Jason Lee was born in Orange, California. He was raised in
nearby Huntington Beach, where he attended Ocean View High
School, although he did not graduate.
Jason 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 company was revived by the pair in 2004 after having been defunct for several years.
Jason Lee was one of the first skateboarders to receive a pro model shoe, produced by Airwalk. His part in the 1991 Blind skateboards promotional video Video Days, shot by Spike Jonze, remains influential to this day. Today, he is remembered as one of the most influential and innovative street skaters of the early '90s.
Intrigued by a few minor acting roles, including the Spike Jonze-directed Sonic Youth music video for "100%" in 1992 and a small part in Allison Anders' 1993 film Mi Vida Loca, Lee decided to leave professional skating for a full-time acting career, surprising the skateboarding world. His first major movie role was in Kevin Smith's Mallrats 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, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl and Clerks II. Most consider Lee's acting career to have truly launched with his Independent Spirit Award-winning role in Chasing Amy as Banky Edwards, the pseudohomophobic comic book artist and best friend for life to Ben Affleck's character.
Jason Lee graduated to leading man roles in Stealing Harvard (alongside Tom Green) as well as A Guy Thing (alongside Julia Stiles). He has also appeared in minor roles in Enemy of the State, and Vanilla Sky, and has supporting roles in Almost Famous. Dreamcatcher, Big Trouble, and The Ballad of Jack and Rose, and Mumford. He also voiced the schizophrenic (according to the DVD Directors' Commentary) super villain 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 the Disney on Ice play Disney Presents Pixar's The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure.
Jason Lee's 2005 NBC sitcom, My Name Is Earl, in which he stars as Earl Hickey, a petty thief who finds karma and sets out to put right all his wrongs from the past using a list he has compiled of all the bad things he has ever done, debuted to critical acclaim and impressive ratings on September 20, 2005. It was quickly ordered for a full season—the first sitcom of the season to do so. Several months later, it was also quickly renewed for a second season. His performance on the show has resulted in 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.
Lee and his fiancée Beth Riesgraf have a son named Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee (b. September 28, 2003); the often-ridiculed name was inspired by the song "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot" by the band Granddaddy.
Jason Lee is a Scientologist.
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