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*Rashida Jones was born on this date in 1976. She is a Black Jewish actress, director, writer, and producer.
Rashida Leah Jones was born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was actress Peggy Lipton and her father, musician/record producer Quincy Jones. She is the younger sister of actress and model Kidada Jones. Jones's father is Black, with roots from Cameroon. Her mother was Jewish with family from Russia and Latvia. Jones and her sister were raised in Reform Judaism by their mother; Jones attended Hebrew school, though she left at ten and did not have a bat mitzvah. Jones has said of her parents' mixed-race marriage: "it was the 1970s and still not that acceptable for them to be together". She said that she grew up a "straight-up nerd" and "had a computer with floppy disks and a dial-up modem before it was cool ." Jones displayed musical ability from an early age and could play classical piano.
Jones attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where she made the National Honor Society. Her parents divorced when she was 14 years old; her sister remained with their father while moving with their mother. In 1994, Jones wrote an open letter responding to scathing remarks made by rapper Tupac Shakur about her parents' interracial marriage. They managed to patch up their differences, and Shakur eventually became friends with Rashida and her family. Jones attended Harvard University and belonged to the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, Harvard-Radcliffe Opportunes, Black Students Association, and the Signet Society.
She was initially interested in becoming a lawyer but changed her mind after becoming disillusioned by the O. J. Simpson murder trial. She served as musical director for the Opportunities Cappella group. Jones co-composed the 149th annual Hasty Pudding Theatricals performance score and acted in several plays. In her second year at college, Jones performed in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf. She said it was "healing" because many black students had seen her as not "black enough." She studied religion and philosophy and graduated in 1997.
Jones created Frenemy of the State, a comic book series about a socialite recruited by the CIA. Jones co-wrote the screenplay with writing partner Will McCormack. The comics are published by Oni Press and co-written with husband-and-wife writing team Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir. In October 2009, before the first issue had been released, Jones sold the screen rights to Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment.
Her first screenplay was a comedy titled Celeste and Jesse Forever in March 2009. In 2016, Jones co-wrote the teleplay of "Nosedive" teleplay, an episode of the television anthology series Black Mirror. She worked on the script of Toy Story 4 but left the writing assignment feeling that Pixar is "a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice." She wrote chapter 36 of her father's biography, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones (2001). She has worked as a contributing editor at Teen Vogue magazine.
Music and Videos
As a singer, Jones has provided backing vocals for the band Maroon 5. She was a guest vocalist on the Tupac Shakur tribute album; The Rose That Grew from Concrete, released in 2000. She also contributed vocals on the song "Dick Starbuck: Porno Detective" on The High & Mighty 1999 debut Home Field Advantage. Jones contributed vocals in some episodes of Boston Public and for charitable events such as the What A Pair Benefit in 2002 to raise money for breast cancer research. In 2002, Jones appeared in the video "More Than a Woman" by Aaliyah alongside her sister. In 2013, Jones directed Sara Bareilles' song "Brave ."In 2016, she was featured in the music video "Flip and Rewind" by Boss Selection, led by Jones and McCormack. In 2015, Jones released a song titled Wanted to Be Loved alongside Daniel Ahearn; in the documentary, Hot Girls Wanted, Jones produced.
Online Comedy series
Jones has appeared in online comedy series projects Funny or Die's Speak Out series, and two episodes in the first web season, Web Therapy. She also played for an episode of My Damn Channel's Wainy Days. In 2008, Jones appeared with several other celebrities in Prop 8 – The Musical. From 2013 to 2015, she provided the voice of Hotwire on the comedy series The Awesomes.
Modeling and Advertising
In 2011, Jones was its spokeswoman for Dove Nourishing Oil Care Collection. In 2015, she began starring in a series of commercials for Verizon FiOS. In 2017, Jones became a spokeswoman for Almay cosmetics. In 2018, Jones became the first female ambassador for Maison Kitsune. In 2019, she modeled for and endorsed the glasses brand Zenni Optical. She was the narrating voice for Southwest Airlines and Expedia in Expedia television commercials.
In 2020, Jones started the Bill Gates, and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions podcast.
In 2018, Jones's production company, Le Train Train, signed a first-look television deal with MRC. She appeared on the drama series Boston Public, The Office, and the comedy series Parks and Recreation. From 2016 to 2019, Jones starred in the TBS comedy series Angie Tribeca, and in 2020, Jones starred in the Netflix series #blackAF. She was a producer on the film Hot Girls Wanted (2015) and the series Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On (2017), directing the first episode of the latter.
In 2018, her documentary Quincy debuted on Netflix; it won the Grammy Award for Best Music Film in 2019. Jones began practicing Hinduism in her early teens with her mother. As an adult, she practices Judaism. She told a reporter: In this day and age, you can choose how you practice and what is your relationship with God. I feel strongly about my connection through the Jewish traditions and the things that I learned dating the guy that I dated. My boyfriends tend to be Jewish and also be practicing. I don't see it as a necessity, but there's something about it that I connect with for whatever reason.
On her Black and Jewish identity, she has remarked, "I have gone through periods where I only feel black or Jewish. Now I have a good balance." and "The thing is, I do identify with being black, and if people don't identify me that way, that's their issue. I'm happy to challenge people's understanding of what it looks like to be biracial..." Jones was engaged to Mark Ronson in February 2003. Their relationship ended approximately one year later. In 2018, Jones had a son with her boyfriend, Ezra Koenig.