Jonah Hill

Showbusiness was always in the air at Jonah Hill's home in Los Angeles.

His family was friends with Henry Winkler of Happy Days fame.

"We got parents and then we got the Winklers," was how The Wolf of Wall Street star explains having the Fonz as a surrogate dad.

Jonah's mother Sharon Lyn was a costume designer. Meanwhile, the actor's father Richard was an accountant. That doesn't sound particularly glitzy until you learn that he crunched the numbers for the Guns N' Roses tours.

His older brother is Jordan Feldstein, the manager of Maroon 5 and Robin Thicke.

Unsurpsingly, it didn't take long for the aspiring actor, who was born in 1983, to be discovered.

His big break was engineered by Dustin Hoffman. In 2003, Jonah was writing and putting on plays in New York's East Village when he befriended The Graduate star's children Rebecca and Jake.

He so impressed their dad with improvised comedy that Dustin organised an audition for I ♥ Huckabees, the 2004 David O Russell film.

A few years later director Jude Apatow cast him as as a horny teenager in Superbad. He later remembered coming out of his tiny LA apartment and looking up to see an enormous billboard with his face on it.

The Hill CV from that time shows a steady stream of comedy fare, with Jude at the helm: Knocked Up, Funny People and The 40-year-old Virgin.

After that came Moneyball, a movie about baseball with Brad Pitt. It provided the funnyman with a chance to emulate his heroes Dustin, Bill Murray and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman by allowing him to alternate between comedy and drama.

The film also gave him his first Oscar nomination. His mother Sharon was his date to the 2012 ceremony and had a ball.

"She was sitting next to Brad Pitt's mom; she was having the time of her life," recalls Jonah. "Owen Wilson's mom and her were talking all night! All the moms were there. It was a big thing, the moms. I love having her around."

The Academy Award nomination meant that his "number one idol" Martin Scorsese considered him for The Wolf of Wall Street, his satire about 90s trading excesses.

Playing an amoral financier dazzled by sex, money and drugs opposite an equally unlikeable Leonardo DiCaprio earned Jonah his second Oscar nod.

"The goal was to work with Martin Scorsese, and I got to do it and that's all I wanted in my creative life. That was my dream," says the new Hollywood hot shot, who is now worth $30 million.
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