Here’s what you need to know:
1. Black’s Career First Took Off With Small TV Roles
After growing up in Culver Ciity, California and appearing in a handful of commercials as a child, Black got his first adult roles with small guest appearances on a handful of primetime TV shows. He appeared in everything from Life Goes On to Picket Fences, The Golden Palace and The X-Files.
Then, came the movies.
Following bit roles in films like Waterworld, Dead Man Walking and Enemy of State, Black’s first major role came in 2000 when he appeared in High Fidelity, a chance he considers his breakout. From there on out, Black established himself as one of the most bankable comedic actors in Hollywood.
Black earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work in School of Rock as well as his dramatic turn in 2011 in the Richard Linklater black comedy Bernie. He has also done prolific voice acting work, including voicing the lead role in three Kung Fu Panda films.
2. He Is the Lead Singer of the Comedy Rock/Hard Rock Band Tenacious D
While he may be best known for his acting career, Black is also a musician and one half of the comedy/hard rock band Tenacious D alongside Kyle Gass. The pair have released three albums and appeared in the film Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
Tenacious D may be focused, mostly, on its rock-comedy hybrid, but the group also has a reputation for its charitable endeavors. In 2001 Tenacious D helped raise awareness for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.
The band has been regulars at various appearances around the world and just announced that it will play the Ski Opening Festival in Schladming, Austria in December.
3. Black & Tanya Haden Have Been Married Since 2006
Black proposed to Tanya Harden in December 2005 and the pair were married on March 14, 2006 in Big Sur, California. The couple, who first met at Crossroads, a private high school in Santa Monica, eloped in a small ceremony after less than a year of dating.
Harden comes from a long line of entertainment talent. The cellist is actually a triplet and the daughter of jazz bassist Charlie Haden. Her sisters, Petra and Rachel are musicians as well; playing the violin and bass, respectively.
The couple welcomed their first son Samuel Jason in 2006 and had their second son, Thomas Davis in 2008. Although Black had once described himself as an athiest, he has said that fatherhood has altered his view on religion and he and Harden have decided to raise their children in the Jewish faith.
4. His Brother, Howard, Died From AIDS in 1989
While recently promoting his new film Goosebumps, Black has opened up about the struggles in his life, including losing his brother and fighting a cocaine addition.
After his parents divorced, Black struggled to find a set path and turned to drugs as a means of coping. “I remember just lots of turmoil from that time period,” he said. “I was having a lot of troubles with cocaine…I was hanging out with some pretty rough characters. I was scared to go to school [because] one of them wanted to kill me.”
But Black’s own personal struggles were nothing compared to what he deal with when he lost his brother to AIDS in 1989. His older brother, Howard, died from the disease at just 31 years old and his death shook Black to his core. He told Parade Magazine:
Losing a family member is the worst thing I could imagine. He was a big influence on me. He took me to my first rock concert. I was 11; he was 23. He was so vibrant, creative, amazing. He shaped my taste in music. [Death] didn’t happen quickly. We all saw the deterioration. He was only 31. So very young. We were robbed of something precious. It was devastating. It was hard for all of us, but it was hardest for my mom when we lost Howard. She’s never really recovered.
Black added that his own tragedies with his family while he was younger have certainly influenced the way he parents his two sons.
5. Black Is Worth a Reported $40 Million
It isn’t hard to believe that Black is doing alright for himself. After all, he’s been a bona fide movie star, producer, writer and musician.
But how much is Black worth?
According to The Richest, the long-time actor is worth an estimated $40 million. His estimated yearly income rangers between $2.2 million to $2.5 million as well as an estimated $522,00 from endorsement.