Emily Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, on October 11, 1976. Her parents, Caleb Deschanel and Mary Jo Weir, are an Academy Award-nominated film and television cinematographer and an esteemed actress, respectively. Emily grew up with her younger sister, Zooey, who is also a recognized actress. It seemed Deschanel was destined from birth to be a part of the entertainment industry.
In 1994, Emily Deschanel was completing her senior year of high school and decided to throw her hat into the acting ring. She landed the role of a paint- throwing fur activist in the comedic drama It Could Happen to You, starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda. The role was simply a way to test the waters of Hollywood, but it did spark a desire to pursue an acting career. After the film's release, Deschanel entered Boston University and studied under its professional actors training program. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre from the university and prepared to go back into acting as a full profession.
By the end of the '90s, Emily Deschanel was done with college and looking for a returas done with college and looking for a return to film. She accepted a small part in the 2000 film It's a Shame About Ray, which focused on the title character's ascent into heaven. But Deschanel's role did not register on any industry radar screens. After her unrecognizable cameo in It Could Happen to You and the failure of Ray to bring her other film opportunities, Emily Deschanel turned to television for solace.
In 2002, Emily Deschanel took part in the Stephen King miniseries Rose Red. Her role as Pam Asbury in the highly publicized television event led to other roles in primetime that would help secure her position as a respected actress. Emily Deschanel soon found her home in television through one of the branches of the popular series Law & Order. In 2002, she appeared on a single episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and later appeared on two episodes of Providence that same year.
Emily Deschanel returned to film in 2003 with Cold Mountain. She portrayed Mrs. Morgan in the big-budget film starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Renee Zellweger. Unfortunately, her small part didn't properly showcase her talent. In 2004, Deschanel jumped into two more large-scale films. She appeared in The Alamo and Spider-Man 2 with the likes of Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst. Interview magazine took notice of Emily's work and recognized her as one of the 6 Actors to Watch in its "Young Hollywood" issue in 2004. Deschanel's roles, however, were overshadowed by the films' budgets and their formidable star actors.
Emily Deschanel landed her first starring role in the 2005 horror film Boogeyman. Deschanel costarred with Barry Watson, a known face from the long-running family drama 7th Heaven. The film did not receive rave reviews, but its box-office intake made it a huge success for Deschanel's first big film role.
Emily still looked for a balance between film and television, and in 2005 she found that balance with the FOX television series Bones, in which she plays a forensic anthropologist alongside television veteran David Boreanaz as her reluctant FBI partner. The series was good enough for FOX to pick up for a second season in 2006.