Born (1976-10-11) October 11, 1976 (age 47) Alma mater Boston University (B.F.A.) Occupation Actress Years active 1994-present Spouse(s) Children 2 Parents Relatives Zooey Deschanel (sister)

Emily Erin Deschanel (/ˌdeɪʃəˈnɛl/; born October 11, 1976) is an American actress. She is well-known for her portrayal of Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan in the long-running Fox crime procedural series Bones (2005-2017).

Early life and education

Deschanel was born in Los Angeles, California, to cinematographer and director Caleb Deschanel and actress Mary Jo Deschanel (née Weir). Her younger sister is actress and singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel. Her paternal grandfather was French, from Oullins, Rhône; her roots also include Swiss, Dutch, English, Irish, and other French ancestry.

Deschanel attended Harvard-Westlake School and Crossroads School in Los Angeles.


In 1994, Deschanel made her feature film debut in the romantic comedy-drama It Could Happen to You, on which her father worked as chief cinematographer. Her next notable role was as Pam Asbury in Stephen King’s horror miniseries Rose Red in 2002. Then she appeared in Cold Mountain, The Alamo, and Glory Road and was named one of “six actresses to watch” by Interview Magazine in 2004.

In 2005, Deschanel was cast as Dr. Temperance Brennan on the Fox crime procedural comedy-drama Bones, based on the novels and the career of forensic anthropologist and author Kathy Reichs, created by Hart Hanson. The series ran for 12 seasons from September 13, 2005, to March 28, 2017. For her performance, she received a 2006 Satellite Award nomination and a 2007 Teen Choice Award nomination. Deschanel and co-star David Boreanaz served as co-producers at the start of the show’s third season, before becoming producers in the middle of the show’s fourth season. While Bones was still in production, Deschanel also played the Brennan character on a 2015 episode of Sleepy Hollow and a 2016 episode of BoJack Horseman.

Deschanel, with Alyson Hannigan, Jaime King, Minka Kelly, and Katharine McPhee made a video slumber party featured on to promote regular breast cancer screenings for the organization Stand Up 2 Cancer. In recent years, her passion for animal welfare has led her to providing the narration for My Child Is a Monkey and serving as an associate producer on the documentary film How I Became an Elephant. Deschanel ranked number 72 in The 2012 Hot 100 on AfterEllen.

Deschanel starred in the 2022 Netflix miniseries Devil in Ohio.


Deschanel is a vegan and a supporter of animal rights causes. She has said she went vegan after watching the film Diet for a New America. She can be seen in an Access Hollywood video at the book launch event of Karen Dawn’s Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals, discussing how vegetarian and vegan diets help the environment, and a video on the homepage of the book’s website talking about the importance of animal rights. She collaborated with PETA on a video encouraging mothers to raise their children as vegans. In September 2014, she joined the board of directors at Farm Sanctuary.

Personal life

Deschanel was raised Roman Catholic but is no longer practicing and has expressed agnostic views, saying “I am more of a spiritual person, if anything, and I am of the belief that we don’t know, and I’m not going to pretend that I do.”

On September 25, 2010, Deschanel married It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor and writer David Hornsby in a small private ceremony in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. On September 21, 2011, Deschanel gave birth to their first son. On June 8, 2015, she gave birth to their second son. Both pregnancies were written into Bones.

Deschanel is best friends with her Bones co-star Michaela Conlin, who played her best friend Angela Montenegro on the show. She is also friends and has a strong working relationship with her Bones co-star David Boreanaz.

In 2015, Deschanel filed suit against Fox alongside Boreanaz, Reichs and Bones executive producer Barry Josephson, claiming they were cheated out of their share of series profits. In February 2019, an arbitrator awarded them $179 million: $128 million in punitive damages, $32 million in compensatory damages, $10 million in prejudgment interest and more than $9 million in fees and costs. In May 2019, the Los Angeles Superior Court voided the punitive damages, with the plaintiffs’ attorneys saying they would appeal. In September 2019, the parties came to an undisclosed settlement.



Year Title Role Notes 1994 It Could Happen to You Animal rights activist 2000 It’s a Shame About Ray Maggie Short film 2003 Easy Laura Harris Cold Mountain Mrs. Morgan 2004 Alamo, TheThe Alamo Rosanna Travis Spider-Man 2 Receptionist Cameo Old Tricks Woman Short film 2005 Boogeyman Kate Houghton Mute Claire Short film That Night Annie Short film 2006 Glory Road Mary Haskins 2007 Diagnosis, TheThe Diagnosis Maggie Short film 2009 My Sister’s Keeper Dr. Farquad 2011 Perfect Family, TheThe Perfect Family Shannon Cleary 2015 Unity Narrator Documentary 2023 Big Boys Nicole Feature


Year Title Role Notes 2001 Heart Department, TheThe Heart Department Maude Allyn Television movie 2002 Rose Red Pam Asbury 3 episodes; Miniseries Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Cassie Germaine Episode: “Surveillance” Providence Annie Franks 2 episodes 2003 Dan Show, TheThe Dan Show Sam Television movie 2004 Crossing Jordan Michelle Episode: “All the News Fit to Print” 2005-2017 Bones Temperance Brennan Main role 2009 Tit for Tat Emily Episode: “The Booby Scare” 2010-2011 Cleveland Show, TheThe Cleveland Show Julia Roberts (voice) Episode: “Cleveland Live!” Herself (voice) Episode: “Hot Cocoa Bang Bang” 2012 American Dad! Temperance Brennan (voice) Episode: “Less Money, Mo’ Problems” 2014; 2019 … History Babe Didrikson Zaharias / Marina Raskova 2 episodes 2015 Sleepy Hollow Temperance Brennan Episode: “Dead Men Tell No Tales” 2016 BoJack Horseman Herself (voice) Episode: “Love And/Or Marriage” 2018 The Simpsons Herself (voice) Episode: “Bart’s Not Dead” 2019 Animal Kingdom Angela Recurring role (Season 4) 2021 The Rookie Sarah Nolan Episode: “Brave Heart” 2022 Devil in Ohio Dr. Suzanne Mathis 8 episodes; Miniseries

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result 2006 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Bones Nominated 2007 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Nominated 2011 People’s Choice Awards Favorite TV Crime Fighter Nominated 2012 Favorite TV Drama Actress Nominated 2013 Favorite Dramatic TV Actress Nominated 2015 Favorite TV Duo: David Boreanaz & Emily Deschanel Nominated Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress Nominated 2016 Favorite Crime Drama TV Actress Nominated

See also

In Spanish: Emily Deschanel para niños

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Kay Adams