Zooey Deschanel was born in 1980 into a showbiz family. Her father, 凯莱布·德夏奈尔, is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (perhaps most notably for 耶稣受难记 (2004)) and her mother, Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir), is an actress who appeared in Twin Peaks (1990). Her paternal grandfather was French, and her other roots include English, German, Scottish, Irish, and Dutch.
Driven from an early age to become a successful actress, Zooey got her big break, at age 17, playing a model in the TV sitcom, Veronica's Closet (1997). She got her first film role, the following year, in 冒牌医生 (1999), which prompted her to quit university to pursue acting full-time. Mostly thanks to a role in 卡梅伦·克罗's popular biopic, 几近成名 (2000), Zooey's rise to fame has been steadily increasing as the 21st century wears on. Her distinctive acting style found her critical acclaim in 2003, when she was voted Best Actress at the Mar Del Plata Film Festival for her role in 大卫·戈登's 最爱你 (2003). She also gained a Best Female Lead nomination (for 最爱你 (2003)) at the following year's Independent Spirit Awards, but lost out to 查理兹·塞隆.
Zooey has appeared in such films as 500 Days of Summer (2009), Our Idiot Brother (2011), 好好先生 (2008) (opposite 金·凯瑞), 圣诞精灵 (2003) (opposite Will Farrell), Your Highness (2011), The Happening (2008) (opposite 马克·沃尔伯格), 银河系漫游指南 (2005) and is the star of the FOX sitcom, New Girl (2011).
Zooey is often compared to golden era Hollywood starlets and is also a talented singer. She has said in interviews that she believes her singing ability was pivotal in gaining the role of "Jovie" in 圣诞精灵 (2003). She also sang (and acted) in the Disney-produced musical, 豌豆公主 (2005).