January 18, 1980
Pacific Palisades, California, USA
Linda Cardellini, Michelle Williams
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A gifted comic actor with a knack for playing neurotic or easily agitated types, Jason Segel first caught the attention of television audiences as a unabashedly lovelorn high schooler in Judd Apatow's cult series "Freaks and Geeks" (NBC, 1999-2000). He soon became a regular member of Apatow's repertory company for films and television, appearing in memorable supporting roles in the short-lived "Undeclared" (Fox, 2001-02) and the blockbuster hit "Knocked Up" (2007), before graduating to a lead in the 2008 comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which he also wrote. Segel also scored on television as the eccentric lawyer-in-trainer Marshall Eriksen on the comedy "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005- ), a popular sitcom that ran for multiple seasons. During his time on the show, Segel was able to star in movies, co-starring with Paul Rudd in "I Love You, Man" (2009), Jack Black in "Gulliver's Travels" (2010), Cameron Diaz in "Bad Teacher" (2011) and Ed Helms in "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" (2011). By the time he co-wrote and co-starred in his dream project "The Muppets" (2011), Segel had himself well-positioned as a multifaceted threat capable of translating his talents into a wide array of projects.
Born Jason Jordan Segel in Pacific Palisades, CA on Jan. 18, 1980, he gravitated towards acting while in school and was a frequent performer in plays staged at the Palisades Playhouse. He broke into film and television in the late 1990s, where his imposing 6'4" size and gentle demeanor made him a natural for offbeat characters like the partygoer who totes a spiked watermelon in "Can't Hardly Wait" (1998) and the ill-tempered college student whose sudden vacancy from his dorm room sets in motion the plot of "Dead Man on Campus" (1998), where two grades-challenged roommates seek a depressed individual to take the place of Segel's character in their dorm, thereby granting them the 4.0 awarded to those who live with a suicide victim. Among Segel's co-stars in the underwhelming comedy were Linda Cardellini and Alyson Hannigan, with whom he would later reunite with on "Freaks and Geeks" and "How I Met Your Mother," respectively. Segel and Cardellini were also an off-screen romantic item for several years.
In 1999, Segel was cast as Nick Andropolis, one of the "freaks" on Apatow's acclaimed high school dramedy "Freaks and Geeks." A sweet-natured if somewhat easily confused young man with a passion for drumming, Nick also tended to overwhelm his girlfriends with affection and attention. Few viewers could forget the painfully earnest love song - penned by Segel - that he performed for Cardellini's Lindsay Weir, during which they experienced the perfect mixture of sympathy and horror. Though the show garnered high praise from critics and earned Segel and his castmates a 2000 Young Artist Award nomination, "Freaks and Geeks" quickly disappeared from NBC's primetime lineup, but not from the collective memory of the masses who would make it a cult touchstone.
Segel bounced between features and television for the next few years, logging time as a scam artist college student in the broad comedy "Slackers" (2002), a paramedic who must deal with a gruesome accident in the indie drama "11:14" (2002), and an unattractive janitor who falls for a glamorous office worker (Linda Cardellini) in the short "Certainly Not a Fairytale" (2003). On TV, Segel returned to the Apatow fold for "Undeclared," starring as the aggressive and obsessive ex-boyfriend of female lead Carla Gallo. In addition to Segel, the show reunited several other players from "Freaks and Geeks," including Seth Rogen, Busy Phillips and Samm Levine - a practice that the ever loyal Apatow would continue for upcoming projects. In 2004, Segel left the comedy fold, appearing briefly as a lab tech on three episodes of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS, 1999- ), and was cast as the awkward brother of a private investigator on the unsold pilot, "Harry Green and Eugene" for ABC.
In 2005, Segel was tapped to co-star in the CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother." Though his character frequently took a back seat to the show's breakout role, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris), Segel's Marshall - who was based on series co-creator Craig Thomas - enjoyed a solid storyline as one half of a charmingly eccentric couple with Alyson Hannigan's Lily Aldrin; a young lady whom he married three times throughout the course of the show. Marshall's preoccupation with food, creating elaborate games and songs about his daily tasks, and a recurring "slap bet" with Barney, helped endear him to fans of the show who appreciated his quirky "every guy" appeal.
Segel's success on "Mother" was compounded by his appearance in the raucous comedy "Knocked Up," which was penned by his former "Freaks" and "Undeclared" co-star Seth Rogen and produced by Apatow. Segel's character, Jason, was one of several slacker roommates residing with Rogen's anti-hero, as well as a collaborator on the group's ill-fated web site project, which was devoted to covering nude scenes from movies. Segel also enjoyed one of the film's biggest laughs in which he appears completely nude, with a hands covering genitals, after an earthquake forces the roommates to evacuate their home. As it turned out, the in-the-minority Segel was not shy with going au natural, having no problem stripping down for film or photo shoots.
After providing such stellar support in "Knocked Up," Segel was promoted to a starring role in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008), for which he also contributed the script. The comedy, which was co-produced by Apatow and featured many of the writer-director's regular cast, including Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd and Bill Hader, concerned a puppeteer (Segel) who travels to Hawaii to recuperate from a traumatic breakup, only to discover that his ex (Kristen Bell) is staying at his hotel with her new boyfriend. Reviews called it the funniest film of the year and promised a breakout opportunity for the routinely hilarious but usually supporting actor. That same year, Segel began shooting a co-starring role in another Apatow-produced comedy, "I Love You, Man," about a groom-to-be (Paul Rudd) searching for the perfect best man (Segel). He next voiced Vector in the animated film "Despicable Me" (2010) and co-starred opposite Jack Black in a modern remake of "Gulliver's Travels" (2011). Segel went on to play a gym teacher lusting after Cameron Diaz's titular "Bad Teacher" (2011) and starred opposite Ed Helms in the indie comedy "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" (2011). Also that year, he wrote and starred in his dream project "The Muppets" (2011) alongside Amy Adams, before appearing with Emily Blunt in the romantic comedy "The Five-Year Engagement" (2012). On a different note, Segel found himself a subject of interest for gossip blogs and tabloids when he began dating Academy Award-nominated actress, Michelle Williams in 2012.
This Is The EndHimself
This Is 40Jason
The Five-Year EngagementTom Solomon
Bad TeacherRussell Gettis
Despicable MeVoice of Vector
I Love You, ManSydney Fife
Forgetting Sarah MarshallPeter Bretter