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Full Name: Maggie Ruth Gyllenhaal
Date of Birth: November 16, 1977
Place of Birth: Lower East Side, New York, New York, USA
Height: 5' 9"
Best Known For: Secretary, Stranger Than Fiction, Sherrybaby
|Maggie Gyllenhaal Biography
Maggie Gyllenhaal was born in New York City, to film director Stephen Gyllenhaal and film producer and screenwriter Naomi Achs. Gyllenhaal's father was raised in the Swedenborgian religion and is a descendant of the Swedish noble Gyllenhaal family. Her mother is from a New York City Jewish-American family, and is the ex-wife of Eric Foner, a history professor at Columbia University.
Gyllenhaal grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the Harvard-Westlake prep school. While there, she attended a semester away program in Vershire, Vermont called The Mountain School. She graduated from Columbia University in 1998 with a BA in literature and Eastern religions and spent a summer studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Gyllenhaal's first film roles were directed by her father: Waterland (1992), her feature film debut, A Dangerous Woman (1993), and Homegrown (1998), the latter two also featured her brother. After graduating from college, she had a number of supporting roles, in such films as 40 Days and 40 Nights, Riding in Cars with Boys and Cecil B. DeMented. She also appeared in her brother's break-out film, Donnie Darko (2001), playing the sister of her real-life brother.
Gyllenhaal's break-out role was in the black comedy Secretary (2002), a film about two people who embark on a mutually fulfilling BDSM lifestyle. The film earned Gyllenhaal widespread acclaim including a Golden Globe nomination, and marked the first time Gyllenhaal performed full frontal nudity on camera. Although impressed with the script, Gyllenhaal initially had some qualms about doing the film, which she believed could deliver an antifeminist message. But after carefully discussing the script with the film's director, Steven Shainberg, she agreed to join the project.
Gyllenhaal then had a series of supporting roles in films such as the Spike Jonze/Charlie Kaufman comedy Adaptation., and Mona Lisa Smile starring Julia Roberts. She also appeared in smaller independent films such as John Sayles's Casa de los Babys, and Criminal with John C. Reilly and Diego Luna. Another notable appearance was in Happy Endings in which she played a singer, and recorded songs for the movie's soundtrack.
In 2006, Gyllenhaal played a love interest of Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell, in Stranger Than Fiction, appeared in another comedy, Trust the Man, with Julianne Moore, David Duchovny and Billy Crudup, and voiced the animated character Zee for Monster House. That same year, she received much praise for her dramatic performance in the indie film Sherrybaby and for her portrayal of Allison Jimeno, the wife of police officer Will Jimeno, in World Trade Center.
Gyllenhaal has also appeared in theatre. She starred as Alice in the Mark Taper Forum production of Patrick Marber's Closer, and performed at the Taper in a production of Tony Kushner's Homebody/ Kabul. Kushner gave Gyllenhaal the role in Homebody/ Kabul on the strength of her performance in Closer.
In 2008, Gyllenhaal will replace Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes in the Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.Gyllenhaal is currently engaged to actor Peter Sarsgaard, with whom she has one daughter, Ramona, born October 3, 2006.
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