Jason Segel attends Apple TV +'s Primetime Emmy Party at Mother Wolf on January 15, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

Jason Jordan Segel was born on January 18, 1980, in Los Angeles, California. He began his career as stoner “freak” Nick Andopolis on the critically acclaimed but short-lived 1999 NBC comedy-drama series Freaks and Geeks. He starred alongside other rising stars like Linda Cardellini, James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Busy Philipps. Judd Apatow executive produced the series, his first collaboration of many with the producer and director. Then, the actor had a recurring role on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Neil Jansen in 2004. The following year, he landed the starring role as Marshall Eriksen on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother until the series finale in 2014. He was selected for the role because show creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas were huge fans of his work on Freaks and Geeks.

Segel’s Film Career

Segel made his film debut in 1998 with Can’t Hardly Wait alongside Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, and Peter Facinelli. His other early film appearances include Dead Man on Campus, SLC Punk!, Slackers, and The Good Humor Man before appearing in 2007’s Knocked Up, directed by Judd Apatow. The next year, he starred as the lead in 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a film he wrote and Apatow produced. The story for the film was taken from a real-life breakup experience Segel had with his former co-star Linda Cardellini, as well as three other unnamed women. He clarified that the “naked breakup” did not involve Cardellini, but that had happened to him in real life. Then, in 2009, he starred alongside Paul Rudd in Apatow’s I Love You, Man. More than an actor and writer, Segel is also a talented musician and songwriter, having his songs appearing in many of his most well-known television and film projects.

RELATED: Jason Segel Was ‘Really Unhappy’ Filming The End Of ‘How I Met Your Mother’

Take a look at his five best roles in film and television below:

  • 5. 'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty'

    Though the show got cancelled after only two seasons, Segel’s character as the meek Lakers assistant coach Paul Westhead was a fantastic performance. In fact, the whole cast’s renditions of the real-life coaches and players were delightfully entertaining to watch. Perhaps people thought the show was to be a documentary, but as Segel perfectly explained it to The Hollywood Reporter, it was more so a “superhero origin story.”

  • 4. 'Freaks and Geeks'

    Though Segel’s major television breakthrough began with Freaks and Geeks, the show had little success when it first aired in 1999, due to an erratic episode schedule and conflicts between the creators and NBC, so it was canceled after airing 12 out of the 18 episodes. The series became a cult classic, however, and is credited for launching the careers of the young actors, including James Franco, Seth Rogen, Busy Philipps, John Francis Daley, Martin Starr, Samm Levine, and Linda Cardellini.

  • 3. 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'

    Just the beginning alone lets you know what kind of ride you’re in for when a full-frontal nude Peter (Segel) gets pathetically dumped by his actress girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). He said to get through the nude scene he “drank a lot” and recalled pacing drunk, with voices in his head saying, “Jason, what are you doing?” The whole cast is hilarious, featuring Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, and Mila Kunis. Segel’s rise from depression from his breakup makes for a feel-good rom-com classic.

  • 2. 'I Love You, Man'

    This 2009 film would have remained our top Jason Segel role, had it not been for a recent knockout role blowing this one off the pedestal. As for being his best comedic role, I Love You, Man still has us in stitches as Segel and Paul Rudd make for the best duo. There are so many amazing quotes in the unhinged comedy film, we can recite most of the film’s dialogue by heart.

  • 1. 'Shrinking'

    AppleTV sure has its gems when it comes to fantastic television series. In Shrinking, Segel plays a therapist who, right off the bat, shows that he himself needs help. Grieving the loss of his wife, Segel’s Jimmy navigates how to raise his teenage daughter, all while discovering that he can better help his patients by ignoring his training and ethics. The cast also includes Harrison Ford, Jessica Williams, Michael Urie, Christa Miller, Luke Tennie, and Lukita Maxwell. The show has us looking deep within ourselves during the show’s heavier elements, with romance and comedy sprinkled throughout.

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