Joseph Gordon-Levitt

13 Feb 2024

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt, born on February 17, 1981, in Los Angeles, is an American actor known for his versatile performances across various genres. He began his acting career as a child, appearing in films such as "A River Runs Through It" (1992), "Holy Matrimony" (1994), and "Angels in the Outfield" (1994), which earned him a Young Artist Award and a Saturn Award nomination.
Gordon-Levitt gained widespread recognition for his role as Tommy Solomon in the TV series "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996–2001). He further established himself with a supporting role in "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999) and voiced Jim Hawkins in Disney's animated "Treasure Planet" (2002). However, he took a break from acting to pursue studies at Columbia University, though he dropped out in 2004 to focus on his acting career once again.

Upon his return to acting, Gordon-Levitt starred in a series of critically acclaimed films, including "Manic" (2001), "Mysterious Skin" (2004), "Brick" (2005), "Inception" (2010), "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012), "Looper" (2012), and "Lincoln" (2012). He portrayed Philippe Petit in "The Walk" (2015) and whistleblower Edward Snowden in "Snowden" (2016). Additionally, he had a supporting role in the legal drama "The Trial of the Chicago 7" (2020).
In 2013, Gordon-Levitt wrote and directed "Don Jon," a comedy-drama film that received positive reviews and earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best First Screenplay. He also directed and edited two short films in 2010. In 2021, he wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy-drama series "Mr. Corman" on Apple TV+. Additionally, Gordon-Levitt is the founder of the online media platform HitRecord, which has garnered him two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Interactive Program.

Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born on February 17, 1981, in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood. He comes from a family of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, although they are not strictly religious. His parents, Dennis Levitt and Jane Gordon, were both involved in activism and media. Dennis was a news director for the Pacifica Radio station KPFK-FM, while Jane ran for the United States Congress in California during the 1970s for the Peace and Freedom Party. Jane and Dennis met while working at KPFK-FM. Joseph's maternal grandfather, Michael Gordon, was a Hollywood film director.
Joseph had an older brother named Dan, who was a photographer and fire spinner. Unfortunately, Dan passed away in 2010 at the age of 36. Joseph attended Van Nuys High School and graduated in 1999.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt showed an early interest in performing arts, joining a musical theater group at the age of four and portraying the Scarecrow in a production of "The Wizard of Oz." His talent caught the attention of an agent, leading to appearances in television commercials for various brands such as Sunny Jim peanut butter, Cocoa Puffs, Pop-Tarts, and Kinney Shoes.
At the age of six, Gordon-Levitt began starring in made-for-television films. In 1991, he appeared in the Dark Shadows television series, playing the roles of David Collins and Daniel Collins, and also featured in the film "A River Runs Through It." During the early 1990s, he continued to make notable appearances on television, including a role in an episode of "Quantum Leap" where he played a boy who witnesses a murder.

From 1992 to 1993, Gordon-Levitt was part of the cast of "The Powers That Be," a sitcom starring John Forsythe, portraying the character Pierce Van Horne. He also portrayed Gregory Kingsley in the made-for-TV film "Switching Parents" in 1992, based on a real-life case. In 1994, he starred in the Disney film "Angels in the Outfield" as an orphan who sees angels.
One of his most notable roles during this period was as Tommy Solomon in the sitcom "3rd Rock from the Sun," which aired for six seasons starting in 1996. Despite his Jewish heritage, Gordon-Levitt played an extraterrestrial pretending to be a human in the show, prompting commentary from critics.

Throughout the 1990s, Gordon-Levitt was a prominent figure in teenage magazines and made guest appearances on shows like "That '70s Show." In 1998, he had a supporting role in "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" and starred in the 1999 film "10 Things I Hate About You," a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew." Additionally, he voiced Jim Hawkins in Disney's "Treasure Planet" in 2002.
In 2000, Gordon-Levitt enrolled at Columbia University, where he studied history, literature, and French poetry. He became fluent in French and developed a deep appreciation for French culture. During his time at Columbia, he dated actress Julia Stiles. However, he eventually dropped out in 2004 to focus on his acting career once again, feeling that the move to New York City had helped him grow personally and professionally.

HitRecord, founded and owned by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is an online collaborative media platform that utilizes various forms of media to produce projects such as short films, books, and DVDs. The platform was established in 2010 by Gordon-Levitt during a period of creative stagnation in his acting career. Frustrated by the lack of creative opportunities, he decided to create a space where artists and creators could collaborate and produce content together.
HitRecord has produced a range of projects, including films like "Don Jon" and the short films "Morgan M. Morgansen's Date with Destiny" and its sequel "Morgan and Destiny's Eleventeenth Date: The Zeppelin Zoo." The platform allows artists from different backgrounds to come together, contribute their skills, and collaborate on creative endeavors.

In addition to filmmaking, HitRecord has also ventured into other forms of media production, showcasing the diverse talents of its community members. The platform has received significant support, including $6.4 million in venture capital, enabling it to continue expanding its collaborative projects.
One notable project released on HitRecord is "Hong Kong Never Sleeps," a collaborative short film paying homage to Hong Kong. Released on November 6, 2020, the film features photos and videos collected from Hong Kongers since August 2020, with some focusing on the Hong Kong protests that began in 2019. Actors recruited by Gordon-Levitt provided voiceovers for the film, demonstrating the platform's ability to bring together creators from around the world to collaborate on meaningful projects.


  1.  Mueller, Matt (2008). "Hey Joe"Wonderland Magazine. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  2. ^ Warner, Kara (October 6, 2010). "Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Brother Dead at 36". MTV. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  3. ^ Lang, Bret; Walker, Hunter (October 5, 2010). "Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Brother, 'Burning Dan,' Dies"The Wrap. The Wrap News Inc. Archived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  4. ^ Sundance 2014: Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives stirring tribute to late brother at HitRECord event Archived March 19, 2021, at the Wayback Machine – Entertainment Weekly
  5. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (September 16, 2007). "Kid Rock"The New York TimesArchived from the original on October 13, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  6. ^ Kirkland, Bruce (August 18, 2012). "Gordon-Levitt riding fast to fame"Toronto SunArchived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  7. a b c Chonin, Neva (March 25, 2007). "Look out: his star is rising"San Francisco ChronicleArchived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
  8. ^ Hedash, Kara (February 19, 2020). "Joseph Gordon-Levitt's That '70s Show Cameo Made TV History"ScreenRantArchived from the original on March 19, 2021. Retrieved August 22, 2020.

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