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Rashida Jones

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Rashida Leah Jones (born February 25, 1976 in Los Angeles, California), is an American actress, writer, model, and musician, best known for her portrayal of Karen Filippelli on The Office.

Early life

Rashida is the youngest daughter of actress Peggy Lipton from her marriage to media mogul Quincy Jones. Her name "Rashida" comes from Arabic, meaning "rightly guided". She and her older sister Kidada were raised in Bel Air, California. She was educated at the Buckley School where she achieved academic distinction. Rashida also attended Hebrew school and made the National Honor Society.

In his autobiography, her father recalled how he would often find 5-year old Rashida under the covers after bedtime with a flashlight reading five books. Around the same age Jones was already playing classical concerts and winning awards. Her mother told Entertainment Tonight, "She's also a fabulous singer and songwriter, so she has inherited it (from Quincy), there's no question about it. Her dad's teaching her how to orchestrate and arrange too."

From Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones:

"I started taking piano lessons when I was five, and I would play two part Bach inventions before I knew how to read music. I'd hear my teacher play it and I'd play it myself from memory. I have a photographic memory like my dad, but in some ways it's a disability. Because I have a strong ear and pick up all things musical quickly, I never learned to sight read well. My father has always taught me, though, that a strong ear is not enough; you've got to get a command of the theory. I'm still working on that."

When she was 10 years old, her parents divorced and Jones lived with her mother until she left to attend Harvard University. She garnered attention with an open letter in response to scathing remarks made by Tupac Shakur about her parents' mixed marriage. She later befriended Shakur, who became engaged to her sister. While attending Harvard, she initially was interested in becoming a lawyer, but lost interest as a result of watching the O.J. Simpson trial. Instead, she became involved in theatre. She studied religion and philosophy at Harvard and graduated in 1997.

Acting

While it initially started off as a hobby, in 1998 Jones began her acting career in earnest, appearing in The Last Don. Jones has since appeared in Myth America, East of A, If These Walls Could Talk II, and Little Black Book.

She eventually landed the role of Louisa Fenn on Boston Public, which earned her an NAACP Image Award nomination. Though she only had a minor supporting role in the series, other opportunities quickly surfaced. She sought out roles in independent films as well as on the stage.

She guest starred as Karen Scarfoli on Freaks and Geeks.

She played the part of the downstairs neighbor, Karen, on the Stella pilot on Comedy Central.

She also played special government agent Carmen Merced on the TNT show Wanted.

She played the female lead, Edie, on the seven episode drama NY-LON

She joined the cast of The Office in September 2006 when it began its third season, and has been cast in the pilot for the upcoming comedy The Rules of Starting Over.

Rashida Jones played a character on an episode of Chappelle's Show, in which she was asked by Dave Chappelle to sign the "Love Contract," and later, the "Confidentiality Agreement."

She had a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live when Rainn Wilson hosted. During Wilson's monologue, he passes her in the hall and addresses Jones as "Karen," her character's name on The Office.

Singer

Member and music director for Harvard oldest co-ed a cappella group, The Harvard Opportunes. They performed an arrangement composed by Quincy Jones himself on the 1997 CD, Candy For The Children.

Jones sang backup on the tracks "Tangled" and "Secret" from Maroon 5's hit record, Songs About Jane.

Can be heard singing backup in the The Gap commercial "Dress You Up". Jones is also featured in the commercials "Mellow Yello" and "Crazy Stripes."

Jones appears as a singing guest on Tupac Shakur's tribute album The Rose That Grew From Concrete, on the track "Starry Night," which is accompanied by her father' vocals, Mac Mall's rapping, and her half-brother QD3's production.

Also sang in some episodes of Boston Public and for charitable events such as the What A Pair Benefit to raise money for breast cancer research.

Sings lead in the song "When Your Man Is Wild" with Craig Wedren on the soundtrack for the 2005 film The Baxter.

Can be heard singing backup in the song "Miami" from the 2007 film Reno 911: Miami.

Writer and composer

Jones' written work has appeared in Teen Vogue. She also wrote chapter 36 of her father's biography Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones.

Co-composed the score for Hasty Pudding Theatricals while at Harvard University (1997)

Model

Rashida Jones has modeled for major clothing labels. Examples include Triple 5 Soul and The Gap. She has also appeared in editorials for magazines such as In Style and O Magazine.

Awards

In 2002 Jones was chosen as one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," as well as one of Harper's Bazaar's "Best Dressed Women In America."

She was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

She also contributed to the Grammy Award winning audio version of Q: The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones.

Philanthropic efforts

Rashida Jones has worked to promote Peace Games, which teaches children to resolve conflict without violence. She has been a board member since 2004 and holds several yearly benefits to raise money for the organization

Trivia

Jones has played characters named Karen in four different series.

Featured in The Boy Least Likely To video, "Be Gentle With Me"

She can wiggle one ear at a time.[citation needed]

She can also raise one eyebrow at a time.[citation needed]

Though Jewish by birth (because her mother is Jewish), she started practicing Hinduism in her early teens after her mother took her to an Ashram in India.3] Today, however, she is a practicing Jew, having told a reporter, "In this day and age, you can choose how you practice and what is your relationship with God. I feel pretty strongly about my connection, definitely through the Jewish traditions and the things that I learned dating the guy that I dated. My boyfriends tend to be Jewish and also be practicing".

Jones's ancestry is Cherokee, West African and Welsh [on her dad's side] and Russian Jewish [on her mom's].

According to her freshman playbill biography at Harvard, she "enjoys bungee-jumping, parasailing, skydiving, and other various life-threatening situations. She also likes to solve the economic catastrophes of the world in her spare time."

Filmography

The Office (2006-) - Karen Filippelli

Wanted (2005) - Carmen Merced

NY-LON (2004) - Edie Miller

Little Black Book (2004) - Dr. Rachel Keyes

Death of a Dynasty (2003) - Layna Hudson

Now You Know (2002) - Kerri

Full Frontal (2002)

Roadside Assistance (2001) - Luci

Boston Public (2000-02) Louisa Fenn

If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000) - Feminist

East of A (2000) - Emily

Myth America (1998)

The Last Don (1997) (mini) - Johanna

TV guest appearances

Stella (2005) - "Karen" in episode: "Pilot" (episode # 1.1)

Chappelle's Show (2004) - "Woman in 'Love Contract'" (episode # 2.4)

Chappelle's Show (2003) - "Pam" (episode # 1.5)

Freaks and Geeks (2000) - "Karen Scarfolli" in episode: "Kim Kelly Is My Friend" (episode # 1.4)

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