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Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born on February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California to parents Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Joseph was raised in a Jewish family with his late older brother, Daniel Levitt, who passed away in October 2010. His maternal grandfather, Michael Gordon, had been a well-known movie director. After working for several years as a child actor, Joseph became better known for starring on the hit television series "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996), for which he earned two Hollywood Reporter Young Star Awards. In addition, the show earned three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Peformance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Prior to his success on television, Joseph had already worked steadily in feature films, debuting in the Robert Redford film A River Runs Through It (1992).Following his work on "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996), Joseph took time off from acting to attend Columbia University. In the early 2000s, he broke from the mold of his television and film comedy supporting roles by appearing in a string of intense dramatic roles, mostly in smaller, independent films such as Mysterious Skin (2004), Brick (2005), The Lookout (2007), and Stop-Loss (2008). By 2009, Joseph was officially established as one of the leading men of indie cinema with his Golden Globe-nominated role in the comedy-drama (500) Days of Summer (2009), for which he also received an Independent Spirit Award nod. In 2010 he headlined the indie drama Hesher (2010) and also established himself as a mainstream star in Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010). Balancing both independent and Hollywood film, Joseph scored another Golden Globe nod for the cancer drama 50/50 (2011), worked again with director Nolan on The Dark Knight Rises (2012), snagged leading roles in both Premium Rush (2012) and Looper (2012), and played Abraham Lincoln's son Robert in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln (2012).