The daughter of director Stephen Gyllenhaal (Waterland ) and screenwriter Naomi Foner (Running on Empty ), and the sister of hot young Hollywood heartthrob Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko , The Good Girl , Moonlight Mile ), Maggie Gyllenhaal seems to have all the makings of a successful young starlet with her Tinseltown background and curiously unique beauty.
Born in 1977, Gyllenhaal got some early screen breaks thanks to roles in such Stephen Gyllenhaal films as Waterland (1992) and Homegrown (1998). Soon graduating from Columbia University with an English degree, pretty Gyllenhaal continued to refine her acting skills on the stages of New York and London theaters in such productions as The Tempest and The Butterfly Project. Her ascent into the collective film conscience continued with a humorous turn in director John Waters' anarchic Cecil B. Demented and alongside younger brother Jake in the surreal teen fantasy Donnie Darko (2001). Soon gaining more prominent roles alongside such hot Hollywood actors as Drew Barrymore (Riding in Cars With Boys ) and Josh Hartnett (40 Days and 40 Nights ), Gyllenhaal would turn up later in 2002 in eccentric director Spike Jonze's sophomore effort, Adaptation.