Jon Heder
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  • Faith: Latter-day Saint
  • Career: Actor
  • Birthday:  October 26, 1977

Jon Heder is an actor best known for his role as the title character in the 2004 film "Napoleon Dynamite." He's also appeared in "Just Like Heaven," "The Benchwarmers," "School for Scoundrels," "Blades of Glory," "Mama's Boy," "When in Rome," and as Roy Disney in "Walt Before Mickey." Heder also provided voice work for the animated movies "Monster's House,” "Surf’s Up,” and “Pinocchio,” as well as the “Napoleon Dynamite” animated series.

Heder was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1977. He has an identical twin brother, an older sister, an older brother, and two younger brothers. When he was about two years old, his family moved to Salem, Oregon, where he attended Walker Middle School and graduated from South Salem High School in 1996. He was a member of the swim team and the drama club. Heder is also an Eagle Scout and served as a Scoutmaster in 2010.

In 2002, he graduated from Brigham Young University and worked on the short animated film “Pet Shop.” While attending BYU, he befriended Jared Hess and starred in Hess’ short film “Peluca,” which was later expanded into “Napoleon Dynamite.” The 2004 comedy film “Napoleon Dynamite,” filmed in Preston, Idaho, earned $44.5 million, and in June 2005, Heder received the MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Performance and Breakthrough Male Performance for the role. That same year, he hosted “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Ashlee Simpson. He and  his film co-star Efren Ramirez then filmed a series of commercials to promote the 2015 Utah State Fair and reprised their roles in a self-parody sketch, “Napoleon Bonamite” on “Robot Chicken.”

In 2005, Heder had a supporting role in the romantic comedy “Just Like Heaven.” The following year, he appeared in the comedy movie “The Sasquatch Gang” and had a starring role with David Spade and Rob Schneider in “The Benchwarmers,” a movie about three men making up for lost chances by creating their own Little League baseball team. In 2007, he co-starred with Will Ferrell in “Blades of Glory,” where he played one of two rival figure skaters who must team up in a pairs competition.

What religion is Jon Heder?

Jon Heder and his family are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During the height of his stardom, Heder shared how he turned down some roles due to his religious beliefs. In an interview with Huffington Post, he said, "I did get a lot of offers, especially back then, of stuff that I’m not comfortable with. A lot of the projects just seemed too raunchy. Quite honestly, a lot of it was that: the raunch factor. I’ve never been interested in doing those kinds of projects."

He continued, "Absolutely, it comes from how I was raised. It’s just kind of who I am. These are the standards I live by, and whatever comes my way in the future, whether filmmaking or animation or whatever, I’m going to do my best to live by those standards."

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