With a flourishing career that includes an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in writer-director Kevin Smith's "Chasing Amy" and memorable roles in multiple features for such directors as Smith, Cameron Crowe and Lawrence Kasdan, Jason Lee has solidly established himself among critics, directors and peers.
Jason Michael Lee was born and raised in Orange County, California, to Carol Lynn (Weaver) and Gregory E. Lee, a car dealership manager. Jason took up skateboarding at age 13. By 18, he was on the professional skateboarding circuit, where he wowed legions of young fans and popularized a move called the "360 flip". Inspired to tap into the commercial aspect of the sport, Lee and a friend started the twin companies "Stereo Skateboards" and "Stereo Sounds Clothing". After moving to Los Angeles during his early twenties, however, he began developing an interest in acting. "I met friends that were actors and thought maybe I should try it out", says Lee, who appeared in commercials and music videos. "After watching Steve Buscemi as the bellboy in "Barton Fink", I knew I wanted to be in movies", he says.
In the early 1990s, Lee took his skateboarding tricks in front of the camera, appearing in several music videos - including one for the Sonic Youth song "100%", directed by Spike Jonze. Lee got his first taste of straight acting the next year, when he turned up alongside Jonze as a teenage drug customer in Allison Anders's "Mi vida loca".
Lee's big break came in 1995 with the lead role in writer-director Kevin Smith's comedy, "Mallrats", in which he deftly portrayed the inconsiderate slacker, "Brodie". While the film was almost universally panned, Lee received high marks from critics and audiences for his turn as "cynical sidekick" Brodie Bruce. Smith was so pleased with Brodie that he wrote a part for Lee in his next film, "Chasing Amy": Ben Affleck's character's cranky roommate and comic book partner, "Banky". Lee won an Independent Spirit Award for his performance.
After appearing in several indies and a made-for-TV movie, Lee crossed over into mainstream circles with "Kissing a Fool". Starring opposite David Schwimmer and Mili Avital, he played a writer who works through his last breakup by writing a book.
Lee went on to showcase his intuitive timing as the demonic "Azrael" in Smith's supernatural comedy, "Dogma". Lee also starred in writer-director Cameron Crowe's ensemble feature, "Almost Famous", in the role of "Jeff Bebe", the lead singer of a 1970s rock band called "Stillwater". The film won the Golden Globe award for Best Film. He then re-teamed with Crowe on the writer-director's "Vanilla Sky", for Paramount Pictures. Lee played the best friend to Tom Cruise's character. In 2001, he also worked again with Smith in "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back".
After working with director Lawrence Kasdan in the ensemble comedy, "Mumford", Lee reunited for the director's suspense thriller, "Dreamcatcher". Other film credits include writer-director Rebecca Miller's "The Ballad of Jack and Rose" with Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener; director Barry Sonnenfeld's ensemble comedy, "Big Trouble"; and "Enemy of the State".
In 2003, he played the lead role in the studio comedy "A Guy Thing", although the film did not end up faring well with critics and was a disappointment at the box office. Lee bounced as the voice of "Syndrome" in Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar's Award-winning animated feature "The Incredibles". He also voiced a character in Sony's motion-capture feature "Monster House" about three teenagers who discover their neighbor's house is a monster, and voiced the title character in "Underdog", Spyglass Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures' live-action adaptation of the classic 1960s cartoon.
In 2005, creator Gregory Thomas Garcia offered Lee the lead role in the comedy series "My Name Is Earl", although Lee originally turned it down Garcia convinced him to take the role. The show is about a hapless crook who has an epiphany after winning a small fortune in the lottery. Determined to change his karma, "Earl" sets out to right all the wrongs he's inflicted on people. During "Earl's" tenure on the air Lee received two Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a TV Series Musical or Comedy, and three SAG nominations for Outstanding Actor in a TV Series Musical or Comedy. In May 2009 My Name is Earl was canceled due to ratings that wound down. In summer 2006, Lee wrote and directed the short film, "The White Door" starring Giovanni Ribisi and Beth Riesgraf. During the four years on "Earl" Lee appeared in only a few films such as, "Clerks II" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" live action/CG film. In the latter film, he played "Dave Seville", the songwriter/father-figure to singing chipmunks "Alvin", "Simon" and "Theodore".
Lee is also a professional photographer, as well as an avid supporter and collector of the arts. When not working on personal projects, Lee photographs for Los Angeles-based Anthem magazine. He is also actively involved with his skateboard company, "Stereo Skateboards", which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary.
Name: Jason Lee
Known for: My Name Is Earl
BirthDay: 25, Apr ,1970