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This article is about the actor. For the speechwriter, see Jon Favreau (speechwriter).

Jonathan "Jon" Favreau (pronounced /ˈfævroʊ/; born October 19, 1966) is an American actor, screenwriter and film director. He is best known for appearing in films including Rudy, I Love You, Man and Swingers, as well as directing such films as Elf, Iron Man, and its sequel Iron Man 2. He is also known for playing the role of Monica Geller's boyfriend during season 3 of the TV show, Friends.

Early life

Favreau was born in Flushing, New York, the son of Madeleine, an elementary school teacher who died of leukemia in 1979, and Charles Favreau, a special education teacher.[1] Favreau's mother was Jewish and his father is a Catholic of Italian and distant French-Canadian ancestry.[2][3][4] He graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1984 and attended Queens College from 1984 to 1987, before dropping out.[5] He briefly worked for Bear Stearns on Wall Street before returning to Queens College for a semester in early 1988. He dropped out of college for good (a few credits shy of completing his degree),[6] and in the summer of 1988, moved to Chicago to pursue a career in comedy. He performed at several Chicago improvisational theaters, including the ImprovOlympic and the Improv Institute.


While in Chicago, Favreau landed his first film role alongside Sean Astin as the pudgy tutor D-Bob in the classic sleeper hit Rudy (1993). Favreau met Vince Vaughn—who played a small role in this film—during shooting. The next year, he appeared in the college film PCU alongside Jeremy Piven, and also stepped into the world of television in the 1994 episode of Seinfeld titled "The Fire" as Eric the Clown. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he made his breakthrough in 1996 as an actor-screenwriter with the film Swingers, which was Vaughn's breakthrough role as the glib and extremely confident Trent Walker, a perfect foil to Favreau's heartbroken Mike Peters. In 1997 he appeared on the popular TV sitcom Friends portraying Pete Becker, whom Monica dates for several episodes, and who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

He rejoined Piven in 1998 as part of Very Bad Things (1998). In 1999 he starred in the TV movie Rocky Marciano, based on the life of the only undefeated world heavyweight champion in the world. He later appeared in Love & Sex (2000), co-starring Famke Janssen. Favreau got some screen time as lawyer Foggy Nelson in the 2003 movie Daredevil (2003) (considerably more in the Director's Cut version). In 2003 he also starred in The Big Empty, directed by Steve Anderson[disambiguation needed]. His character was John Person, an out of work actor given a strange mission to deliver a blue suitcase to a man named Cowboy in the desert. Earlier, Favreau appeared in 2000's The Replacements as maniacal linebacker Daniel Bateman. He was a guest-director for an episode of the college dramedy Undeclared in 2001.

In 2000, he played himself in a Sopranos episode as a Hollywood director who feigns interest in developing mob associate Christopher Moltisanti's execrable screenplay in order to collect material for his own screenplay.

In 2001, he made his (film) directorial debut with another self-penned screenplay, Made. Made once again teamed him up with his Swingers co-star Vince Vaughn. In the fall of 2003, he scored his first financial success as a director of the hit comedy Elf starring Will Ferrell and James Caan. Also in 2003, Favreau had a small part in Something's Gotta Give (a film starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson); Favreau played Leo, Harry Sanborn's (Nicholson) personal assistant, who visited Harry in the hospital. In 2005, Favreau directed the film adaptation of Zathura. Never to turn his back on acting, Favreau still makes regular appearances in film and television. He recently reunited with friend Vince Vaughn in the much-hyped hit romantic comedy The Break-Up and appeared in My Name Is Earl as a reprehensible fast food manager. Favreau also made a guest appearance in Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show.

Also in 2005, Jon appeared as a guest judge and executive representative of Sony corporation in week five of NBC primetime reality TV business show, The Apprentice. He was called upon to judge the efforts of the show's two teams of contestants, who were assigned the task of designing and building a float to publicise his 2005 Sony Pictures movie, Zathura.

