Guest Author - Carol Taller
Zachary Israel Braff, American actor, director, producer, and writer, was born April 6, 1975. He achieved fame portraying Dr. John Dorian in the television series “Scrubs”. This was his first major role, and he was nominated for three Golden Globes and an Emmy on the show. He directed several episodes, including their 100th anniversary episode.
Braff was born in South Orange, New Jersey. His father Hal was a trial attorney and a sociology professor, and his mother Anne Brodzinsky was a clinical psychologist. Both parents were Jewish; they divorced and remarried when Braff was young.
Braff claims that being a film maker was his lifelong dream. As a teen, he went for performing arts training. He attended Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey where he worked on the school’s television station. He was classmates with actress/singer Lauren Hill.
Braff graduated from Northwestern University with a BS degree, and was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. After graduation, he appeared in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan Murder Mystery” and some brief Shakespeare productions at the Public Theater in New York City.
In 2004, after only six months of writing, Braff directed, produced and starred in the film “Garden State”. The movie was a coming of age film written about his home state and filmed within the state of New Jersey. Producers were reluctant to finance the film, but it grossed over $35 million at the box office and attained high praise from the critics. It was produced on a budget of only $2.5 million.
In 2006 Braff starred in a romantic drama called “The Last Kiss”. The movie was considered a commercial disappointment grossing only $11 million at the box office, but DVD rentals added $35 million to the gross, bringing in more than twice the production cost of $20 for the film.
In 2007 Braff starred in a comedy called “The Ex”. The film received mixed reviews and did not do well at the box office.
Braff’s voice over career has done well. He was the leading role in “Chicken Little”, as well as commercials for “Pur”, “Wendy’s” and “Cottenelle”.
In 2010 Braff took the lead role in “Trust”, a contemporary off Broadway production in Manhattan. In 2011 a play called “All New People”, a play that Braff has just written, will be produced. The play is about a 35 year old man from New Jersey.