Apr. 6th, 1975
South Orange, New Jersey, USA
Zach Braff's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born and raised in New Jersey. Attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. Graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in film.
Zachary Israel "Zach" Braff is an American actor, screenwriter, producer and director. Braff first became known in 2001 for his role as Dr. John Dorian on the television series Scrubs. In 2004, Braff made his directorial debut with Garden State, a coming of age film. Braff returned to his home state of New Jersey to shoot the film, which was produced on a budget of $2.5 million. Braff wrote the film, starred in it, and compiled the soundtrack record, for which he won a Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack Album in 2005.
Braff made his film debut in 1993 with a supporting role in Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery. He is also known for starring in the films The Last Kiss and The Ex, and for his voice work on Chicken Little.
Braff was born in South Orange, New Jersey, to a Jewish family. His parents, Hal Braff, a trial attorney and sociology professor, and Anne Brodzinsky, a clinical psychologist, divorced and re-married others during Braff's childhood. One of his siblings, Joshua, is an author. Braff has wanted to be a filmmaker since his early childhood and has described it as his "life dream." Braff was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder at age 10.
Braff began his career as a make up artist behind the scenes during Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Macbeth (as Malcolm) at New York City's Public Theater, and also appeared in Woody Allen's 1993 film Manhattan Murder Mystery. Braff was briefly on the Disney program The Baby-sitters Club in an episode titled "Dawn Saves the Trees." He, along with many Scrubs cast members, also has a small role playing himself in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.
Braff played John "J.D." Dorian on Scrubs along side Doctor Cox, Elliot Reid, Turk and Carla; beginning with the show's debut in 2001. The role was Braff's first major role in a television show. For the show's ninth season, Braff was a cast member for the first six episodes and also served as one of the executive producers.
In addition to directing several episodes of Scrubs, Braff wrote, directed, produced, and starred in 2004's Garden State, which was filmed in his home state of New Jersey, in various towns such as South Orange, Cranford, Maplewood and Tenafly. Producers were initially reluctant to finance the film, which Braff wrote in six months.
In February 2005, he won a Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack for a Motion Picture for the Garden State soundtrack, on which he also served as the compilation producer.
In 2005, Braff was featured on Punk'd when he was tricked into chasing a supposed vandal who appeared to be spray-painting his brand new Porsche. He then proceeded to hurl expletives at the young boy until Ashton Kutcher, the show's host, showed up. The episode aired March 20, 2005. Braff has also made a couple of guest appearances on the show Arrested Development as Phillip Litt, a parody of Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis.
Braff has directed several music videos: Gavin DeGraw's "Chariot," Joshua Radin's "Closer" and "I'd Rather Be With You," Cary Brothers' "Ride," and Lazlo Bane's "Superman," the theme song from Scrubs. His music production has resulted in newfound success for some of the artists featured on his film soundtracks, such as The Shins, who were prominently featured on the Garden State soundtrack and the Scrubs soundtrack, resulting in the expression the "Zach Braff effect."
Braff was in talks to star in the film Fletch Won and had signed on to play the role eventually played by Dane Cook in Mr. Brooks, but dropped out of both roles to work on Open Hearts, which he adapted from a Danish film and will direct. He has also co-written a film version of Andrew Henry's Meadow, a children's book, with his brother, and was scheduled to direct one of the segments for the film New York, I Love You.
In July 2009, he signed on as an executive producer for the documentary Heart of Stone to "help spread the word about it."
The Last Kiss
Braff starred in the romantic drama The Last Kiss, which opened on September 15, 2006. Braff, who tweaked several parts of Paul Haggis' script for the film, wanted the script to be as "real as possible" and "really courageous" regarding its subject matter.
In 2007, Braff starred in the film The Ex, which he has described as a "silly comedy," and which was released on May 11, 2007 and also starred Amanda Peet, Charles Grodin and Jason Bateman.
The High Cost of Living
Braff starred in Canadian indie film The High Cost of Living with Quebec actress Isabelle Blais in 2010. The film was shot in Montreal.
- He has gained praise at film festivals for his directorial debut, _Garden State (2004)_ (qv).
- Also attending Columbia High School at the same time was 'Ahmed Best' (qv), better known as the voice of _Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)_ (qv)'s Jar Jar Binks.
- Attended the same high school as 'Elisabeth Shue' (qv) and 'Andrew Shue' (qv). In fact, he grew up around the corner from the Shue family.
- Father is an attorney, who also does stage work.
- Is best friends in real life with _"Scrubs" (2001)_ (qv) co-star 'Donald Faison (I)' (qv), who plays Turk.
- Per his request that she contribute a song to the soundtrack of _Garden State (2004)_ (qv), his ex-girlfriend 'Bonnie Somerville' (qv) recorded the song "Winding Road" for the film.
- 'Mandy Moore (II)' (qv) accompanied him to the Golden Globes in 2006.
- Member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at Northwestern.