spot as one of Hollywood's leading performers purely by way of his merits. With screenwriter and director parents, and an equally talented and famous actor sister, Gyllenhaal used his inherent intelligence and sensitivity to make his name in independent films. As a teenager, Gyllenhaal lent a subtle, soulful sense of complicated youth to a number of acclaimed art-house titles, including "Donnie Darko" (2001), which emerged as a hit from the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and paved the way for his future career. As he matured into his twenties, Gyllenhaal was increasingly in demand for a wide range of material - from the small-town-set indie "The Good Girl" (2002) to Roland Emmerich's tentpole blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow" (2004). He delivered one of his best performances in arguably the most controversial movie of his career, "Brokeback Mountain" (2005), which earned him his greatest critical acclaim to date. From there, Gyllenhaal developed into a prominent leading actor capable of turning in understated performances as he did as a San Francisco Chronicle reporter obsessively chasing down a killer in "Zodiac" (2007), while holding his own opposite Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin in "Rendition" (2007). Though he stumbled in his first blockbuster starring role with "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (2010), Gyllenhaal remained a bankable star possessing the ability to excel in a myriad of different film genres. His compelling against-type performance in the noirish drama "Nightcrawler" (2014) was critically acclaimed, and was followed by star turns in boxing drama "Southpaw" (2015) and action drama "Everest" (2015).