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Rashida Jones

Jones in May 2007
Born Rashida Leah Jones
February 25, 1976 (1976-02-25) (age 34)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, model, musician
Years active 1997–present

Rashida Leah Jones (born February 25, 1976) is an American actress, model, and musician, best-known for her portrayal of Louisa Fenn on Boston Public, Karen Filippelli on The Office and Zooey Rice in I Love You, Man. Jones currently stars in the series Parks and Recreation.


Early life

Jones was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of media mogul and musician Quincy Jones and his then-wife, actress Peggy Lipton. Her father is African-American and her mother is Jewish, descended from immigrants from Ireland and Russia. She has an older sister, Kidada Jones, and five half-siblings by her father's other relationships. She was raised in Bel Air, California.

In his autobiography, Jones's father recalled how he would often find his five-year-old daughter under the covers after bedtime with a flashlight reading five books at a time.[1] Jones also displayed musical ability at a young age by playing classical concerts and winning awards. Her mother told Entertainment Tonight that Jones is "also a fabulous singer and songwriter, so she has inherited it (from Quincy), there's no question about it. Her dad's teaching her how to orchestrate and arrange too."[2]

Jones attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where she made the National Honor Society and was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" by her classmates.[3] She also attended Hebrew school.[4] Jones's parents divorced when she was 14 years old; her sister subsequently remained with their father while she moved to Brentwood with their mother. In 1994, Jones garnered attention with an open letter responding to scathing remarks made by Tupac Shakur about her parents' interracial marriage.[5] She later befriended Shakur, who was engaged to her sister Kidada Jones before he was killed.[1] After high school, Jones left California to attend Harvard University.

At Harvard, Jones was a resident of Eliot House and belonged to the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, Harvard-Radcliffe Opportunes, Black Students Association and the "semi-secret" Signet Society.[6] She was initially interested in becoming a lawyer but lost interest after being disillusioned by the O.J. Simpson murder case.[1] Instead, she became involved in the performing arts, and served as musical director for the Opportunes a cappella group, co-composed the score for the 149th annual Hasty Pudding Theatricals performance, and acted in several plays.[7] She studied Religion and Philosophy and graduated in 1997.


Jones made her professional acting debut in The Last Don, a 1997 mini-series based on the novel by Mario Puzo. She then appeared in Myth America, East of A and If These Walls Could Talk 2. In 2000, she guest starred as Karen Scarfolli in an episode of Freaks and Geeks before landing the role of Louisa Fenn on Boston Public. Between 2000 and 2002, she appeared in 26 episodes, earning an NAACP Image Award nomination in her final year.[8] Though she only had a minor supporting role in the series, film opportunities quickly surfaced. She had a small role in Full Frontal, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and starred in Now You Know, written and directed by Kevin Smith regular Jeff Anderson. She also starred in short film Roadside Assistance with Adam Brody.

After Jones left Boston Public, she appeared in Death of a Dynasty, directed by Damon Dash, and two episodes of Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central. In 2004, she was cast in Strip Search, an HBO film directed by Sidney Lumet, but her scenes were cut from the final broadcast version. Later that year, she played Dr Rachel Keyes in Little Black Book and starred as Edie Miller in British drama series NY-LON. In 2005, Jones played Karen in the Stella pilot on Comedy Central and special government agent Carla Merced in the TNT police drama Wanted.

Jones joined the ensemble cast of The Office in September 2006, playing the role of Karen Filippelli. She appeared regularly during the third season and then returned as a guest star for two episodes in season four and another in season five. She also played Karen in the February 2007 Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Rainn Wilson, appearing briefly in the opening monologue's Office parody. Jones filmed cameo roles in The Ten and Role Models, both directed by David Wain, but the latter was cut from the theatrical version and appears only on the Blu-ray release.[9] She then co-starred in Unhitched, the short-lived 2008 comedy series produced by the Farrelly brothers.

