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Jonathan Joseph "Jon" Heder (born October 26, 1977) is an Americanmarker actor, filmmaker and screenwriter. He is best known for playing the title character of the 2004 comedy film Napoleon Dynamite. He has also acted in the films The Benchwarmers, School for Scoundrels, Blades of Glory, and Mama's Boy, and provided voice talents in the animated films Monster House and Surf's Up.

Early life

Heder was born in Fort Collins, Coloradomarker, and is one of six children of family practice physician Dr. James Heder and his wife Helen. He has an identical twin brother named Dan. He also has an older sister and brother, Rachel and Doug, and two younger brothers, Adam and Matt. Heder attended Walker Middle School in Salem, Oregonmarker and later graduated from South Salem High School in Salem, in 1996. He is a former member of the swim team at South Salem High. In addition, he was a staff member of the Drama Association, DRAMA, in 1995. In the issue, there is a piece of art by Jon Heder that resembles a liger.

Heder is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served an LDS mission in Japanmarker, for which he learned to speak Japanese.

A 2002 alumnus of Brigham Young Universitymarker, Heder worked on the short CGI animated film "Pet Shop", written by Logan Deans, which earned a non-traditional animation student Emmy in 2005. After his movie career took off, he did not return to complete the work he started on the short, although his name does appear in the credits. Also, while attending BYU he befriended Jared Hess and starred in his short film Peluca, which was later expanded into Napoleon Dynamite. Peluca received rave reviews on the BYUmarker campus after showing at a few college and local film festivals and competitions.

Heder is the nephew by marriage of former NFL running back and current WCAUmarker sports caster, Vai Sikahema.


Napoleon Dynamite, filmed in Preston, Idahomarker, earned more revenue than almost any other Sundance movie. In June 2005, Heder received the MTV Movie Award for Best Musical Performance and Breakthrough Male Performance for the role. On October 8, 2005, he hosted Saturday Night Live with musical guest Ashlee Simpson. After his success with Napoleon Dynamite, for which he was paid only $1,000, Heder and his film co-star Efren Ramirez filmed a series of commercials to promote the 2005 Utahmarker State Fair. They appear as their characters from Napoleon Dynamite; in at least one commercial, they are shown with the FFA medals that they won in the context of the movie.

He appeared in the film The Sasquatch Gang. He had a supporting role as a clerk in a new age bookstore in the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven. He also starred alongside Rob Schneider and David Spade as part of the trio in producer Adam Sandler's The Benchwarmers (2006), a comedy about three grown men making up for lost chances by creating their own Little League baseball team. He was the voice of the character Skull in the animated film Monster House, and starred in the comedy School for Scoundrels, opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Jacinda Barrett. With the exception of the Academy Award-nominee Monster House, Heder's post-Dynamite movies were widely panned and he risked becoming a one-hit wonder until he co-starred in 2007 with Will Ferrell in the well-received Blades of Glory (2007). Like many of Heder's films, Blades of Glory is an absurd, slapstick caricature, in this case revolving around male figure skaters who must team up in a pairs competition.

Heder's second turn at voice acting came in 2007 when he voiced the character of Chicken Joe, a surfing chicken, in the animated film Surf's Up. His first foray into web television was in the 2008 web series Woke Up Dead starring and produced by Heder. Woke Up Dead is a web-based, live-action sci-fi comedy thriller about Drex, a twenty-something USC student who wakes up underwater in the bathtub one morning and suspects that he might be dead.

Jon and his twin brother Dan star together as villains in the fourth installment of the popular internet martial arts comedy series Sockbaby.

Personal life

Heder lives with his wife Kirsten Heder in Los Angeles, Californiamarker. The two have been married since 2002. The couple had a girl, Evan Jane Heder, on April 6, 2007.

Jon and Dan

Jon stated during an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman that he and his identical twin, Dan, think alike and, as children, would often finish each other's sentences (a common occurrence with identical twins). When Letterman asked him whether being an identical twin is a good experience, Dan replied that it is mostly good and that as children "we caused a lot trouble by pretending to be the other, the memories still give me a good chuckle."


Year Film Role Notes
2004 Napoleon Dynamite Napoleon Dynamite Main Role co-writer (uncredited)
2005 Just Like Heaven Darryl Supporting Role
2006 The Benchwarmers Clark Reedy Main Role
Monster House Reginald "Skull" Skulinski Voice Role
School for Scoundrels Roger Main Role
2007 The Sasquatch Gang Lazer Tag Employee Supporting Role
Blades of Glory Jimmy MacElroy Main Role
Surf's Up Chicken Joe Voice Role
Moving McAllister Orlie Main Role
Mama's Boy Jeffrey McMannus Main Role
2010 When in Rome post-production



  1. Jon Heder Biography from
  2. "Dan Gross | Vai not big fan of actor/kin" article from
  3. Jon Heder To Star in Electric Farm’s ‘Woke Up Dead’
  4. Jon Heder and His Wife Have a Girl via website

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