Joseph Gordon-Levitt: From Third Rock From The Sun to The Dark Knight Rises

Credits: Rebecca Brayton Mike
Joseph Gordon-Levitt was born on February 17th, 1981 in Los Angeles, California. Starting off in a musical theater group when he was only four years old, he went on to appeared in television commercials for various food products before beginning his film career at the age of six, before starring in the offbeat sports comedy “Angels in the Outfield,” and making it big in the role of Tommy Solomon on the hit sci-fi sitcom “3rd Rock from the Sun.” Since then, he has been recognized for his role in “500 Days of Summer", played the part of the disfigured Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe, co-starred in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” and reunited with the director as a beat cop in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises.
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt: From Third Rock From The Sun to The Dark Knight Rises

He started his rise to fame as an alien on a hit sitcom. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at the career of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt was born on February 17th, 1981 in Los Angeles, California. The young talent was the son of a radio station news director, and was the grandson of a Hollywood director. This helped him become involved in the arts at a young age.

He started by joining a musical theater group when he was only four years old, and then appeared in television commercials for various food products.

He officially began his film career at the age of six, and went on to appear in several made-for-television movies before making his official feature film debut in 1992’s “A River Runs Through It.” Following this, he starred alongside Christopher Lloyd and Danny Glover in the offbeat comedy “Angels in the Outfield,” and was the son of a single mother, played by Demi Moore, in the mafia trial film, “The Juror.”

He then took on a variety of roles, including a recurring spot on the TV show “Roseanne,” and a part as an autistic boy on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”

The young star became truly recognizable in 1996 when he took on the role of Tommy Solomon on the hit sci-fi sitcom, “3rd Rock from the Sun.” In that project, he portrayed a senior alien information officer who gathered information about Earth while masquerading as the youngest member of a Jewish family.

Gordon-Levitt continued to attend public high school during his tenure on the show. He found this difficult due to his status as a teen heartthrob, and begrudged his newfound fame.

Soon after, Gordon-Levitt starred in the comedy film “10 Things I Hate About You,” and then voiced the character of Jim Hawkins in the Disney animated feature “Treasure Planet.”

After these mainstream Hollywood appearances, Levitt decided to focus on more daring and memorable performances. These included his part as a mentally unstable youth in the 2001 drama, “Manic,” and the role of a gay prostitute in 2004’s “Mysterious Skin.”

Gordon-Levitt also continued his studies by enrolling at Columbia University. There, he studied history, literature and French poetry. Despite enjoying his studies, the star made the decision to drop out and refocus his attention on acting.

He then appeared in a string of critically acclaimed roles. He played a teenage loner who was investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend in “Brick,” became a judgmental missionary in “Latter Days,” played a janitor involved in a bank heist in “The Lookout,” and portrayed an American soldier in 2008’s “Stop-Loss.”

In 2009, Levitt was nominated for several awards for his role as architect Tom Hansen in the comedy drama “500 Days of Summer.” He also shocked audiences by starring as the disfigured Cobra Commander in the live-action film adaptation of “G.I. Joe.”

He then became a greasy-haired stoner in “Hesher,” thrilled audiences as Leonardo DiCaprio’s point-man in Christopher Nolan’s wildly imaginative and successful sci-fi project “Inception”, and struggled with cancer in 2011’s “50/50.”

Gordon-Levitt became involved in a number of other high-profile Hollywood hits: he was cast as a younger version of Bruce Willis in the time-travel thriller “Looper,” played a Gotham beat cop in “The Dark Knight Rises” and became a bike messenger that comes into conflict with a dirty cop in "Premium Rush." He did all of this while signing on to play the son of President Abraham Lincoln in 2012’s Steven Spielberg film, “Lincoln.”

While Gordon-Levitt was known as a dynamic actor, Levitt became famous for several of his side projects. He directed several short films, and formed an online collaborative production company called hitReCord.org where artists like himself could collaboratively create and develop videos, music, photography and other forms of art and media in a less formal setting.
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