In January 2009, Jones voiced several characters in an episode of the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken.[10] She played Hannah in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, an independent film written and directed by John Krasinski that screened in competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She then played Zooey Rice in I Love You, Man, a Dreamworks comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Jones sold her first screenplay, co-written with actor Will McCormack, in March 2009. It is a comedy titled Celeste and Jesse Forever and she is attached to star in the film.[11] Jones currently plays nurse Ann Perkins in the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. She will next star alongside Chris Messina in Monogamy, an indie romantic comedy directed by Dana Adam Shapiro.[12]

Other work

As a singer, Jones has provided backing vocals for the band Maroon 5. She appears on the tracks "Tangled", "Secret" and "Not Coming Home" from their debut record, Songs About Jane, and on "Kiwi" from the follow-up album It Won't Be Soon Before Long. Jones was a guest vocalist on the Tupac Shakur tribute album The Rose That Grew from Concrete, released in 2000. The track, "Starry Night", also featured her father's vocals, Mac Mall's rapping, and her half-brother QD3's production. Jones contributed vocals to songs on The Baxter, The Ten and Reno 911!: Miami soundtracks. She also sang in some episodes of Boston Public and for charitable events such as the What A Pair Benefit to raise money for breast cancer research.[13]

Jones in March 2009

Jones's written work has appeared in Teen Vogue, where she worked as a contributing editor.[14] She also wrote chapter 36 of her father's biography, Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones, published in 2001.

As a model, Jones has appeared in print campaigns for Triple 5 Soul, television commercials for The Gap, and editorials for In Style and O Magazine, among others. She has been chosen as one of People magazine's "Most Beautiful People in the World" three times, in the years 2002,[15] 2007,[16] and 2009,[17] and as one of Harper's Bazaar's "Best Dressed Women In America".[5]

Jones has appeared in music videos for The Boy Least Likely To song "Be Gentle With Me" and the Foo Fighters' single "Long Road to Ruin". In the latter she was credited as Racinda Jules and played the role of Susan Belfontaine.[18]

Jones has appeared in several online comedy series projects. She starred in Funny or Die's "Speak Out" series with Natalie Portman and guest starred in two episodes of Web Therapy with Lisa Kudrow.[19] She also played David Wain in disguise for an episode of My Damn Channel's Wainy Days. In 2008, Jones appeared with several other celebrities in Prop 8 - The Musical, an all-star protest video written by Marc Shaiman.

Philanthropic efforts

Jones has worked to promote International Peace Games, which teaches children to resolve conflict without violence. She has been a board member since 2004 and holds several annual benefits to raise money for the organization.[20] Jones has participated in EDUN and ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History and The Art of Elysium's volunteer program, which runs artistic workshops for hospitalized children.[21][22][23] In 2007, she was honorary chair of the annual Housing Works benefit, which fights AIDS and homelessness in New York City.[24] She has also been involved in fundraising for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the EB Medical Research Foundation and New York's Lower Eastside Girls Club.[25][26][27][28]

Jones campaigned for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election. Along with Kristen Bell, she visited college campuses in Missouri to discuss the candidates and encourage voter registration.[29][30] She previously campaigned for Democratic candidate John Kerry during the 2004 election, speaking at student rallies and a public gallery in Ohio.[31][32]

Personal life

Jones had a 2½ year relationship with actor Tobey Maguire, ending in 2000.[33][34] Jones became engaged to the Grammy Award-winning music producer Mark Ronson in February 2003. He proposed on her 27th birthday, using a custom-made crossword puzzle spelling out "Will you marry me?". Their relationship ended approximately one year later.[35][36] Jones then dated writer and performer Seth Meyers and actor John Krasinski, her co-star on The Office.[14][34] Her character (Karen Fillipelli) dated his character (Jim Halpert) on the hit TV show. She is currently dating Jon Favreau, the Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama.[37]

Though raised Jewish, Jones began practicing Hinduism in her early teens after her mother took her to an Ashram in India.[1] Today, however, she practices Judaism and told a reporter, "In this day and age, you can choose how you practice and what is your relationship with God. I feel pretty strongly about my connection, definitely through the Jewish traditions and the things that I learned dating the guy that I dated. My boyfriends tend to be Jewish and also be practicing ... I don’t see it as a necessity, but there’s something about it that I connect with for whatever reason."[4]


Jones was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and also contributed to the Grammy Award-winning audio version of Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones.


