Zooey Claire Deschanel ( /ˈzoʊ.iː deɪʃəˈnɛl/ zoh-ee day-shə-nel; born January 17, 1980) is an American actress, musician, and singer-songwriter. In 1999, Deschanel made her film debut in Mumford, followed by her breakout role as young protagonist William Miller's troubled older sister Anita in Cameron Crowe's 2000 semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous. Deschanel soon became known for her deadpan or "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" supporting roles in films such as Elf (2003), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Bridge to Terabithia (2007), and Happening, TheThe Happening (2008). She then began playing lead roles in films, including Yes Man (2008) and (500) Days of Summer (2009). She currently stars in the Fox series New Girl.
For a few years starting in 2001, Deschanel performed in the jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies with fellow actress Samantha Shelton. Besides singing, she plays keyboards, percussion, banjo and ukulele. She also often sings in her films. Deschanel teamed up with M. Ward to release their debut album Volume One (recorded with M. Ward under the moniker She & Him) which was released in March 2008. The follow-up album Volume Two was released in the U.S. in March 2010. She married Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard in September 2009; the two separated in November 2011.