File:Jon Favreau-2008.jpg

Favreau at an Iron Man photo call in Mexico City, April 2008

Favreau also has a TV series called Dinner for Five which airs on the cable TV channel IFC. On April 28, 2006, it was announced that Favreau was signed to direct the long awaited Iron Man movie.[7] Released on May 2, 2008, the film was a huge critical[8] and commercial[9] success, solidifying Favreau's reputation as a director. Favreau was the third director attached to John Carter of Mars, the film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' swashbuckling space hero. Robert Rodriguez and Kerry Conran were previously attached within the last two years. Mark Protosevich and Ehren Kruger have both written drafts. The Marshal in Revelation has been in development since Swingers was released. It's a western about a Hasidic gunslinger. At one time both Favreau and Vince Vaughn were to co-direct. Neanderthals is a CG animated film that Favreau will write and produce. Johnny Zero will cover the birth of the hot rod movement following World War II. Favreau will write and direct. Iron Man was the first Marvel-produced movie under their alliance with Paramount, and Favreau served as the director and an executive producer. He recently told MTV that he would like to be at the helm of an Avengers film. During early scenes in Iron Man Favreau appears as Tony Stark's loyal friend, and driver, Happy Hogan. He also wrote a mini-series for Marvel Knights titled Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas, that started in September 2008,[10] and directed the sequel Iron Man 2.

Favreau co-starred in 2009's Couples Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort, which he also wrote. The film saw him reunited with co-star Vince Vaughn, and Kristin Davis played his wife.[11] On June 22, 2009, it was announced that Favreau will provide the voice of a bear in Kevin James' The Zookeeper.

He also plays the voice-role of Mandalorian Pre Vizsla in the series Star Wars: The Clone Wars in various episodes.

Personal life

Favreau married Joya Tillem on November 24, 2000. The couple have three children, a son, Max, born July 25, 2001, and two daughters, Madeleine, born April 2003, and Brighton Rose, born August 2006. Joya Tillem is the niece of KGO (AM) lawyer/talk show host Len Tillem.[12]

Favreau also plays on the World Poker Tour in the Hollywood Home games for the Cancer Care charity.

Favreau credits Dungeons & Dragons with giving him "...a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance."[13]

Favreau frequently Tweets during his day, which included updates from rehearsals[14] of Iron Man 2.



Year Title
2001 Made
2003 Elf
2005 Zathura
2008 Iron Man
2010 Iron Man 2
2011 Cowboys & Aliens
2012 Iron Man 3


Year Title
1996 Swingers
2001 Made
2002 The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest
2009 Couples Retreat



Favreau in March 2009

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  1. Swing and a Hit, People Magazine, November 1996
  2. A Hollywood Scene He Knows Too Well
  3. A Gift From Santa's Jewish Helpers by Naomi Pfefferman at, December 26, 2003
  4. Stack, Peter (October 18, 1996). The San Francisco Chronicle  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. Scott Bowles, "Favreau's a Comic-Book Hero." USA Today, May 7 2010, pp. 1D-2D.
  6. Lighting up the arts - Spotlight on a few of the extraordinary Queens College alumni who have gone onto successful careers in the Arts, Q Magazine, Fall 2006, pp. 8–9
  7. Kit, Borys (April 28, 2006). "Marvel Studios outlines slew of superhero titles". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2006-05-13. Retrieved 2006-04-29. 
  8. Yamato, Jen (2008-05-01). "Iron Man is the Best-Reviewed Movie of 2008!". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  9. "Iron Man (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  10. Behind the Scenes of Iron Man with Director Jon Favreau, page 2,
  11. Trio of Ladies Going on Couples Retreat" TV Guide. October 15, 2008. Retrieved on October 15, 2008.
  12. On air discussion "Len Tillem Program" KGO Radio 2008-12-29
  13. Boucher, Geoff (2008-05-05). "Jon Favreau is the action figure behind 'Iron Man'". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times). Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  14. Jon Favreau Tweets 'Iron Man 2' Rehearsals

External links

Template:Jon Favreau

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