, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
Jack Black was to two satellite engineers, Judith (née Cohen), who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, and Thomas William Black. Black's mother is Jewish and his father converted to Judaism. On The Tonight Show, he said his surname may have come from the occupational name Blacksmith. Black's parents divorced when he was 10; Black moved to Culver City with his father and frequently visited his mother’s home. As a child, Black appeared in a commercial for the Activision game Pitfall! in 1982, which was later shown during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and again on The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien. When Black entered high school, his parents enrolled him at the Poseidon School, a private secondary school engineered specifically for students struggling in the traditional school system. Black also attended the Crossroads School, where he excelled in drama. He later attended UCLA but dropped out during his sophomore year to pursue a career in entertainment, at which point his father discontinued his financial support.
Black's acting career began with prime time television. He played roles on shows including 'Life Goes On', 'Northern Exposure', 'Mr. Show, Picket Fences', and 'The X-Files'. Black appeared in the unaired [TV pilot]] 'Heat Vision' and Jack, directed by Ben Stiller, in which he played an ex-astronaut pursued by actor Ron Silver. He was accompanied by his friend who had merged with a motorcycle, voiced by Owen Wilson.
Black later took on small roles in 'Airborne', 'Demolition Man', 'Waterworld', 'The Fan', 'Mars Attacks!', Tim Robbins' 'Dead Man Walking' and others/ In 2000, he appeared in High Fidelity as a wild employee in John Cusack's record store, a role Black considers his breakout.
His career soon led to leading roles in films such as 'Shallow Hal', 'The School of Rock', 'Nacho Libre', 'Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny', 'Year One' and 'Gulliver's Travels'. His next film, 'The Big Year', a competitive birdwatching comedy co-starring Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and JoBeth Williams is set for release in October 2011. He is referred to in the media as a member of the Frat Pack, a group of comedy actors who frequently work together, which also includes Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, and Steve Carell.
He guest-starred on 'The Office' along with Cloris Leachman, Jessica Alba, and Steve Carell in a movie within the show.
Black hosted the 2006 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards on April 1, 2006 and hosted it again March 29, 2008 and April 2, 2011. He also appeared on the MTV video music awards on August 31, 2006. Black has made five appearances on Saturday Night Live: three times as a host, once as a musical guest (with Kyle Gass as Tenacious D), and another appearance with Tenacious D, not as a host or musical guest. He produced and appeared on VH1's Internet video show Acceptable.TV.
Black voice acted for The Simpsons episode "Husbands and Knives", which aired November 18, 2007, voicing the friendly owner of the rival comic book store, Milo. Black took part in the 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' celebrity edition along with Denis Leary, Jimmy Kimmel and others and was handed the prize of US$125,000 in October 2001. On December 14, Jack Black hosted the 2008 Spike Video Game Awards. He provided the voice of the main character, roadie Eddie Riggs, in the heavy metal-themed action-adventure video game, 'Brütal Legend'. In 2009, at the Spike Video Game Awards, he earned the Best Voice award for the voice of Eddie Riggs in 'Brütal Legend'. In April 2009, Black also starred in an episode of the children's show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" on Nick Jr. vocalized funny kid songs such as "It's Not Fun to Get Lost", "Friends" and "Goodbye Song".
Black, also known as JB or Jables, is the lead singer for the rock comedy band Tenacious D. Along with Kyle Gass, they have released two albums, a self-titled debut, and the follow up, The Pick of Destiny, from which one of their songs "The Metal" was used in the music video games "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" and "Brütal Legend". "Rock Your Socks" from the album "Tenacious D" was played in the music videogame "Rock Band Unplugged", and "Master Exploder" from "The Pick Of Destiny" went on to be used in music video games "Guitar Hero Van Halen" and "Rock Band 2", along with their song "Tribute" from "Tenacious D". "Master Exploder" and "The Metal" featured in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The film, directed by Tenacious D veteran Liam Lynch, features recurring characters such as Lee the superfan and Sasquatch. Tim Robbins cameos as does Dave Grohl as Satan. Ben Stiller also makes an appearance as a worker at Guitar Center, and also another appearance in the music video for "Tribute".
Tenacious D helped the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation to raise awareness and funds in San Diego on June 16, 2007. Tenacious D can be seen performing in the Pauly Shore film Bio-Dome where the duo is performing its song "The Five Needs" at a "Save the Environment" party. Black was also a guest star on an episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show entitled "Ellen the Musical", alongside Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and teenage singer-actress Olivia Olson. On the show, besides singing, he discussed his then-upcoming film 'Nacho Libre' with the host.
Black has also appeared on Dave Grohl's Probot album, providing vocals for the hidden song "I Am The Warlock", and Lynch's Fake Songs album, providing vocals for the song "Rock and Roll Whore". Black performed a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" in the last sequence of High Fidelity.
Black has also recorded a duet on Meat Loaf's new CD Hang Cool Teddy Bear. The song is called "Like a Rose". Meat Loaf has also played Black's father in the 'Pick of Destiny' movie.
In January 2006, Black became engaged to Tanya Haden. She is the daughter of the jazz double bassist Charlie Haden and sister of violinist and singer Petra Haden. Haden herself is an accomplished cellist. Both attended Crossroads school and met again 15 years after graduating, at a friend's birthday party. Black proposed marriage around Christmas 2005. They married on March 14, 2006, in Big Sur, California. Their son, Samuel Jason "Sammy" Black, was born on June 10, 2006, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. On May 23, 2008, Black and his wife had their second son, Thomas David Black.