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Meet Jake Gyllenhaal's famous family: his Oscar-nominated mom, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, and even legend Paul Newman

The Presumed Innocent actor has quite the star-studded family tree

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
6 days ago
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There are a lot of family trees in Hollywood full of famous stars you might never have suspected were related, and Jake Gyllenhaal has quite the star-studded one.

The Presumed Innocent actor, 43, has deep ties to the industry, having been born and raised in Los Angeles as the son of a film director dad and a screenwriter mother.

And not only did he continue their legacy in the industry with his own acting career, but in doing so he followed in the footsteps of his famous older sister, his legendary godfather, and his godmother, who has quite the star-studded family tree of her own.

Below, catch up on everything you need to know about Jake's famous family, and see their sweet photos together.


Jake Gyllenhaal and mother Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal pose at the "Constellations" Broadway Opening Night After Party at Urbo NYC on January 13, 2015 in New York City© Getty

Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal

Naomi, 78, is a native New Yorker, and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, producer, and later on became a director as well. Speaking with ABC News in 2014, she said of her two children: "I can't say that there's anything that gives me more pleasure than to get to the point where my children are my friends. I adore my kids. They are spectacular," emphasizing: "Nothing is more important than family."

Her first feature film to come to life on the big screen was Violets Are Blue, which premiered in 1986, and starred Sissy Spacek and Kevin Kline. She earned an Oscar nomination in 1988 for Best Original Screenplay for Running on Empty, which featured Judd Hirsch, Martha Plimpton, and the late River Phoenix, and in 2013, she made her directorial debut with Very Good Girls, starring Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, and Demi Moore.


Jake Gyllenhaal and father Stephen Gyllenhaal in 2004© Getty

Stephen Gyllenhaal

Stephen, 74, has worked as a director since 1979, and some of his film and television credits include Paris Trout, A Killing in a Small Town, Girl Fight, Family of Spies, Blue Bloods, and The Mentalist, among others.

He and Naomi tied the knot in 1977, the year they welcomed daughter Maggie Gyllenhaal, and they moved from New York to Los Angeles the following year. They divorced in 2009 after more than 30 years of marriage, when Maggie was 32 and Jake was 29. Six years later, Jake told People his parents' split "allowed me to be more honest with myself," and that: "It was painful for a lot of people in our family, but that honesty was inspiring."


Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jake Gyllenhaal attend the 2021 LACMA Art + Film Gala presented by Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California© Getty

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Like Jake, Maggie, 46, is also an Oscar-nominated actress, and a director. She made her film debut when she was 15 in her dad's film Waterland, and after graduating from Columbia University, she gained recognition for her roles in Secretary, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Donnie Darko, Sherrybaby, The Dark Knight, and more.

She made her directorial debut with The Lost Daughter in 2021, based on the novel by Elena Ferrante, and Jake later told InStyle: "She's an incredible writer, and she's an incredible filmmaker, and I've known that for a long time. And now the world knows it."


Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard attend the "Presumed Innocent" Premiere during the 2024 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Theater on June 09, 2024 in New York City© Getty

Peter Sarsgaard

Peter, 53, is Jake's brother-in-law. He married Maggie in 2009 after first meeting in 2001, and together they share daughters Ramona, 17, and Gloria, 12.

His acting credits include Lovelace, An Education, Dopesick, Orphan, Jackie, and most recently, he was his brother-in-law's co-star on Presumed Innocent.


Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Lee Curtis at the premiere of "The Covenant" held at the Directors Guild of America on April 17, 2023 in Los Angeles, California© Getty

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee, herself the daughter of Hollywood legends Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, is Jake's godmother. Recently speaking with E! News, Jake gushed about his godmother: "She gives me strength and gives me love at times [that] I've definitely needed it, and I hope I can be the same for her."

Though they have yet to share a screen together, they have shared a home; during the COVID-19 lockdown, Jake and his girlfriend Jeanne Cadieu lived at the house next door to Jamie Lee that she also owns. 


Paul Newman backstage at the Shrine Auditorium during the 67th Annual Academy Awards, March 27,1995 in Los Angeles, California© Getty

Paul Newman

Last but certainly not least in Jake's list of star-studded relatives is the legendary Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid actor, his godfather, who passed away in 2008 aged 83. In a 2002 conversation with Susan Sarandon for Interview Magazine, Jake told the hilarious story of how his godfather taught him how to drive, or rather how not to, when he was 15, in a race car no less. 

He shared: "He was driving the car and he threw me in the passenger's seat and with his glasses dangling from his ear, he started driving on the track towards a brick wall.  We're 100 feet from a wall, going 60 miles-per-hour, and he hits the brake and turns the wheel and the car spins three times. So then he turns to me and goes, 'That’s what  you don’t do.'"

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