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Rashida Leah Jones (born February 25, 1976) is an American actress, model, and musician, best-known for her portrayal of Louisa Fenn on Boston Public, Karen Filippelli on The Office and Zoey Brooks in Descendants
Jones was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of media mogul and musician Quincy Jones and his then-wife, actress Peggy Lipton. Her father is African-American and her mother is Jewish, descended from immigrants from Ireland and Russia. She has an older sister, Kidada Jones, and five half-siblings by her father's other relationships. She was raised in Bel Air, California.
In his autobiography, Jones's father recalled how he would often find his five-year-old daughter under the covers after bedtime with a flashlight reading five books at a time. Jones also displayed musical ability at a young age by playing classical concerts and winning awards. Her mother told Entertainment Tonight that Jones is "also a fabulous singer and songwriter, so she has inherited it (from Quincy), there's no question about it. Her dad's teaching her how to orchestrate and arrange too."
Jones attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, where she made the National Honor Society and was voted "Most Likely To Succeed" by her classmates. She also attended Hebrew school. Jones's parents divorced when she was 14 years old; her sister subsequently remained with their father while she moved to Brentwood with their mother. In 1994, Jones garnered attention with an open letter responding to scathing remarks made by Tupac Shakur about her parents' interracial marriage. She later befriended Shakur, who was engaged to her sister Kidada Jones before he was killed. After high school, Jones left California to attend Harvard University.
At Harvard, Jones was a resident of Eliot House and belonged to the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, Harvard-Radcliffe Opportunes, Black Students Association and the "semi-secret" Signet Society. She was initially interested in becoming a lawyer but lost interest after being disillusioned by the O.J. Simpson murder case. Instead, she became involved in the performing arts, and served as musical director for the Opportunes a cappella group, co-composed the score for the 149th annual Hasty Pudding Theatricals performance, and acted in several plays. She studied Religion and Philosophy and graduated in 1997.
Jones made her professional acting debut in The Last Don, a 1997 mini-series based on the novel by Mario Puzo. She then appeared in Myth America, East of A and If These Walls Could Talk 2. In 2000, she guest starred as Karen Scarfolli in an episode of Freaks and Geeks before landing the role of Louisa Fenn on Boston Public. Between 2000 and 2002, she appeared in 26 episodes, earning an NAACP Image Award nomination in her final year. Though she only had a minor supporting role in the series, film opportunities quickly surfaced. She had a small role in Full Frontal, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and starred in Now You Know, written and directed by Kevin Smith regular Jeff Anderson. She also starred in short film Roadside Assistance with Adam Brody.
After Jones left Boston Public, she appeared in Death of a Dynasty, directed by Damon Dash, and two episodes of Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central. In 2004, she was cast in Strip Search, an HBO film directed by Sidney Lumet, but her scenes were cut from the final broadcast version. Later that year, she played Dr Rachel Keyes in Little Black Book and starred as Edie Miller in British drama series NY-LON. In 2005, Jones played Karen in the Stella pilot on Comedy Central and special government agent Carla Merced in the TNT police drama Wanted.
Jones joined the ensemble cast of The Office in September 2006, playing the role of Karen Filippelli. She appeared regularly during the third season and then returned as a guest star for two episodes in season four and another in season five. She also played Karen in the February 2007 Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Rainn Wilson, appearing briefly in the opening monologue's Office parody. Jones filmed cameo roles in The Ten and Role Models, both directed by David Wain, but the latter was cut from the theatrical version and appears only on the Blu-ray release. She then co-starred in Unhitched, the short-lived 2008 comedy series produced by the Farrelly brothers.
In January 2009, Jones voiced several characters in an episode of the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken. She played Hannah in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, an independent film written and directed by John Krasinski that screened in competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. She then played Zooey Rice in I Love You, Man, a Dreamworks comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Jones sold her first screenplay, co-written with actor Will McCormack, in March 2009. It is a comedy titled Celeste and Jesse Forever and she is attached to star in the film. Jones currently plays nurse Ann Perkins in the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. She will next star alongside Chris Messina in Monogamy, an indie romantic comedy directed by Dana Adam Shapiro.
Jones had a 2½ year relationship with actor Tobey Maguire, ending in 2000. Jones became engaged to the Grammy Award-winning music producer Mark Ronson in February 2003. He proposed on her 27th birthday, using a custom-made crossword puzzle spelling out "Will you marry me?". Their relationship ended approximately one year later. Jones then dated writer and performer Seth Meyers and actor John Krasinski, her co-star on The Office.Her character (Karen Fillipelli) dated his character (Jim Halpert) on this hit TV show. She briefly dated Jon Favreau, the Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama.
Though raised Jewish, Jones began practicing Hinduism in her early teens after her mother took her to an Ashram in India. Today, however, she practices Judaism and told a reporter, "In this day and age, you can choose how you practice and what is your relationship with God. I feel pretty strongly about my connection, definitely 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."
Belfast post-hardcore band Pigs as People have a song dedicated to her named 'Rashida'
Jones was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and also contributed to the Grammy Award-winning audio version of Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones.
|2000||East of A||Emily|
|Now You Know||Kerri|
|2003||Death of a Dynasty||Layna Hudson|
|2004||Little Black Book||Dr. Rachel Keyes|
|2007||The Ten||Hostess Rebecca Fornier|
|2009||Brief Interviews with Hideous Men||Hannah|
|I Love You, Man||Zooey|
|1997||The Last Don||Johanna||Miniseries|
|2000||If These Walls Could Talk 2||Feminist||Television movie, segment: "1972"|
|Freaks and Geeks||Karen Scarfolli||1 episode|
|2000-2002||Boston Public||Louisa Fenn||26 episodes|
|2003-2004||Chappelle's Show||Pam||2 episodes|
|2004||Strip Search||Television movie, scenes deleted|
|NY-LON||Edie Miller||7 episodes|
|Wanted||Detective Carla Merced||13 episodes|
|Our Thirties||Liz||Television movie|
|2006-2009||The Office||Karen Filippelli||24 episodes|
|2007||Wainy Days||Wainette Davids||1 episode|
|2009||Parks and Recreation||Ann Perkins||Main Cast|
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- Mullins, Anne Schroeder (2009-07-15). "Shenanigans: "Yep, they're dating"". Politico. http://www.politico.com/blogs/anneschroeder/0709/Yep_theyre_dating.html. Retrieved 2009-09-03.