1. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at the age of ten.
2. Following his first lead role in October Sky , in which he played a psychologically troubled teenager alongside his older sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal.
3. In 2004, he appeared in the climate fiction-disaster film The Day After Tomorrow, portraying a student caught in a cataclysmic climate event.
4. Gyllenhaal played a frustrated Marine in Jarhead , and the same year, his role as Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain earned him critical acclaim.
5. For his Brokeback Mountain performance, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for the Academy Award in the same category.
6. He has since played lead roles in many films, including Zodiac .
7. Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of film producer and screenwriter Naomi Foner and film director Stephen Gyllenhaal. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, his older sister, appeared with him in the film Donnie Darko.
8. Gyllenhaal appeared in the 1993 film A Dangerous Woman ; in “Bop Gun” a 1994 episode of Homicide: Life on the Street; and in the 1998 comedy Homegrown.
9. Along with their mother, Jake and Maggie appeared in two episodes of Molto Mario, an Italian cooking show on the Food Network.
10. Gyllenhaal graduated from the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles in 1998, then attended Columbia University, where his sister was a senior and from which his mother had graduated, to study Eastern religions and philosophy.