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Star spotlight: Zooey Deschanel

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Zooey Deschanel in the star spotlight

From film to television to music, Zooey Deschanel is without a doubt the current "it" girl — and now she is stepping into our star spotlight!

Zooey DeschanelVital stats

Birthday: January 17, 1980 

Astrological sign: Capricorn

Hometown: Los Angeles

Height: 5'6"

Family: Sister Emily Deschanel of Bones

Hobbies: Mini-golf

The hair. The eyes. The voice. Zooey Deschanel is everywhere lately — movies, TV, commercials, your favorite website HelloGiggles — but this New Girl has actually been on the scene for longer than you think.

The daughter of cinematographer/director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel, Zooey grew up on film sets across the world and was bitten by the acting bug as a teen. While her original plan was to pursue a career in musical theater, she instead started getting roles in film, and music became her side project.

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While she is convinced that her singing voice got her the role of Jovie in the beloved holiday hit movie Elf opposite Will Ferrell, it was her acting chops that got her on the short list in the first place. She made her big-screen debut in Lawrence Kasdan's 1999 comedy Mumford, then stepped into Cameron Crowe's cult fave Almost Famous as the rebellious big sister. Manic, her first of two films with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Big Trouble with Tim Allen and Rene Russo, Abandon with Katie Holmes, and The Good Girl with Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal quickly followed.

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A host of other film roles quickly added up, including 2009's (500) Days of Summer, nearly all critically acclaimed. Not forgetting her love of music, Deschanel formed the band She & Him with M. Ward and released three albums, including a Christmas record.

All of this career success pales in comparison to the runaway hit that is New Girl. The show has racked up two Golden Globe nominations — one for Deschanel herself — and five Emmy nominations, and it was the highest-rated fall debut for a FOX network comedy since The Bernie Mac Show premiered in 2001. Now in its second season, New Girl shows no signs of getting old — which is good, because Deschanel has said she'd like to play the character of Jess forever.

A new girl can dream.

Be sure to tune in to all the quirky New Girl fun Tuesdays, 9/8c on FOX.

View our Zooey Deschanel Star Spotlight photo gallery >>

Photo credit: Nikki Nelson/
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