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He began acting as a child, making his acting debut in City Slickers (1991), followed by roles in his father’s films A Dangerous Woman (1993) and Homegrown (1998).
His breakthrough performances were as Homer Hickam in October Sky (1999) and as a psychologically troubled teenager in Donnie Darko (2001).
Gyllenhaal’s father, who was raised as a Swedenborgian, is of Swedish and English descent, and is a descendant of the Swedish noble Gyllenhaal family. Jake’s last ancestor to be born in Sweden was his great-great-grandfather, Anders Leonard Gyllenhaal. Jake’s mother is Jewish, and was born in New York City to a Jewish family from Russia and Poland. Gyllenhaal has said that he considers himself Jewish. On his 13th birthday, Gyllenhaal performed a “barmitzvah-like act, without the typical trappings”, volunteering at a homeless shelter because his parents wanted to give him a sense of gratitude for his privileged lifestyle. His parents insisted that he have summer jobs to support himself and he thus worked as a lifeguard and as a busboy at a restaurant operated by a family friend. Gyllenhaal said his parents encouraged artistic expression: “I do have parents who constantly supported me in certain ways. Definitely, it’s in expression and creativity where my family has always been best at.” The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal’s immediate family includes his sister, actress Maggie, who is married to actor Peter Sarsgaard, Gyllenhaal’s co-star in Jarhead and Rendition and his brother Luke from his father’s second marriage.
In December 2006, Gyllenhaal and his sister escaped a fire that destroyed Manka’s Inverness Lodge, a famed lodge and restaurant in Inverness, California, at which they were vacationing.
His most widely seen film to that point came with the disaster film The Day After Tomorrow (2004).
Gyllenhaal’s stage roles include a Broadway Sea Wall/A Life 2019, Sunday in the Park with George 2016 and Nick Payne’s drama Constellations in 2014.
Prior to this, he made his Hollywood debut with a film, in 1991 along with the casts members, Billy Crystal, Jack Palance, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby, Patricia Wettig, David Paymer, Josh Mostel, and few others.
In 1999, Jake Gyllenhaal appeared in his first lead role in the movie, where he shared the screen with Chris Cooper, Laura Dem, Chris Owen, Chad Lindberg, William Lee Scott, Natalie Canerday and few others.
Gyllenhaal has appeared in a numbers of movies and series and among them, he is famous for his roles in the movies including, and some others.
Jake Gyllenhaal finished his schooling at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles and later studied Eastern religions and philosophy at Columbia University but did not graduate as was dropped out two years after joining the college.
Before pursuing his career in acting, he used to work as a lifeguard and a busy boy at a restaurant to support himself.