Zachary Israel Braff
|Birthplace:||South Orange, Essex County, New Jersey, United States|
|Managed by:||Randy Schoenberg|
Historical records matching Zach Braff
About Zach Braff
Zachary I. "Zach" Braff (born April 6, 1975) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, comedian, and director. Braff first became known in 2001 for his role as Dr. John Dorian on the television series Scrubs, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award and three Golden Globe Awards.
In 2004, Braff made his directorial debut with Garden State. Braff returned to his home state New Jersey to shoot the film, which was produced for $2.5 million. The film made over $35 million at the box office and was praised by critics. Braff wrote the film, starred in it, and compiled the soundtrack record. He won numerous awards for his directing work, and also won the Grammy Award for Best Soundtrack Album in 2005.
Braff was born in South Orange, New Jersey. His mother, Anne Brodzinsky (born Anne Hutchinson Maynard), is a clinical psychologist, and his father, Harold Irwin "Hal" Braff, is a trial attorney and sociology professor. His parents divorced and re-married others during Braff's childhood. One of his siblings, Joshua, is an author. Braff's father was born Jewish, and Braff's mother, originally a Protestant, converted to Judaism before marrying his father. Braff was raised in Conservative Judaism, and has said that he is "not a huge organized religion guy". He 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 ten. He graduated from Columbia High School, in Maplewood, New Jersey, where he worked in the school's television station along with fellow classmate and singer/actress Lauryn Hill.
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, "Dawn Saves the Trees."
Braff played John "J.D." Dorian on the medical comedy TV 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 its one-hundredth, "My Way Home". 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.
Braff directed several episodes of Scrubs. Braff wrote, directed, produced, and starred in 2004's Garden State, which was filmed in his home state 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.
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." Other roles
Along with many Scrubs cast members, Braff has a small role playing himself in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.
Braff has done voice acting, providing a voice for the title character in the Disney animated film Chicken Little (2005), as well as being credited for voice acting in the video game Kingdom Hearts II. Braff has also done voice overs for commercials, including a PUR water campaign, Wendy's TV commercials in 2007 and 2008, and Cottonelle commercials, in which he portrayed a puppy.
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, appeared. 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 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."
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), which he has described as a "silly comedy."
Braff stars in the Canadian indie film The High Cost of Living with Quebec 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 Film Festival and was also shown at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Braff has spoken of his love of theater and his desire to return to stage acting in New York City, eight years after playing Sebastian in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night. 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. The 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 will be 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'.
Future show business projects
Braff's next directorial project is the upcoming, 2011 film Open Hearts, a remake of a 2002 Danish film Elsker dig for evigt (Love You Forever), directed by Susanne Bier. The film will focus on a woman, shocked by her fiance's paralysis in a car crash. She ends up having an affair with her husband's doctor, whose wife caused the original accident. The original film starred Mads Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, and Paprika Steen. The cast for Braff's remake have not been revealed yet. It was first revealed that Zach Braff was planning to remake Open Hearts in 2006, at the same time Braff's film The Last Kiss was being released. The film will be produced by Paramount Pictures.
In July 2009, Braff announced via Facebook that he is working on the script of a film to be called Swingles, which he will direct and star in alongside Cameron Diaz.
In 2009, Zach Braff opened up the restaurant Mermaid Oyster Bar in New York City with chef and high school friend, Laurence Edelman.
Braff's brother is author Joshua Braff; his stepsister is Jessica Kirson, a New York stand-up comedian.
Braff has reportedly dated fellow actors Mandy Moore and Shiri Appleby. Braff is best friends with his Scrubs co-star Donald Faison.
In November 2008, Braff earned his pilot's license flying a Cirrus SR20.