Birth Name: Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal
Date of Birth: December 19, 1980
Son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and writer/producer Naomi Foner, Jake grew up in Los Angeles with his sister Maggie. He was sent to a private high school, where he joined a band called Holeshot. After graduating in 1998, he attended Columbia University.
Living in the filmmaking state and having parents in the industry, Jake made his first appearance on the big screen at the age of 10 with a small role in the film, City Slickers. He continued to gain experience in the industry playing parts in his parents' films: A Dangerous Woman (1993) and Homegrown (1998).
In the final year of the 20th century, Jake landed his first starring role as Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes in the film October Sky. Featured in nearly every scene, he emerged as a highly watchable screen presence, giving a most compelling and sincere performance. With the impressive performance under his belt, Jake was launched into the Hollywood limelight. Within the next couple of years, he had roles in a number of films including starring roles in The Bubble Boy, Donnie Darko, Highway (all 2001), and The Good Girl and Moonlight Mile (both 2002).
In 2004, Jake received an Audience Award nomination as Best International Actor at the IFTA Awards for The Day After Tomorrow. But it was his performance as a gay cowboy in the controversial film Brokeback Mountain (2005) that earned Jake his first Academy Award nomination in the supporting actor category.
Since then, he has starred opposite Tobey Maguire in the drama Brothers (2009), played the title role in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) and a street cop in End of Watch (2012). He also appeared in Prisoners (2013), starring alongside Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis and Melissa Leo.
For his work in Nightcrawler (2014), Jake received a Golden Globe nomination as well as numerous awards from film festivals and critics' associations. He played a boxer in Southpaw (2015) opposite Rachel McAdams, starred opposite Amy Adams in Tom Ford's Oscar-nominated thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016), acted in the sci-fi thriller Life (2017) with Ryan Reynolds and played a Boston bombing victim in Stronger (2017).
Jake appeared in the western The Sisters Brothers (2018) where he acted alongside John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. He also starred as the villain Mysterio in the Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). Most recently, Jake voiced the role of Jim Prescott in Spirit Untamed (2021).
Jake has had personal relationships with actresses Kirsten Dunst and Reese Witherspoon. He is also the godfather of Matilda Ledger, daughter of the late actor Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams.