Emily Deschanel
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Los Angeles, California, USA
5' 9''
Famous for:
Her big screen debut in It Could Happen to You (1994)
Boston University's Professional Actors Training Program (with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater)
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“Brennan has been abandoned by her father and her brother, the closest men in her life, and she can't let go of that. She's pretty much fearless in the rest of her life, but fear gov­erns her relationships.” Emily Deschanel (on her character Dr. Temperance Brennan)

An American actress of television and film who is of Irish and French descent, Emily Deschanel is best renown to small screen audiences as forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan on the Fox series “Bones” (2005-current), opposite TV veteran David Boreanaz as her FBI partner, Seeley Booth. The role brought her nominations at the 2006 Satellite Awards and the 2007 Teen Choice Awards. She has also made guest appearances in popular shows like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Providence” and “Crossing Jordan.” On the silver screen, Deschanel, who made her debut in “It Could Happen to You” (1994), is known for having small roles in big movies such as “Cold Mountain” (2003, with Nicole Kidman), “The Alamo” (2004, with Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton) and “Spider-Man 2” (2004, starred Tobey Maguire), and starred in the thriller “Boogeyman” (2005, opposite Barry Watson). She also played Josh Lucas' wife in the basketball film “Glory Road” (2006).

“I'm a vegan, but you can be really unhealthy as a vegan, too. Vegan just means that you don't use animal products, so you don't wear leather, you don't wear wool, and you don't eat animal products. But you can eat French fries and stuff like that all day long.” Emily Deschanel

Deschanel is an avid supporter of animal rights. She is a member of PETA, along with good friends Melanie Lynskey and Jorja Fox. In April 2007, Deschanel was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Lynskey and Jimmi Simpson. She is also best friends with her “Bones” costar, Michaela Conlin.

Deschanel has sat on the advisory board of the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which gives support to actors, writers, and directors.

Deschanel Clan

Childhood and Family:

Emily Erin Deschanel was born on October 11, 1976, in Los Angeles, California, to Caleb Deschanel (born on September 21, 1944), a five-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer and director, and Mary Jo Deschanel (born in 1945), a television and movie actress. She is the older sister of actress, musician and singer Zooey Deschanel (born on January 17, 1980).

Emily graduated from Boston University's Professional Actors Training Program with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. She attended the same university as fellow actress Ginnifer Goodwin.

“I was in school with Ginnifer (Goodwin). She's a couple of years younger than I am. She's super sweet. She told me I gave her a pep talk once, even though I can't remember it. And (Michael) Chiklis, I love 'The Shield,' he's so good. When I was in school, he came to speak to us about acting and told this story about how he had 'As You Like It' on his resume and a casting director asked if it were a soap opera. The casting guy said, ‘ABC? NBC?’ and Chiklis said, ‘No, Shakespeare.’ I'll never forget it.” Emily Deschanel



Born into a show business family, Emily Deschanel had her first taste in front of the film camera with a bit part in the Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda comedy “It Could Happen to You” (1994), where her father was the director of photography. She did not appear in another project until after completing her theater studies at Boston University. In 2000, the Los Angeles native appeared with Robert Forster, Eric Stoltz, Kelli Williams and Carlos Jacott in the 38-minute comedy “It's a Shame About Ray,” which won the director/writer Ajay Sahgal a Jury Award for Best Short Film at the 2002 Newport Beach Film Festival.

Deschanel took a supporting role, opposite such notable performers as Felicity Huffman, Tony Shalhoub, John Larroquette and Mark Feuerstein, in the TV series pilot “The Heart Department” (2001), but it failed to find a home. Undaunted, she appeared the next year with a small role as a psychic named Pam Asbury on the ABC miniseries “Rose Red,” a supernatural drama written by Stephen King. Her performance in the highly publicized show led to one episodic appearance on the popular “Law & Order” spin-off, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (2002), and the recurring role of Annie Frank in two episodes of “Providence” (also 2002).

After playing Sam in the TV film comedy “The Dan Show” (2003), starring Dan Finnerty, Deschanel portrayed the sister of Marguerite Moreau in the romantic film “Easy” (2003), which was directed and written by Jane Weinstock. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize-Dramatic at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. She moved on to a big budget movie later that same year with Anthony Minghella's Oscar winning “Cold Mountain,” which was based on Charles Frazier's book of the same name. As Mrs. Morgan, she appeared in the war drama opposite such big names like Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renée Zellweger, Natalie Portman, Giovanni Ribisi and Donald Sutherland.

In 2004, Emily appeared in “The Alamo,” a Western helmed by John Lee Hancock and starring Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton, and “Spider-Man 2,” a cult favorite from director Sam Raimi that starred Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Also in 2004, she headlined the Christopher Glass short “Old Tricks” and briefly returned to TV with a guest spot in “Crossing Jordan.”

Deschanel's career received a boost when she landed a costarring role opposite Barry Watson in the horror film “ Boogeyman” (2005), from director Stephen T. Kay. The movie, where she portrayed Watson's childhood friend, received a good response from audiences but was largely ignored by critics. She was next seen as the older sister of Emily Hart in the short suspense film “Mute” and working with director Steven Gordon for the short drama “That Night” (both 2005) before receiving the role of Mary Haskins in the sport-themed “Glory Road” (2006), which also starred Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Austin Nichols and Jon Voight.

However, it was Deschanel's well-known television role that really put her in the spotlight. Starring as a scientist named Temperance 'Bones' Brennan on the Fox drama series “Bones,” the talented actress and her famous costar David Boreanaz successfully made the show a hit. Debuting on September 13, 2005, “Bones” is still currently airing. For her good acting, Deschanel took home a 2006 Satellite nomination for Best Actress in a Series, Drama and a 2007 Teen Choice nomination for Choice TV Actress: Drama.


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