Zach Braff

Family tree of Zach Braff

Actor, Director

AmericanBorn Zachary Israel Braff

American actor and filmmaker

Born on April 6, 1975 in South Orange, New Jersey , United States (49 years)

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Zachary Israel Braff (born April 6, 1975) is an American actor and filmmaker. He portrayed John Michael "J.D." Dorian on the NBC/ABC television series Scrubs (2001–2010), for which he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2005 as well as for three Golden Globe Awards from 2005 to 2007. He starred in The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000), The Last Kiss (2006), The Ex (2006), and In Dubious Battle (2016). He has done voice-work for Chicken Little (2005), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), and the Netflix series BoJack Horseman (2017, 2020).
In 2004, Braff made his directorial debut with Garden State in which he also starred. Additionally, he wrote the screenplay and compiled the soundtrack album. He shot the film in his home state of New Jersey with a budget of $2.5 million. The film made over $35 million at the box office and was praised by critics, leading it to gain a cult following. He won numerous awards for his directing work and also won the Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack Album in 2005. In 2014, Braff directed his second film, Wish I Was Here, which he partially funded with a Kickstarter campaign.Braff has appeared on stage in the dark comedy All New People, in which he starred, and also wrote. The play premiered in New York City in 2011 before playing in London's West End. He also played the lead role in a musical adaptation of Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway in 2014.
...   Zachary Israel Braff (born April 6, 1975) is an American actor and filmmaker. He portrayed John Michael "J.D." Dorian on the NBC/ABC television series Scrubs (2001–2010), for which he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2005 as well as for three Golden Globe Awards from 2005 to 2007. He starred in The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000), The Last Kiss (2006), The Ex (2006), and In Dubious Battle (2016). He has done voice-work for Chicken Little (2005), Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), and the Netflix series BoJack Horseman (2017, 2020).
In 2004, Braff made his directorial debut with Garden State in which he also starred. Additionally, he wrote the screenplay and compiled the soundtrack album. He shot the film in his home state of New Jersey with a budget of $2.5 million. The film made over $35 million at the box office and was praised by critics, leading it to gain a cult following. He won numerous awards for his directing work and also won the Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack Album in 2005. In 2014, Braff directed his second film, Wish I Was Here, which he partially funded with a Kickstarter campaign.Braff has appeared on stage in the dark comedy All New People, in which he starred, and also wrote. The play premiered in New York City in 2011 before playing in London's West End. He also played the lead role in a musical adaptation of Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway in 2014.


Early life, family and education
Zachary Israel Braff was born on April 6, 1975 in South Orange, New Jersey, and grew up there and in neighboring Maplewood. His father, Harold Irwin "Hal" Braff (1934–2018), was a trial attorney, professor and alumnus at Rutgers Law School, a founder of the state's American Inns of Court (AIC) and an elected trustee of the National Inns of Court Foundation. His mother, Anne Brodzinsky (born Anne Hutchinson Maynard), worked as a clinical psychologist. His parents divorced and remarried others during Braff's childhood. Braff's father was born into a Jewish family and Braff's mother, originally a Protestant, converted to Judaism before marrying his father. Braff said that he had a "very strong conservative/orthodox [Jewish] upbringing." He had his bar mitzvah service at Oheb Shalom Congregation. In 2005, he said that he was "not a huge organized religion guy," and in 2013, he said that "the religion (Judaism) doesn't necessarily work for me," although he identifies as Jewish. His older brother is author Joshua Braff. His other brother, Adam Braff, is a writer and producer. His stepsister, Jessica Kirson, is a stand-up comedian.Braff wanted to be a filmmaker since his early childhood; he has described it as his "life dream." Braff was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder at age ten. During his childhood, Braff was a friend of future Fugees member Lauryn Hill at Columbia High School in Maplewood.Braff attended Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts "training center" for youth actors ages 10 to 18. Stagedoor was where Braff met and befriended actor Josh Charles. Braff also knows Stagedoor alums Natalie Portman, Mandy Moore, and Joshua Radin well. Braff studied film studies at Northwestern University's School of Communication and became a brother of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity; he graduated in the class of 1997.


Career


Early work and breakthrough
One of Braff's earliest roles was in High, a proposed 1989 CBS television series with a cast that also included Gwyneth Paltrow and Craig Ferguson; the television pilot never made it on air. Braff appeared in the 1990s series The Baby-sitters Club, in the episode "Dawn Saves the Trees". He appeared in Woody Allen's 1993 film Manhattan Murder Mystery. In 1998, Braff had a part in a George C. Wolfe production of Macbeth for New York City's Public Theater.Braff played "J.D." (short for the character's full name, John Dorian) on the medical comedy television series Scrubs which debuted in 2001. The role was Braff's first major role in a television show. Braff was nominated for three Golden Globes and an Emmy for his work on the show. Braff directed several episodes of Scrubs, including the 100th episode, "My Way Home". For the show's ninth season Braff was a cast member for six episodes and also served as one of the executive producers.


Filmmaking
Braff starred in Garden State, also directing and producing it. The film was filmed in his home state of New Jersey. Producers were initially reluctant to finance the film; Braff wrote it in six months. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, his "mixtape" won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media for the Garden State soundtrack.On April 24, 2013, Braff started a Kickstarter campaign to finance the film Wish I Was Here, based on a script he wrote with his brother Adam. The $2 million goal was reached in three days. He directed and starred in the film which was released in 2014.Braff was the executive producer of the documentary Video Games: The Movie. He was also one of the executive producers of The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, released in 2014. He has directed several music videos: Gavin DeGraw's "Chariot", Joshua Radin's "Closer", Radin's "I'd Rather Be With You", and Lazlo Bane's "Superman" which is the theme song from Scrubs. His music production led to newfound success for some of the artists featured on his film soundtracks including The Shins, who were prominently featured on the Garden State and Scrubs soundtracks, resulting in the expression "the Zach Braff effect".In 2020, Braff directed the short film In The Time It Takes To Get There, starring Alicia Silverstone and Florence Pugh. The film was based on a poster created by Sam West, the winner of an Adobe contest in 2018. In 2021, Braff was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for directing the Apple TV+ comedy show Ted Lasso. He also received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for the Ted Lasso episode "Biscuits".Braff wrote, directed, and produced the drama film A Good Person starring Morgan Freeman and Florence Pugh, it was released on March 24, 2023.


