Born Thomas Jacob Black in August 1969, the Santa Monica native, who grew up in Hermosa Beach, California, landed his first entertainment gig in 1982 in a commercial for the Pitfall! video game. His love for the performing arts continued when he attended the University of California, Los Angeles, after graduating from the Crossroads School. While at UCLA, he participated in a theater group called The Actors’ Gang. During his sophomore year, he dropped out to pursue an acting career.
He landed his debut film role in 1992’s Bob Roberts through Tim Robbins, whom he knew through their UCLA acting troupe. In time, he nabbed major starring roles in films including High Fidelity, Goosebumps, The Holiday and King Kong. However, he has become best-known for his comedic performances in films such as Shallow Hal, School of Rock, Tropic Thunder and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
Outside of acting, Black has been in a band called Tenacious D since 1994 alongside pal Kyle Gass. The musical duo had a self-titled HBO series before releasing their debut album in 2001.
The star has received Golden Globes nominations in 2004 for Nacho Libre and 2013 for Bernie. Through Tenacious D, he was nominated for a Grammy in 2013 for best comedy album and won the coveted prize in 2015 for best metal performance.
Black wed Tanya Haden in 2006. They welcomed sons Samuel Jason in 2006 and Thomas David in 2008.