His parents, Hal Braff, a well known trial attorney, and Anne Brodzinsky, a clinical psychologist, divorced and re-married others during Braff's childhood. One of his siblings, Joshua Braff, is an author. At the age of 10 Braff was diagnosed with Obsessive-compulsive disorder, and admits to having been unhappy within the public school system. Braff has wanted to be a filmmaker since his early childhood, and has described it as his "life dream".
He graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, where he worked in the school's television station. Braff graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in film where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. Braff began his career in stage productions of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Macbeth at New York City's Public Theater, and also appeared in Woody Allen's 1993 film Manhattan Murder Mystery. Zach Braff was briefly on the "The Baby-sitters Club" show in an episode entitled "Dawn Saves the Trees". Braff has played the role of protagonist John "J.D." Dorian on the sitcom Scrubs since the show's debut in 2001. Braff has been nominated for three Golden Globes and an Emmy for his role as the offbeat doctor.
In addition to directing several episodes of Scrubs, Braff wrote, directed, and starred in 2004's Garden State, which was filmed in his home state of New Jersey, in various towns such as South Orange, Maplewood, and Tenafly. Producers were initially reluctant to finance the film, which Braff wrote in six months. After the film's success, he was sent a large number of scripts that he rejected because they were the kinds of films that he "would never go see or have any interest in being in". In February 2005, he won a Grammy Award for "Best Compilation Soundtrack For A Motion Picture" for the Garden State soundtrack, on which he also served as the compilation producer. He has also done voice-acting, having voiced the title character for the Disney animated film Chicken Little (2005) and the video game Kingdom Hearts II.
In 2005, Braff was featured on Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd when he was tricked into chasing after a supposed vandal who appeared to be spray-painting his brand new Porsche. The episode aired March 20 2005. Braff has directed several music videos - Gavin DeGraw's "Chariot", Joshua Radin's "Closer" Cary Brothers' "Ride". and Lazlo Bane's "Superman", the theme song from Scrubs.
Despite winning a Grammy Award, choosing music for Scrubs, and directing three music videos, Braff has said that he "know nothing about music". In August 2006, Braff announced that he wanted to concentrate full-time on his film career and would leave Scrubs at the end of the show's sixth season, although he stated at that time that he would "miss" appearing on the show. As of March, 2007 Braff has signed a one-year deal for a seventh season. If NBC renews Scrubs he will reportedly earn $350,000 per episode, making him one of the highest paid male actors on television, alongside "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen. However, Braff claims that these reports "have not been very accurate".
Braff recently had a starring role in the romantic drama The Last Kiss, which opened on September 15, 2006. The film's plot revolves around a couple (played by Braff and Jacinda Barrett) dealing with adulthood and the problems that arise as each approaches thirty. Braff, who tweaked several parts of Paul Haggis' script for the film, noted that he could relate to his character, and wanted the script to be as "real as possible" and "really courageous" regarding its subject matter. The film's director, Tony Goldwyn, compared Braff to a younger version of Tom Hanks, describing Braff as "incredibly accessible to an audience...
a real guy, an everyman". As with Garden State, Braff was involved with the film's soundtrack; he served as executive producer and selected lesser known artists such as Imogen Heap, Josh Radin, Schuyler Fisk, and Rachael Yamagata, as well as Remy Zero, Coldplay, Turin Brakes and Aimee Mann, to appear on the track. The Last Kiss grossed approximately $11 million at the North American box office, and was considered a commercial disappointment, however, worldwide box office receipts and DVD rentals added $35 million more compared to a budget of $20 million for the film. In 2007, Braff starred in the film The Ex, which he has described as a "silly comedy", and which was released on May 11, 2007 and also starred Amanda Peet, Charles Grodin and Jason Bateman. On May 19, 2007, he hosted the 31st season finale of Saturday Night Live, where in one sketch, he plays a high schooler who tries to explain to the two snobby heads of the prom committee (Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph) how Garden State is an important film to his peers. Braff was in talks to star in the film Fletch Won and had signed on to play the role eventually played by Dane Cook in Mr.
Brooks, but dropped out of both roles to work on Open Hearts, which he will direct and adapt based on a Danish film. He has also co-written a film version of Andrew Henry's Meadow, a children's book, with his brother, and is scheduled to direct one of the segments for the film New York, Je T'Aime. Braff dated Bonnie Somerville around the same time he worked on Garden State. He specifically requested a song from her for the film's soundtrack. Braff started dating pop singer and actress Mandy Moore in the summer of 2004.
One of their first public sightings as a couple was when they arrived together at a fundraising event for the Democratic Party prior to the November 2004 election. In early 2006, unnamed sources told In Touch Weekly magazine that the couple were engaged. Braff called this a "total Internet rumor." Moore's representative denied the engagement. In response to tabloids now linking him to singer Jessica Simpson, he joked: "I wish I was leading a fraction of the life that the tabloids have me leading". Braff is friends with singer Lauryn Hill, who graduated from Columbia High School in 1993, the same year as Braff.
Braff mentions being great childhood friends with Hill, who went to his Bar Mitzvah in 1988. Braff is also a close friend of Scrubs co-star Donald Faison, having called Faison "one of his best friends in the world" on the special features of the Scrubs DVD. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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