In development
Braff was expected to direct Open Hearts, a remake of the 2002 Danish film Elsker dig for evigt (Love You Forever). The film is about a woman who has an affair with her paralyzed husband's doctor, whose wife caused the accident that put her husband in a wheelchair. It was first revealed that Braff was directing Open Hearts in 2006, however, the film was eventually canceled. Braff said "It fell apart at the last second due to scheduling and budget, as so many movies do." At the same time, Braff's film The Last Kiss was being released.
In 2009, Braff was working on the script for Swingles, a film based on a spec script by Duncan Birmingham; he would direct and star in the film alongside Cameron Diaz. As of 2021, no further public announcements about the film's development status has been released.


Other roles
Along with other Scrubs cast members, Braff has a cameo role in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.
He also voiced the titular character in the Disney animated film Chicken Little (2005), and has reprised the role in various Disney video games such as Chicken Little, Kingdom Hearts II, Chicken Little: Ace in Action and Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX. Braff has also done voiceovers for commercials, including a PUR water campaign, Wendy's in 2007 and 2008, and in Cottonelle as the voice of the puppy. He also provided the voice of Finley in the Disney film Oz The Great and Powerful (2013). In 2005, Braff was featured on Punk'd when he was tricked into chasing and then beating a supposed vandal who appeared to be spray-painting his brand new Porsche.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 of the documentary Heart of Stone to "help spread the word about it."Braff starred in the romantic drama The Last Kiss, which opened on September 15, 2006. Braff tweaked several parts of Paul Haggis' script for the film, as he wanted the script to be as "real as possible" and "really courageous" regarding its subject matter. As with Garden State, Braff was involved with the film's soundtrack, serving as executive producer. The film's director, Tony Goldwyn, compared Braff to a younger version of Tim Allen, describing Braff as "incredibly accessible to an audience... a real guy, an everyman."In 2007, Braff starred in the film The Ex (2007). He also starred in the Canadian indie film The High Cost of Living with Québécois actress Isabelle Blais in 2010. Directed by Deborah Chow, the film was shot in Montreal and principal photography wrapped on March 9, 2010. Braff stated he enjoyed filming in the country in which The Last Kiss was also shot. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was also shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Braff played the lead role of Alex in Alex, Inc., a television comedy based on a family man who quit his radio career to launch a podcasting company. ABC cancelled the show after one season.


Theater
Braff returned to the Public Theater in 2002, in a part in Twelfth Night, staged in Central Park. In mid-2010, Braff took a lead role in Trust, at the Second Stage Theatre, a contemporary Off-Broadway theater company. The play ran from July 23 to September 12, extending its scheduled run by one week. Braff wrote on Facebook that he was "Having so much fun doing Trust." The play co-starred Sutton Foster, Ari Graynor, and Bobby Cannavale, was written by Paul Weitz and directed by Peter DuBois. Braff played Henry, a wealthy married man who "looks to find something real in the most unlikely of places."In early 2011, Braff announced that he had written a play to be performed at the Second Stage Theatre in mid-2011. His play, All New People, is set on Long Beach Island and centers on Charlie, a 35-year-old from Braff's home state New Jersey. The play was directed by Peter DuBois, who directed Braff in Trust the previous year. When announcing the play on Facebook, Braff wrote that 'one of my dreams comes true'. In 2012, Braff moved the play on tour to the UK, playing in Manchester at the Manchester Opera House between February 8–11, Glasgow at the King's Theatre between February 14–18, and finally in London for 10 weeks at the Duke of York's Theatre from February 22.On April 10, 2014, Braff opened on Broadway in the musical Bullets Over Broadway The Musical, an adaptation of Woody Allen's 1994 film, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman.


Other pursuits
In 2009, Braff opened the Mermaid Oyster Bar in New York City with chef and high school friend Laurence Edelman, as well as Danny Abrams.Proprietors of the Rio Theater in Monte Rio, California credited Braff with making the donation that put their Kickstarter campaign over the target to buy a digital projector over its $60,000 goal in May 2013.In March 2020, Braff and Scrubs co-star Donald Faison launched a Scrubs rewatch podcast titled Fake Doctors, Real Friends. Distributed by iHeartRadio, the duo also shares stories and experiences of their time on set. Guests on the podcast include their co-stars Sarah Chalke, Judy Reyes, Neil Flynn, John C. McGinley, Christa Miller, and Ken Jenkins as well as the show's creator, Bill Lawrence and director Michael Spiller.


Personal life
Braff has previously dated actress Mandy Moore, from 2004 to 2006. He has also had relationships with model Taylor Bagley, from 2009 to 2014 and actress Florence Pugh, from 2019 to 2022. He directed her in his 2019 short film In the Time it Takes to Get There and the drama film A Good Person.
In November 2008, Braff earned his pilot's license flying a Cirrus SR20.


Political views
Braff in 2012 endorsed the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.


Filmography


Film


Television


Video games


Theatre


Production work


Discography


References


External links

Zach Braff at IMDb
Zach Braff at AllMovie
Zach Braff at Emmys.com



Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0

 

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