Happy Birthday, Jake Gyllenhaal!
The smokin' hot actor turn 32 today, so we're taking a look back at a timeline of his ten biggest moments in the spotlight (whether he wants to remember them or not). Although one of Jake's claims to fame over the last few years has been dating (and dumping) Taylor Swift, we're taking this time to remember some of his greatest accomplishments as an actor. (Okay, and some of his other failed relationships, too...)
1. 1991 - Makes Acting Debut
With a dad as film director and mom as producer, Jake had tons of exposure to this industry from the very beginning, but it wasn't until he was 10 years old that he made his acting debut as Billy Crystal's son in City Slickers.
2. 2001 - Breakthrough Moment
Despite some lesser-known work in the remainder of the 90's, Jake spent most of his time finishing high school and even two years of college at Columbia University. He dropped out to pursue acting, which worked in his favor, as he landed his breakthrough role in Donnie Darko, playing an emotionally unstable teenager with disturbing hallucinations. Although the film didn't have crazy initial success, critics praised Jake's performance in the film and it has since become a cult hit.
3. 2002-2004 - Kirsten Dunst Era
Jake's first high-profile relationship began in 2002 when he started dating Kirsten Dunst. The couple became a staple on red carpets until their eventual breakup in 2004. Kirsten named Hollywood as the reason for their break up, stating, "It's hard to have a relationship in this business." Although the two haven't remained friends, they've both spoken highly of each other since and there seems to be no bad blood here!
4. 2002 - Theatrical Debut
In order to try something different, Jake took the stage in London's West End for a revival of the play This Is Our Youth. He starred alongside other future megastars Anna Paquin and Hayden Christensen for a mere eight weeks, despite the play's previous success on Broadway.
5. 2005 - Academy Award-Nominated Performance
Jake played his biggest (and most controversial) role to date in Brokeback Mountain, where he starred as a sheep herder... but more importantly, Heath Ledger's lover. The film won several awards (including Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards), and Jake was even nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. He ended up losing to George Clooney, but who can complain about that?!
6. 2005 - One.Hot.Marine
Jarhead may not have been one of Jake's biggest success stories, but he sure looked good playing a marine! During 2005, Jake also auditioned to play Batman, and almost got the part -- but was ultimately beat out by Christian Bale.
7. 2005-2006 - Becomes an Uncle & Godfather
In October 2005, Jake's Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath named him the godfather of his daughter Matilda. A year later, Jake's sis Maggie Gyllenhaal gave birth to her first daughter Ramona, and Jake became the single, super cool uncle (Maggie introduced another child in April 2012, as well).
8. 2007-2009 - Dates Reese Witherspoon
Jake met Reese Witherspoon on set of their 2007 film Rendition, and though their relationship was just a rumor at first, things went public in 2008 and they stayed together until the wee end of 2009. They reportedly split due to living on different coasts and therefore being unable to make the relationship work.
9. 2010 - His Shortest but Most Talked About Relationship
Jake made major headlines in the fall of 2010 when he courted Taylor, despite being nine years her senior. The couple spent a few blissful months together but ended up splitting in the beginning of 2011. This paved the way for Taylor to spend two years writing songs about the breakup, featured on her newest album Red. Her first Billboard #1 We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is rumored to be about Mr. Gyllenhaal himself!
10. Present Day
Over the last few years, Jake starred in films like Love and Other Drugs, Source Code and End of Watch, with a growing amount of acclaim for his performances. However, he has yet to give another performance matching that of Brokeback Mountain and is seriously overdue for an award-worthy role!
In 2013, he'll star in Prisoners and An Enemy, and he's also finished production on the film Nailed alongside Jessica Biel, though a release date has yet to be confirmed.
What is your favorite Jake Gyllenhaal milestone?
Photos Courtesy of: Fame/Flynet