Actor Jason Lee is one of those performers who has really become known for two of his most iconic roles. Kids (and families) will know him as the long suffering Dave who has been stuck with the task of looking after the mischievous chipmunks in the “Alvin & The Chipmunks” franchise, while adults will know him as the atonement seeking Earl in the hit television comedy series “My Name Is Earl.”
Jason Michael Lee was born on the April 25, 1970 in Orange County (California) to parents, Greg and Linda Lee. He was raised in Huntington Beach and attended Ocean View High School. It was during that period that he begun working on the skills that would see him become a household name as a professional skateboarder.
By the time he turned 18, Lee was already a popular member of the skateboarding circuit and was mostly known for his signature move – the ‘360 flip.’ It was his skateboarding career that saw him begin his film career when in 1991 he appeared in director Spike Jonze’s short film “Video Days.” Soon, Jonze included Lee in a couple of his projects including a video clip with the band Sonic Youth and giving him his first acting role in feature film “Mi vida loca,” a film that Jonze also acted in.
1995 saw Jason Lee also begin another feature film relationship when he teamed up with cult favorite director Kevin Smith who cast him in the hit comedy “Mallrats” alongside Shannon Doherty and Ben Affleck. After “Mallrats,” Smith also cast Lee in his big hit “Chasing Amy” and over time also appeared in other Smith films including “Dogma,” “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back,” “Jersey Girl,” “Cop Out” and “Clerks II.”
After the success of his roles in “Dogma” and “Chasing Amy” Lee soon found himself being cast in high profile films including “Enemy Of The State” (alongside Will Smith), “Almost Famous” and “Vanilla Sky” (with Tom Cruise).
In 2005, Jason Lee’s career really took off. First of all he was cast in the new comedy television show “My Name Is Earl,” which over the years saw him nominated for two Golden Globe awards. In the same year, Lee voiced a character in the animated short “Jack-Jack Attack” and this helped him discover a new talent. Soon, Lee was in high demand as a voice actor and after voicing a character in television series “American Dad” he soon found himself voicing characters in feature films such as “Monster House,” “Underdog” and “Noah” and the video games “Skate 3,” “Alvin & The Chipmunks” and “Disney Infinity.”
The success of “My Name Is Earle” soon saw Lee cast as the lovable loser Dave Seville in the “Alvin & The Chipmunks” franchise which has currently see Lee involved in all three films, while he is also set to star in the fourth installment due in cinemas in 2015.
Since “My Name Is Earl” wrapped production in 2009, Lee has also been involved in other television shows including “Memphis Beat,” “Up All Night” and “Raising Hope.”
Outside of his acting career, Lee still has a massive involvement in the skateboarding world. He is the co-founder and co-owner of “Stereo Skateboards” and “Stereo Sounds Clothing.” Lee is also involved in a number of charities including the Keep A Breast Foundation and also Tony Hawke’s Stand Up For Skateparks and the Tony Hawke Charitable Foundation.
When it comes to personal relationships Lee married actress and photographer Carmen Llywelyn in 1995, but the pair divorced in 2001 due to Lee’s commitment to Scientology. Lee then became involved with actress Beth Riesgraf and before they split in 2007 that had a son who was named Pilot ‘Standard’ Inspektor. On July 1, 2008 Lee married actress Ceren Alkac. They are still married and together have two children – a daughter named Casper (born on Nov. 24, 2008) and a son named Sonny Lee (born on June 16, 2012).
Jason Lee may not have dreamed of being an actor when he was younger but today he has one of the most recognizable faces in America. The next few years will see Lee turn his back on the small screen for a while and instead be appearing on the big screen in “Behaving Badly” (with Selena Gomez and Dylan McDermott), the action drama “Tell” (with Alan Tudyk and Katee Sackhoff) and of course “Alvin & The Chipmunks 4.”