Year Film Role Notes
1998 Myth America
2000 East of A Emily
2001 Roadside Assistance Lucy
2002 Full Frontal
Now You Know Kerri
2003 Death of a Dynasty Layna Hudson
2004 Little Black Book Dr. Rachel Keyes
2007 The Ten Hostess Rebecca Fornier
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Hannah
I Love You, Man Zooey
2010 Cop Out Debbie
Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Last Don Johanna Miniseries
2000 If These Walls Could Talk 2 Feminist Television movie, segment: "1972"
Freaks and Geeks Karen Scarfolli 1 episode
2000-2002 Boston Public Louisa Fenn 26 episodes
2003-2004 Chappelle's Show Pam 2 episodes
2004 Strip Search Television movie, scenes deleted
NY-LON Edie Miller 7 episodes
2005 Stella Karen 1 episode
Wanted Detective Carla Merced 13 episodes
Our Thirties Liz Television movie
2006-2009 The Office Karen Filippelli 24 episodes
2007 Wainy Days Wainette Davids 1 episode
2008 Unhitched Kate 6 episodes
2009 Parks and Recreation Ann Perkins


  1. ^ a b c d "The Bob Rivers Show: Interview with Actress Rashida Jones". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  2. ^ Rashida Jones: Biography. Retrieved on 2009-10-04.
  3. ^ Rashida Jones: Biography, Retrieved on 2009-02-25.
  4. ^ a b Miller, Gerri (2007). "The Daughter of Q". American Jewish Life Magazine. Genco Media LLC. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  5. ^ a b Williams, Kam (2009-03-09). "Rashida's Rhapsody". The Sly Fox. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  6. ^ "1997 Candidates for Harvard & Radcliffe Class Marshals". The Harvard Crimson, October 1, 1996. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  7. ^ Schaffer, Sarah J. (1997-03-11). "Drinks Before, Not After". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  8. ^ Awards for Rashida Jones, IMDb. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  9. ^ Role Models - Unrated Review, DVD Talk. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  10. ^ Episode: "Tell My Mom", The Robot Chicken Wiki. Retrieved on 2009-06-04.
  11. ^ Fox Atomic nabs 'Celeste and Jesse', Variety, March 25, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-06-04.
  12. ^ "Jones, Messina to practice Monogamy". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  13. ^ "What a Pair! Cast 2002". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  14. ^ a b Fierman, Daniel (2007-02-16). "Paper Doll". Entertainment Weekly.,,20011267,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-03. 
  15. ^ Rashida Jones: Actress, People, May 13, 2002. Retrieved on 2009-07-01.
  16. ^ 10 Stars Without Makeup, People, May 07, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-07-01.
  17. ^ Pretty Funny, People, May 11, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-07-01.
  18. ^ "Video for "Long Road to Ruin" on MTV". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  19. ^ Natalie Portman and Rashida Jones Speak Out, Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  20. ^ "Peace Games: About Us". Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  21. ^ EDUN and ONE (Slide 13), Edun Online. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  22. ^ EDUN ONE Auction, Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  23. ^ Celebrity Supporters, The Art of Elysium. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  24. ^ Housing Works Fashion for Action, TFI. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  25. ^ Celebrity Involvement: News, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  26. ^ EB Medical Research Foundation, Look To The Stars. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  27. ^ Events: GivEBig, EBMRF. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  28. ^ Doing Good for Downtown Girls, FWD. Retrieved on 2009-06-26.
  29. ^ Kotyk, KC (2008-10-04). "State urges voter registration". The Rolla Daily News. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  30. ^ Livengood, Chad (2008-10-05). "Battle for votes goes to Springfield streets". Springfield News-Leader. 
  31. ^ White, Christopher (2004-10-31). "Clout concerns". INF Magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  32. ^ Mozzocco, J. Caleb (2004-09-29). "The Kerry camp's so-called outreach to young professionals". Columbus Alive. Retrieved 2009-06-26. 
  33. ^ Miller, Samantha (2002-05-20). "Web Master". People.,,20137084,00.html. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  34. ^ a b Wappler, Margaret (2008-03-02). "Cover Story: The Girl Stays in the Picture". The New York Post Page Six Magazine. 
  35. ^ "Rashida Jones: Biography". TV Guide. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  36. ^ Abel, Olivia (2003-03-17). "Passages". People.,,20139544,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  37. ^ Mullins, Anne Schroeder (2009-07-15). "Shenanigans: "Yep, they're dating"". Politico. Retrieved 2009-09-03. 

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