Date of Birth: April 6, 1975
Born and raised in New Jersey, Zach Braff became interested in acting after seeing his father perform in a community theater production. At 11, he went to a summer acting camp called StageDoor Manor. While there, he was spotted by a talent manager, and began going on auditions for professional acting jobs.
His first role came when he was 14, starring opposite Gwyneth Paltrow in a television pilot produced by her father, Bruce Paltrow. But it was when he was 17 that Braff got his first big break, playing the son of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton's characters in Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993). In 1994, Zach starred in the CBS Schoolbreak Special, My Life as a Girl, playing the challenging lead role of a guy who poses as a girl to get a summer job.
Braff then took time off from acting to study at Northwestern University's film school, eventually graduating with a BA. While there, he wrote and directed a number of short films, including Lionel on a Sun Day (1998), which won numerous awards.
He returned to acting with a lead role in the independent film Getting to Know You (1999), co-starring Heather Matarazzo. Roles in films such as Blue Moon, Broken Hearts Club and Endsville (all 2000) followed. In 2001, he hit the jackpot with a starring role on a new medical comedy series called Scrubs, playing Dr. John Dorian. The show was a hit and is still in production.
Meanwhile, Braff was writing a screenplay that he planned to direct himself. Called Garden State (2004), he also took a starring role in the film opposite Natalie Portman. When it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the Drama category.
Braff has also appeared at New York's Public Theatre in Macbeth with Alec Baldwin, Angela Bassett and Liev Schreiber, and as Romeo in Shakespeare-on-the-Sound's production of Romeo and Juliet.
He currently lives in Los Angeles.