Rashida is the youngest daughter of actress Peggy Lipton from her marriage to
music legend Quincy Jones. Jones' name "Rashida" comes from Arabic, meaning
"wise". Rashida Jones is the younger sister of Kidada Jones.
Raised in Bel Air, California, Jones was educated at the Buckley School where she achieved academic distinction. In his autobiography, her father recalled how he would often find 5-year old Rashida under the covers after bedtime with a flashlight reading five books. Around the same age Jones was already playing classical concerts and winning awards. Her mother told Entertainment Tonight, "She's 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."
"I started taking piano lessons when I was five, and I would play two part Bach inventions before I knew how to read music. I'd hear my teacher play it and I'd play it myself from memory. I have a photographic memory like my dad, but in some ways it's a disability. Because I have a strong ear and pick up all things musical quickly, I never learned to sight read well. My father has always taught me, though, that a strong ear is not enough; you've got to get a command of the theory. I'm still working on that."
When Rashida Jones was 10 years old, her parents divorced and Jones lived with her mother until she left to attend Harvard University. While attending Harvard, she initially was interested in becoming a lawyer, but lost interest as a result of watching the O.J. Simpson trial. As a result, Rashida Jones became involved in theatre. Rashida Jones garnered attention with an open letter in response to scathing remarks made by Tupac Shakur about her parents' mixed marriage. She later befriended Shakur, who became engaged to her sister. Rashida Jones studied religion and philosophy at Harvard and graduated in 1997.
Rashida Jones as Singer
Member and music director for Harvard oldest co-ed a cappella group, The Harvard Opportunes. They performed an arrangement composed by Quincy Jones himself on the 1997 CD, Candy For The Children.
Jones sang backup on the tracks "Tangled" and "Secret" from Maroon 5's hit record, Songs About Jane.
Can be heard singing backup in the The Gap (clothing retailer) commercial "Dress You Up". Jones is also featured in the commercials "Mellow Yello" and "Crazy Stripes".
Jones appears as a singing guest on Tupac Shakur's tribute album The Rose That Grew From Concrete, on the track "Starry Night", which is accompanied by her father' vocals, Mac Mall's rapping, and her half-brother QD3's production.
Also sang in some episodes of Boston Public and for charitable events such as the What A Pair Benefit to raise money for breast cancer research.
Rashida Jones as Writer/Composer
Jones's written work has appeared in Teen Vogue. She also wrote chapter 36 of her father's biography Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones.
Co-composed the score for Hasty Pudding Theatricals while at Harvard University (1997)
Rashida Jones as Model
Rashida Jones has modeled for major clothing labels. Examples include Triple 5 Soul and The Gap. She has also appeared in editorials for magazines such as In Style and O Magazine.
Philanthropic efforts for Rashida Jones
Rashida Jones has worked to promote Peace Games, which teaches children to resolve conflict without violence. Peace Games Organization She has been a board member since 2004 and holds several yearly benefits to raise money for the organization
Acting List for Rashida Jones
While it initially started off as a hobby, in 1998 Jones began her acting career in earnest, appearing in The Last Don. Jones has since appeared in Myth America, East of A, If These Walls Could Talk II, and Little Black Book.
She eventually landed the role of Louisa Fenn on Boston Public, which earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination. Though she only had a minor supporting role in the series, other opportunities quickly surfaced. She sought out roles in independent films as well as on the stage.
She played the part of the downstairs neighbor, Karen, on the Stella (TV series) pilot on Comedy Central.
She also played special government agent Carmen Merced on the TNT show Wanted.
She played the female lead, Edie, on the 7-episode drama NY-LON | BBC America link.
She joined the cast of The Office in September 2006 when it began its third season, and has been cast in the pilot for the upcoming comedy The Rules of Starting Over.
TV Guest Appearances for Rashida Jones
Stella (2005) - "Karen" in episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1)
Chappelle's Show (2004) - "Woman in 'Love Contract'" (episode # 2.4)
Chappelle's Show (2003) - "Pam" (episode # 1.5)
Freaks and Geeks (2000) - "Karen Scarfolli" in episode: "Kim Kelly Is My Friend" (episode # 1.4)
Film List for Rashida Jones
The Office (2006-) - Karen Filippelli
Wanted (2005) - Carmen Merced
NY-LON (2004) - Edie Miller
Little Black Book (2004) - Dr. Rachel Keyes
Death of a Dynasty (2003) - Layna Hudson
Now You Know (2002) - Kerri
Full Frontal (2002)
Roadside Assistance (2001) - Luci
Boston Public (2000-02) Louisa Fenn
If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) - Feminist
East of A (2000) - Emily
Myth America (1998)
The Last Don (1997) (mini) - Johanna
Awards for Rashida Jones
In 2002 Jones was chosen as one of People Magazine's "50
Most Beautiful People,"as well as one of Harper's Bazaar's "Best Dressed
Women In America."
She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.
She also contributed to the Grammy Award winning audio version of Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones.
Trivia for Rashida Jones
Jones has played characters named Karen in three different series.
Featured in The Boy Least Likely To video, "Be Gentle With Me" music video
She can wiggle one ear at a time.
Has a photographic memory.
Jones's ancestry is Cherokee, West African and Welsh.
According to her freshman playbill biography at Harvard, she "enjoys bungee-jumping, parasailing, skydiving, and other various life-threatening situations. She also likes to solve the economic catastrophes of the world in her spare time."
She dated co-star John Krasinski, mirroring their characters' romantic involvement on The Office), and was engaged to Mark Ronson. She also dated actor Tobey Maguire.
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