Jason Michael Lee (born April 25, 1970) is an American actor and former professional skateboarder. Lee is best known for his roles in the films of director Kevin Smith and the television show My Name Is Earl.
Lee was born in Orange County, California
, the son of Carol (née
Weaver), a homemaker, and Greg Lee. He was raised in Huntington Beach
and attended Ocean View High School
Lee was a prominent professional skateboarder in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Notable tricks
performed by Lee included: 360 flips
, kickflip backside tailslides, and curb cut
launched Japan airs. He was co-founder of Stereo Skateboards
with Chris Pastras in 1992; the pair revived the company in 2003 after it had been defunct for several years. Chris Pastras' first Stereo Skateboard was famously thrown into a sulfur pit as part of the company's edgy advertisement campaign.
Lee and Tony Hawk were the first two skateboarders to receive a pro model shoe with Airwalk and also professional contracts with Element Skateboards. He had a part in the 1991 Blind skateboards video Video Days, shot by Spike Jonze. He also lent his voice and likeness to the skateboarding video-game Tony Hawk's Project 8.
In 2004, Jason Lee's skateboarding was featured in the video "Way Out East!", a video by his company, "Stereo" Skateboards.
After taking some minor acting roles, including the Jonze-directed Sonic Youth music video
," in 1992 and a small part in Allison Anders
' 1993 film Mi Vida Loca
, Lee left professional skating for a full-time acting career. His first major movie role was in Kevin Smith
which became a cult hit. He remained a close friend of Smith and has appeared in most of the director's works, including Chasing Amy
, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
, Jersey Girl
, and Clerks II
. Lee won an Independent Spirit Award
for his role in Chasing Amy
as Banky Edwards, a comic book inker
Lee graduated to leading man roles in Heartbreakers (alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Stealing Harvard (alongside Tom Green) as well as A Guy Thing (alongside Julia Stiles). He has had supporting roles in Vanilla Sky, Almost Famous as an egotistical rock star, Dreamcatcher, Big Trouble, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, and Mumford, as well as a minor role in Enemy of the State. Lee also voiced the supervillain Syndrome in the animated movie The Incredibles and its DVD bonus video Jack-Jack Attack. Lee reprised the role as a "robot copy" of Syndrome in the 2006 Disney on Ice play Disney Presents Pixar's The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure. He is also the voice of Underdog in Underdog, and plays Dave Seville in the film Alvin and the Chipmunks.
On January 28, 2008, Jason Lee guest appeared as Kevin Bacon on internet rock comedy show Yacht Rock.
Lee was offered the lead role in the 2005 NBC sitcom
, My Name Is Earl
. According to interviews on the first season DVD
, he passed on the series twice before finally agreeing to read the pilot
. In the series, Lee stars as Earl Hickey
, a petty thief who finds karma
and sets out to put right all his past wrongs. The series received critical acclaim and strong ratings on its debut (September 20
). A hit for NBC, the show was quickly ordered for a full season — the first sitcom of the season to do so. Several months later, it was renewed for a second season. Lee received a Golden Globe
nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy
as well as a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award
for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. My Name is Earl
is currently in its fourth season, once again receiving high ratings from viewers. The third season saw appearances from past cast members as well as celebrities such as comedian Howie Mandel
and actress Alyssa Milano
and The Incredibles
co-star Craig T. Nelson
Earl's brother Randy is played by Ethan Suplee, with whom Lee previously appeared in the movies Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Clerks II.
Lee married actress and photographer Carmen Llywelyn
in 1995, but they divorced in 2001. August 10th, 2008, Lee and his fiancée Ceren Alkaç gave birth to a daughter.
Lee has a substantial collection of rare motorcycles which he rides daily. He owns a rare post-war custom Falcon Motorcycle which he unveiled on May 3, with its builder at this year's Legend Of The Motorcycle.
Lee is a member of the Church of Scientology and is on the Board of Advisors for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights,
an organization founded by the Church of Scientology "dedicated to investigating and exposing psychiatric violations of human rights."