Jon Heder
Birth Date:
October 26, 1977
Birth Place:
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
6' 1½''
South Salem High School in Salem, Oregon
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Napoleon Dynamite


The titular role of a nerdy teenager in Jared Hess' comedy Napoleon Dynamite (2004) tossed Jon Heder’s name toward the spotlight. The film earned Heder an MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Performance and two Teen Choice Awards, one for Choice Movie Hissy Fit and another for Choice Movie Dance Scene. He recently appeared in Just Like Heaven (2005) and will soon complete the upcoming films Moving McAllister, The Benchwarmers and Monster House. He is also set to act in School for Scoundrels, Mama's Boy and Surf's Up.

Following Heder’s victory with Napoleon Dynamite, the rising actor was rumored to have been killed by means of a car crash or drug overdose. Heder recently clarified, "It just spread and I got a call from my younger brother, saying, 'I was getting a little worried when you didn't answer your phone for a while and friends are telling me (you died) and I figured I'd know before they would... I'm your brother.'"

Retro Jon

Childhood and Family:

On October 26, 1977, Jonathan Joseph Heder, who would later be known as Jon Heder, was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. Growing up in a family of six children, Jon has three brothers, an older sister and a twin brother named Daniel. Jon attended South Salem High School in Salem, Oregon, and enrolled at the Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah (graduated 2004).

The 6' 1½ tall actor is heavily into 70s clothes, music, and a fan of Futurama (1999) and Led Zeppelin. He is a strict Mormon and currently married to Kirsten Heder.

Nerdy Benchwarmers


Jon Heder first appeared on screen as an audience member in writer-director Chris Bowman's 15-minute comedy The Wrong Brother and in writer-director Matthew Janzen's Funky Town (both in 2000). At Brigham Young University, Jon Heder befriended aspiring filmmaker Jared Hess. Hess later asked Heder to play a super-nerd extraordinaire in his 9-minute comedy Peluca (2003).

Peluca (2003) is a grainy black-and-white quality film shot in two days with a budget of approximately $500. It also was the springboard for the funny feature-length film Napoleon Dynamite (2004), also directed by Jared Hess. In Napoleon Dynamite (2004), Heder played the title role of a listless and alienated teenager and his performance received positive reviews. He earned an MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Performance and two Teen Choice Awards, one for Choice Movie Hissy Fit and another for Choice Movie Dance Scene. He also made guest appearances on "The View," "Mad TV" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Heder followed the triumph of Napoleon Dynamite with the next year’s project, Mark Waters' supernatural-themed romantic comedy Just Like Heaven. In the film, Heder played the supporting role of a paranormal expert named Darryl, opposite Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo.

On his role in Just Like Heaven (2005), Heder recalled, "They sent me the script and I thought it was a really nice romantic comedy with a great spirit about it, no pun intended. I thought Darryl would be a fun character to play. He is the only one who believes David, because Darryl can sense Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon). He can't see her or hear her, but he knows what she is feeling. He knows they are stuck in this weird relationship and he helps define it along the way. He's very cool about it. If he senses a spirit, he treats it naturally, like it's nothing new. It's just routine for him."

In April of 2005, Heder was Punk'd by his twin brother Dan and hosted the “Saturday Night Live” show on October 8 that same year. On the big screen, Heder will soon finish his upcoming films: Andrew Black's Moving McAllister (with Mila Kunis and Ben Gourley), Dennis Dugan's baseball comedy produced by Adam Sandler, The Benchwarmers (will play nerdy buddies alongside Rob Schneider and David Spade) and Gil Kenan's family drama Monster House. Heder is also scheduled to costar with Billy Bob Thornton in Todd Phillips' School for Scoundrels, star as a thirty-something slacker living with his mom in Tim Hamilton's Mama's Boy and lend his voice in the animated Surf's Up.


  • MTV Movie: Best Musical Performance, Napoleon Dynamite, 2005
  • Teen Choice: Choice Movie Hissy Fit, Napoleon Dynamite, 2005
  • Teen Choice: Choice Movie Dance Scene, Napoleon Dynamite, 2005
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